Gay Oscar momentsFeature Story, Bottom Highlights Thursday, February 24th, 2011
The first movie to win Best Picture is Wings, the story of a woman who comes between two men who modern viewers clearly can tell are in love with each other.
Alfred Hitchcock’s Rebecca wins Best Picture, and at its heart is a housekeeper who was madly in love with her now-deceased mistress.
Closeted gay Rock Hudson and might-as-well-have-been-a-drag-queen Mae West sing “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” together.
Out gay Robert Opel who streaked during the telecast causing David Niven, not gay but kind of fey, to say, “Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost bound to happen … But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”
Tom Hanks, in his acceptance speech for winning Best Actor for playing a gay man with AIDS in Philadelphia, outs his high school theater teacher, inspiring the great coming out comedy In & Out.
William Hurt won Best Actor for Kiss of the Spiderwoman, the first time an Oscar went to someone playing an openly and clearly gay character. And Cher wore an insanely revealing, elaborate, and now iconic Bob Mackie dress as protest against a memo from the Academy asking guests to follow a dress code.
Rob Lowe and Snow White sang “Proud Mary,” after Merv Griffin sang and Cyd Charisse danced, in one of the most bizarre and campiest moments on TV, let alone, Oscar history. Disney sued, and the producer, Alan Carr, barely ever worked again.
When three of the Best Director nominees were openly gay (Stephen Daldry, Rob Marshall, Pedro Almodovar), three of the Best Original or Adapted Screenplays were written by out gay men (Todd Haynes, Bill Condon, Pedro Almodovar), and the Best Actress (Nicole Kidman) won for playing a lesbian.
When Brokeback Mountain, arguably the greatest gay movie ever made and inarguably one of the greatest filmed love stories, shockingly lost Best Picture to the now-widely reviled Crash. But Philip Seymour Hoffman did win Best Actor for playing Truman Capote, one of the great gay personalities of the 20th century.
Jennifer Hudson wins an Oscar for playing Effie in Dreamgirls whose song “And I Am Telling You I’m Not Going” has probably been lip-synched by more drag queens and warbled by more gay American Idol hopefuls than any other song.
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