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The 48th Academy Awards (1976)

Held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion on Monday, March 29, 1976,
honoring movies released in 1975.

Michael Douglas, Milos Foreman, Louise Fletcher, Jack Nicholson

Best Picture winners Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz flank Best Director Milos Foreman, Best Actress Louise Fletcher and Best Actor Jack Nicholson ("One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest").

Best Picture

One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest Full Image

"One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest"

Fantasy Films Production; United Artists.

Best Editor

Best Editor Verna Fields ("Jaws") with presenters Isabelle Adjani and Elliott Gould. Full Image

Verna Fields

Best Editor Verna Fields ("Jaws") with presenters Isabelle Adjani and Elliott Gould.

Best Original Score

Best Original Score winner John Williams ("Jaws"). Full Image

John Williams

Best Original Score winner John Williams ("Jaws").

The Year

  • Jack Nicholson
  • Saul Zaentz and Michael Douglas
  • George Burns
  • Best Picture: "One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest"
    • "One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest" also won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Directing (Milos Forman), and Writing – Screenplay adapted from other material (Lawrence Hauben and Bo Goldman).
    • “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest” was the first film to win Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Directing, and Writing since “It Happened One Night” 41 years earlier.
  • Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, George Segal, Goldie Hawn, and Gene Kelly shared hosting duties.
  • Ray Bolger and 24 dancers opened the show with a special number called “Hollywood Honors Its Own.”
  • Elizabeth Taylor closed the show by leading a salute to the nation’s Bicentennial. (View Image)
  • Eighty-year-old George Burns won Best Supporting Actor (“The Sunshine Boys”) and became the oldest performer to win a competitive Academy Award.
  • Louise Fletcher gave part of her acceptance speech in sign language, addressing her deaf parents watching at home in Birmingham, Alabama. “I want to say thank you for teaching me to have a dream,” she told them. “You are seeing my dream come true."
  • On January 6, 1975, “Wheel of Fortune” debuted on NBC.
  • On November 6, 1974, Ella Grasso was elected governor of Connecticut. She was the first female governor who did not take office by succeeding her husband. Her inauguration was on January 8, 1975.
  • In January 1975, Michael Ovitz, Ron Meyer, Bill Haber, Michael Rosenfeld and Rowland Perkins founded the Creative Artists Agency (CAA). 
  • In March 1975, Charlie Chaplin was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.
  • On March 10, 1975, The Rocky Horror Show opened on Broadway. (It had opened in London in June 1973 and in Los Angeles in March 1974.) In September, the movie version, “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” was released in Los Angeles.
  • In May 1975, Busch Gardens at Williamsburg, Virginia opened. At the time, the theme park was known as The Old Country.
  • In August 1975, President Ford posthumously restored full rights of citizenship to  Robert E. Lee.
  • In September 1975, Rembrandt’s painting The Night Watch was slashed and damaged at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam.
  • On October 11, 1975, the first episode of “NBC’s Saturday Night” was broadcast. George Carlin was the host and Billy Preston and Janis Ian were the musical guests.

Special Achievement Award (Sound Effects)

To Peter Berkos for "The Hindenburg."

Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects)

To Albert Whitlock, Glen Robinson for "The Hindenburg."

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

To Dr. Jules C. Stein.

Honorary Award

To Mary Pickford in recognition of her unique contributions to the film industry and the development of film as an artistic medium.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

To Mervyn LeRoy.

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