Oscar Legacy
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The 33rd Academy Awards (1961)

Held at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium on Monday, April 17, 1961,
honoring movies released in 1960.

Eddie Fisher with Best Actress Elizabeth Taylor

Eddie Fisher with Best Actress Elizabeth Taylor ("Butterfield 8").

Best Picture

The Apartment Full Image

"The Apartment"

The Mirisch Company, Inc.; United Artists.

Best Picture, Writer and Director

Billy Wilder Full Image

Billy Wilder

Billy Wilder with his three Oscars for writing, directing and producing Best Picture winner ("The Apartment").

Best Actor

Burt Lancaster Full Image

Burt Lancaster

Best Actor Burt Lancaster ("Elmer Gantry").

The Year

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Elizabeth Taylor accepts her Best Actress Oscar, presented by Yul Brynner.
  • Best Picture: "The Apartment"
    • "The Apartment" also won Academy Awards for Black-and-White Art Direction-Set Decoration (Alexander Trauner and Edward G. Boyle), Directing (Billy Wilder), Film Editing (Daniel Mandell), and Writing – Story and Screenplay written directly for the screen (Billy Wilder and I.A.L. Diamond).
  • For the first time, the ceremony was telecast by the ABC Television Network. (View Image)
  • Bob Hope was the master of ceremonies.
  • For the first time, a song from a foreign-made film won in the Song category (Manos Hadjidakis's "Never on Sunday").
  • In February 1960, African-American students from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University began a sit-in at a "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina.
  • On April 1, 1960, the United States launched the first weather satellite, TIROS 1.
  • In May 1960, President Eisenhower signed the Civil Rights Act of 1960 into law.
  • On July 4, 1960, the new 50-star flag of the United States was officially flown for the first time at a special ceremony at Fort McHenry.
  • In July 1960, Harper Lee's only novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, was published. It went on to win the 1961 Pulitzer Prize for fiction.
  • On September 26, 1960, Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy participated in the first televised Presidential debate. On November 8, Kennedy defeated Nixon and became the youngest U.S. president in history.
  • December 31, 1960 was the last day that the farthing, which was worth one-quarter of a penny, was legal tender in the U.K

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

To Sol Lesser.

Honorary Award

To Gary Cooper for his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry.

Honorary Award

To Stan Laurel for his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy.

Honorary Award

To Hayley Mills for "Pollyanna," the most outstanding juvenile performance during 1960.

See all Nominees and Winners