UPDATED: Celebrity photographer Alex Berliner and his media escort became superheroes Sunday night when they chased down the thief who stole Frances McDormand’s Oscar from the Governors Ball and asked him to hand over the trophy, Variety observed. They let the robber go and then security caught up with him.
The man accused of stealing Frances McDormand’s Oscar, Terry Bryant, was arrested Sunday night, and was officially charged Tuesday with one felony count of grand theft, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office announced.
Bryant was booked at 11:50 p.m. on Sunday after snatching the best actress statue from McDormand’s table at the Governors Ball following the ceremony. His bail is set at $20,000, and he is due to be arraigned on Wednesday. He faces a maximum of three years in county jail if convicted.
New York Times culture reporter Cara Buckley tweeted on Sunday night that the alleged thief was stopped by Wolfgang Puck’s photographer (Puck caters the annual party). The Oscar was then returned to McDormand, who allegedly told security to release the man.
“Security at the Governors Ball are looking for this guy, who grabbed Frances McDormand’s Oscar and ran out with it,” Buckley wrote. “Wolfgang Puck’s photographer stopped him, got the Oscar back, and the guy disappeared back into the ball. Apparently Frances has said to let him go.”
The Governors Ball, held at the Ray Dolby Ballroom, is the official after-party of the Academy Awards.
McDormand’s rep, Simon Halls, confirmed to Variety that the trophy was returned to its rightful owner.
“After a brief time apart, Frances and her Oscar were happily reunited last night,” Halls said in an email. “They celebrated their reunion with a double cheeseburger from In-N-Out.”
Bryant, 47, promoted the escapade on his Facebook page, posting a video of himself with the trophy. His social media shows him also posing with a “friend’s” SAG award and attending the Grammys and several other awards shows.
Bryant has a criminal history including burglary, assault and car theft, according to court records. In 2012, a Los Angeles judge sentenced him to a year in jail after he pleaded no contest to two misdemeanor counts of burglary and two counts of disobeying a court order. The case was briefly suspended until the court could determine that he was mentally competent to enter a plea, records show. In 2001, Bryant was sentenced to two years of probation in Oregon for assault, theft, and criminal mischief. In 2000, he was convicted in Oregon of criminal trespassing. Bryant was also convicted of car theft in Los Angeles in 1995, according to court records. In that case, he was sentenced to 180 days in county jail.
McDormand won the Oscar for her gripping performance as grieving mother Mildred Hayes in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Her moving acceptance speech concluded with a call for stars to negotiate for inclusion riders in their contracts.
Watch McDormand get her Oscar engraved right before the theft.