Oscar Legacy
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The 78th Academy Awards (2006)

Held at the Kodak Theatre at Hollywood & Highland Center on Sunday, March 5, 2006,
honoring movies released in 2005.

Best Director Ang Lee with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of "Brokeback Mountain."

Best Director Ang Lee with Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal on the set of "Brokeback Mountain."

Best Picture

Million Dollar Baby Full Image


Bob Yari/DEJ/BlackFriar's Bridge/Harris Company/ApolloProscreen GmbH & Co./Bull's Eye Entertainment Production; Lions Gate Films. [U.S.A./Germany]

Best Supporting Actor

Best Supporting Actor George Clooney ("Syriana"). Full Image

George Clooney

Best Supporting Actor George Clooney ("Syriana").

Best Supporting Actress and Actress

Best Supporting Actress Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener") and Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line"). Full Image

Rachel Weisz and Reese Witherspoon

Best Supporting Actress Rachel Weisz ("The Constant Gardener") and Reese Witherspoon ("Walk the Line").

The Year

  • Gustavo Santaolalla
  • George Clooney
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Best Picture: “Crash”
    • “Crash” also won Academy Awards for Film Editing (Hughes Winborne) and Writing – Original Screenplay (Paul Haggis and Bobby Moresco).
  • “March of the Penguins,” which had become one of the most popular non-fiction films ever released in American theaters, was named Best Documentary Feature. (View Image)
  • This was the second year in a row that the Best Picture winner had a screenplay written by Paul Haggis.
  • All four winners in the acting categories were first-time nominees. Philip Seymour Hoffman won Best Actor for his portrayal of writer Truman Capote in “Capote.” Reese Witherspoon was named Best Actress for her portrayal of country-western singer June Carter in “Walk the Line.” George Clooney took home the Best Supporting Actor for “Syriana,” and Rachel Weisz won Best Supporting Actress for “The Constant Gardener.”
  • Jon Stewart was the host.
  • “It’s Hard Out Here for a Pimp” from “Hustle & Flow” won the Original Song category, with its music and lyrics by members of the rap group Three 6 Mafia. Host Jon Stewart quipped after the win, “Martin Scorsese: 0, Three 6 Mafia: 1.”
  • John Williams received his 44th and 45th nominations and became the second-most-nominated individual in Academy Awards history (second only to Walt Disney, who received 59 nominations).
  • On January 26, 2005, Condoleezza Rice was sworn in as secretary of state, making her the first African-American woman to hold that post.
  • In February 2005, Alberto R. Gonzales won Senate confirmation as the nation's first Hispanic attorney general.
  • In March 2005, Martha Stewart was released from a federal prison near Alderson, West Virginia, after serving five months for lying about her sale of ImClone stock in 2001.
  • On April 2, 2005, Pope John Paul II, one of the longest-serving popes in history and the first non-Italian to hold the post since the 16th century, died at the age of 84. An estimated two million people viewed his body during the four days it lay in state at St. Peter’s Basilica, and representatives from the governments of more than 70 countries attended his funeral.
  • On May 30, 2005, Alabama teen Natalee Holloway disappeared while on vacation in Aruba to celebrate her high school graduation.
  • On July 7, 2005, four suicide bombers detonated explosives on three underground trains and one double-decker bus in London during morning rush hour, killing 56 people and injuring 750 others. The tragedy occurred one day after the announcement that London would be hosting the 2012 Summer Olympics, and spawned an unsuccessful copycat attack two weeks later.
  • On July 24, 2005, American cyclist Lance Armstrong won a record-setting seventh consecutive Tour de France, which he had previously announced would be his last before retiring. Armstrong returned to competitive cycling in 2009 to raise awareness for cancer research.
  • On August 29, 2005, the Gulf Coast region, including New Orleans, Louisiana, was devastated when it was struck by Hurricane Katrina, a Category 3 hurricane and one of the strongest storms to hit the region in 100 years.
  • In October 2005, Vice President Dick Cheney’s chief of staff, I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, was indicted on charges of perjury and obstruction of justice in the scandalous “Plame Affair,” which began in July 2003 after the identity of undercover CIA operative Valerie Plame was leaked to the press by White House sources. Libby was convicted and sentenced to 30 months in prison, but his sentence was commuted by President Bush in July 2007.
  • In November 2005, 50 Cent, Kenny G, Tom Petty, Don Henley, Stevie Nicks, and Steven Tyler and Joe Perry of Aerosmith were among the entertainers who performed at New York City’s Rainbow Room to celebrate the $10 million bat mitzvah of 13-year-old Elizabeth Brooks. Two years later, her defense contractor father was arrested for embezzling company funds to support his lavish lifestyle.

Honorary Award

To Robert Altman in recognition of a career that has repeatedly reinvented the art form and inspired filmmakers and audiences alike.

See all Nominees and Winners

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