“Having been a second-generation kid in this business, receiving the Oscar really meant a lot to me and helped me step out of [Kirk’s] shadow,” says Douglas, 67. At the 48th Awards in 1976, Douglas won an Oscar as producer of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
“It’s so frightening the first time; it’s so big. You’re afraid of having to go up there and say ‘Thank you’ and of the words that are going to come out of your mouth. In a weird way you’re like, ‘Please, God, don’t let it be me!’ ” Helen Mirren told THR.
“Last September, I threw out the opening pitch for the Mets, for Taiwanese Heritage Day, and of course I was introduced as ‘the Oscar-winning director.’ It follows you everywhere," director Ang Lee told THR about his 2006 win for best director for Brokeback Mountain.
“Honestly, I felt nothing but guilty.” That’s how legendary scribe Towne remembers his 1975 best original screenplay win for Roman Polanski’s epic drama Chinatown. The film earned 11 nominations, but Towne was the only winner that night.
“I’d written my speech on an envelope, but when I got onstage, perspiration had caused all the ink to run, and I couldn’t read the names,” Rocky director John G. Avildsen told THR. “Fortunately, I remembered everybody.”
Eddie Murphy, Jeffrey Katzenberg, Cameron Diaz and Mike Meyers
“It could have been a train wreck. We broke every rule. The movie was irreverent, subversive,” says DreamWorks Animation CEO Katzenberg, 61, of Shrek, which won the first best animated feature prize in 2002.
Who better to judge the best movies of all time than the people who make them? Studio chiefs, Oscar winners and TV royalty all were surveyed as THR publishes its first definitive entertainment-industry ranking of cinema's most superlative. View gallery