A selection of memorable quotes from years past

“I would like to be Jupiter and kidnap everybody and lie down in the ground making love to everybody because I don’t know how to express — it’s a question of love. You are really… this is a mountain of snow, so delicate, the suavity and the kindness, it is something I cannot forget.”

– Roberto Benigni, 1999

“Oh, man! This may be the one time I’m speechless!”

– Robin Williams, 1998

“You’ve just provided me with the makings of one hell of a weekend in Dublin!”

– Daniel Day-Lewis, 1990

“I don’t think this means I am somebody, but I guess I’m on my way.”

– Cher, 1988

“It would be a lie if I told you I didn’t know what to say. I’ve been working on this speech for about 25 years.”

– F. Murray Abraham, 1985

“I guess this proves that there are as many nuts in the Academy as anywhere else.”

– Jack Nicholson, 1976

“I had a speech prepared — in 1959, but I’ve forgotten it.”

– Jack Lemmon, 1974

“Boy ain’t that purty?! This couldn’t have happened to a nicer fella!”

– Ben Johnson, 1973

“The first script of ‘Funny Girl’ was written when I was only 11 years old. Thank God it took so long to get it right, you know?”

– Barbra Streisand, 1969

“I don’t know why it took so long. My husband told me if I didn’t win this time he wouldn’t bring me again. I feel absolutely groovy!”

– Ruth Gordon, 1969

“It’s been a long journey to this moment.”

– Sidney Poitier, 1964

“Right now I’m so happy that I want to thank all the members who didn’t vote for me.”

– Burt Lancaster, 1961

“Never mind the honor, although I’m sure it’s very nice of them. I hope this award means cash — hard cash.”

– Wendy Hiller, 1959

“I hope this is not a mistake because I wouldn’t give it back for anything in the world.”

– Yul Brynner, 1958

“I couldn’t be more surprised if I won the Kentucky Derby. Can You imagine the jokes Hope’s going to write about this in his radio show?”

– Bing Crosby, 1945

“I didn’t think I was that good.”

– Thomas Mitchell, 1940

“What’s this about? What’s the award?”

Claudette Colbert, 1935

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