Oscar Legacy
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The 76th Academy Awards (2004)

Held at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland on Sunday, February 29, 2004,
honoring movies released in 2003.

Viggo Mortensen in a scene from Best Picture  "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Viggo Mortensen in a scene from Best Picture "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King."

Best Picture

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Full Image

"The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"

Wingnut Films Production; New Line. [U.S.A./New Zealand]

Best Original Song

Best Original Song winners Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and Annie Lennox ("Into the West" from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King"). Full Image

Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and
Annie Lennox

Best Original Song winners Howard Shore, Fran Walsh and Annie Lennox ("Into the West" from "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King").

Acting Winners

Best Actress Charlize Theron ("Monster"), Best Actor Sean Penn ("Mystic River"), Best Supporting Actress Renée Zellweger ("Cold Mountain") and Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins ("Mystic River"). Full Image

Charlize Theron, Sean Penn,
Renée Zellweger and Tim Robbins

Best Actress Charlize Theron ("Monster"), Best Actor Sean Penn ("Mystic River"), Best Supporting Actress Renée Zellweger ("Cold Mountain") and Best Supporting Actor Tim Robbins ("Mystic River").

The Year

  • Charlize Theron
  • Sean Penn
  • Blake Edwards
  • Peter Jackson
  • Best Picture: “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”
    • “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” also won Academy Awards for Art Direction-Set Decoration (Grant Major, Dan Hennah, and Alan Lee), Costume Design (Ngila Dickson and Richard Taylor), Directing (Peter Jackson), Film Editing (Jamie Selkirk), Makeup (Richard Taylor and Peter King), Music – Original Score (Howard Shore), Music – Original Song (“Into the West,” music and lyric by Fran Walsh, Howard Shore, and Annie Lennox), Sound Mixing (Christopher Boyes, Michael Semanick, Michael Hedges, and Hammond Peek), Visual Effects (Jim Rygiel, Joe Letteri, Randall William Cook, and Alex Funke), and Writing – Adapted Screenplay (Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, and Peter Jackson). (View Image)
  • “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” was nominated for 11 awards and won them all.
    • Peter Jackson personally took home three Oscars as director, co-writer of the screenplay, and a producer of the film. Fran Walsh became the first woman to receive three awards for the same film, winning in the Best Picture, Original Song, and Writing categories.
  • One of the producers of the Canadian film “The Barbarian Invasions,” which won in the Foreign Language Film category, said with relief in her onstage speech, “We’re so thankful that ‘Lord of the Rings’ did not qualify in this category.”
  • Billy Crystal was the host for the eighth time.
  • Sofia Coppola became the third woman, and the first American one, to be nominated for directing.
  • “Finding Nemo” was named the year’s Best Animated Feature Film.
  • On March 12, 2003, 15-year-old Elizabeth Smart was found in Sandy, Utah, nine months after being abducted from her family’s home in Salt Lake City.
  • In May 2003, Swedish pro golfer Annika Sorenstam, who had won 43 LPGA tournaments, became the first woman to play in a PGA tour event since Babe Didrikson Zaharias played in the 1945 Los Angeles Open. Sorenstam received a sponsor’s exemption to compete in the Colonial tournament in Fort Worth, Texas, but was cut after two rounds of play.
  • On June 12, 2003, actor Gregory Peck died at the age of 87. Peck won an Academy Award for Best Actor for “To Kill a Mockingbird,” received four other Best Actor nominations and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, and served as Academy President 1967—1970.
  • On June 29, 2003, Katharine Hepburn, four-time Academy Award winner for Best Actress, died at the age of 96. Hepburn, who received 12 total nominations, is the only performer in Academy history to have won four awards for acting.
  • On July 22, 2003, 20-year-old Pfc. Jessica Lynch, who had been captured during a mission on March 23 and rescued from an Iraqi hospital 10 days later, received a hero’s welcome upon her return to her hometown of Palestine, West Virginia.
  • In July 2003, the last of the more than 20,000,000, original model Volkswagen Beetles built since World War II was completed at Volkswagen’s factory in Puebla, Mexico. The plant has continued to produce the New Beetle.
  • In August 2003, the largest blackout in U.S. history turned out the lights in eight Northeastern and Midwestern states, as well as parts of Canada, after a plant failure in Ohio sparked a cascade of outages that lasted up to two days in some areas and affected approximately 50 million people.
  • On October 7, 2003, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger succeeded in his first bid for elected office when he beat Gray Davis in California’s gubernatorial race. Davis was only the second governor in U.S. history to be recalled by the electorate, and the first since 1921.
  • On October 24, 2003, Sir David Frost, Joan Collins, and Christie Brinkley were among the passengers on the last commercial flight made by the supersonic Concorde jet as it traveled from New York City to London.
  • On November 17, 2003, John Allen Muhammad was found guilty of two counts of capital murder committed when he and a young accomplice, Lee Boyd Malvo, terrorized the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area during a three-week shooting spree that resulted in the deaths of 10 people.
  • On November 20, 2003, renowned music producer Phil Spector pleaded not guilty after being indicted for the February 2003 murder of actress Lana Clarkson. Although Spector’s first trial resulted in a hung jury in September 2007, he was convicted of the crime in April 2009.

Honorary Award

To Blake Edwards in recognition of his writing, directing and producing an extraordinary body of work for the screen.

See all Nominees and Winners

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