Married Oscar Winners Who Didn't Give Thanks and Later Split

4:42 PM 2/26/2016

by Caitlin Plummer and Jackie Strause

THR went through 30 years' worth of acceptance speeches and found that those who didn't thank their partner were more likely to break up.

Two-time best actress winner Hilary Swank
Getty Images

Gone are the days when Oscar winners can blame forgetting to thank a loved one on being overwhelmed: The 2016 Academy Awards will run pre-prepared thank-you scrolls across the bottom of the screen when winners are announced during the CBS telecast on Feb. 28.

In the past, a celebrity leaving out a partner during an acceptance speech hasn't gone unnoticed and as The Hollywood Reporter has now learned, an omission can even predict a split.

THR went through 30 years' worth of acceptance speeches — every acting award given from 1986 to 2015, 120 in all — and confirmed 90 winners who were married or in a relationship during their Academy Award win. Nearly one third of those winners failed to mentioned their loved ones on stage, and the data suggests those who didn't thank their partner were more likely to split than those who did.

Here are the memorable speeches of nine married (or soon-to-be) actors and actresses who did not express their thanks — and ended up separating down the line.

  • Hilary Swank, 2000 and 2005

    One of the most memorable cases occurred in 2000 when Hilary Swank forgot to thank her husband Chad Lowe during her best actress speech for Boys Don't Cry. She made it up to him during her 2005 speech for Million Dollar Baby — "I'd like to think I learn from past mistakes," she said, adding, "Chad, you're my everything" — but the pair ultimately split in 2007.

  • Sean Penn, 2008 and 2010

    Sean Penn is another two-time example. For his first win in 2004, he thanked then-wife Robin Wright during his 2004 acceptance speech for Mystic River — calling her "an undying emotional inspiration" — but did not thank the House of Cards star during his Milk win in 2009. The pair divorced in 2010.

  • Sandra Bullock, 2010

    Sandra Bullock did not mention then-husband Jesse James by name (though she gestured his way while talking about love) as she accepted the award for The Blind Side in 2010. The pair divorced later that same year.

  • Russell Crowe, 2001

    When Russell Crowe won best actor for Gladiator in 2001, he did not thank his longtime on-and-off girlfriend Danielle Spencer, who was in the audience. The pair married later in 2003, but have been estranged since 2012.

  • Emma Thompson, 1992

    Emma Thompson thanked many people during her 1992 best actress acceptance speech for her role in Howards End, but she did not mention her husband, fellow actor Kenneth Branagh. They later divorced in 1995.

  • Kathy Bates, 1991

    Kathy Bates failed to thank actor and boyfriend Tony Campisi while winning the 1991 best actress award for Misery. The couple married shortly after that same year, but divorced in 1997.

  • Joe Pesci, 1991

    Joe Pesci didn't thank wife Claudia Haro, a model and actress, when he won in 1991 for best supporting actor for Goodfellas. The speech became famous for its length: five words in total. The couple divorced the following year.

  • Morgan Freeman, 2005

    Morgan Freeman didn't thank wife Myrna Colley-Lee when he won the 2005 best supporting actor award for Million Dollar Baby. The pair separated in 2007 and officially ended their 20-year plus marriage in 2010.

  • Rachel Weisz, 2010

    Rachel Weisz and Darren Aronofsky weren't married, but they were on their way. The pair got engaged in 2005, but Weisz, who was seven months pregnant with their son, did not thank the filmmaker during her best supporting actress speech for The Constant Gardner in 2006. They called off their relationship in 2010.

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