The 81st Academy Awards

81st Annual Academy Awards – February 22, 2009

  • Slumdog Millionaire producers

    Nominees & Winners

    Best Picture honors went to “Slumdog Millionaire” which also received seven other awards. Sean Penn and Kate Winslet took home the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress.

    See a complete list of nominees & winners

  • Hugh Jackman

    This Year’s Host

    This year’s host Hugh Jackman sang and danced his way through the 81st Academy Awards telecast on Sunday, February 22. This was Jackman’s first time center stage at the Oscar show, although he has previously been a presenter.


  • Governors Ball Set Up

    Governors Ball

    Oscar Night wrapped up with the movie industry’s biggest party of the year.


  • Kodak Theatre stage

    News and Events

    See a list of stories related to the 81st Academy Awards, including Oscar show preparations, the Oscars Designer Challenge and the Nominees Luncheon.


It was billed as the biggest movie event of the year, and the 81st Academy Awards turned out to be one of the most memorable telecasts in Oscar history. The show’s producers, Laurence Mark and Bill Condon, had promised a different kind of Oscar show, and they kept their word.

First-time host Hugh Jackman opened the show with a song-and-dance medley spoofing the night’s nominated films. It earned a standing ovation, which set the tone for the rest of the show.

The acting awards were presented in memorable fashion as five previous Oscar winners in each category took turns introducing the nominees and commending their work.

Best Picture honors went to “Slumdog Millionaire.” The film received eight Oscars in all, including awards for directing, cinematography and original score. In the acting categories, Sean Penn and Kate Winslet took home the awards for Best Actor and Best Actress. Penélope Cruz was named Best Supporting Actress, and the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor went to the late Heath Ledger.

Actor, director, writer and producer Jerry Lewis received the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. Lewis has been the national chairman of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) since 1952 and has served as the “number one volunteer” of the annual Jerry Lewis MDA Labor Day Telethon since 1966, raising more than $2 billion for the cause.

The Awards ceremony was broadcast live on the ABC Television Network and was also televised live in more than 200 countries worldwide.

Oscar Night Slideshows

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt


Slumdog Millionaire

The Show

Jack Black, Andrew Stanton and Jennifer Aniston


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