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1963: Oscar readies for telecast

March 27, 1963:

The Oscar show will not be limited by the clock – show goes off the ABC air when it’s finished. Eight commercials are skedded for 12 minutes … Elizabeth Taylor’s footage for the show, lensed in Europe, didn’t meet her approval. Further attempts to lens Taylor failed , she will not be seen … Eddie Fisher will sing 13 tunes in his medley of past winners, Colin Romoff his musical director … Fisher, by the way, will build a house here — a bachelor house he assures … Former Oscar winners Marlon Brando and David Niven are skedded, April 8, Acad night, to start “King of the Mountain” in Nice … Oscar owner Karl Malden doesn’t own a tux, but broke down, bought a set of tails to be a presenter … (2007 update: Malden, Oscar winner for “A Streetcar Named Desire,” celebrates his 95th birthday, March 22. He won’t be attending this year’s awards, but assures us he’ll be watching. “The Academy is very big in my life,” said the former Acad president … Once again, the Oscar show will not be subjected to time restrictions. It goes off the air when it’s finished. ABC will air 49 commercial spots in 3½ hours for a total of 11-12 minutes per hour … Elizabeth Taylor, who won the Oscar in 1961 for “Butterfield 8,” and in 1967 for “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf,” will celebrate her 75th birthday, Feb. 27 with a party in Las Vegas.)

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