Best Picture: Out of Africa
Out of Africa also won Academy Awards for Art Direction-Set Decoration (Stephen Grimes and Josie MacAvin), Cinematography (David Watkin), Directing (Sydney Pollack), Music – Original Score (John Barry), Sound (Chris Jenkins, Gary Alexander, Larry Stensvold, and Peter Handford), and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Kurt Luedtke).
The Color Purple was nominated for 11 Oscars but did not win any awards. These totals matched those of 1977’s The Turning Point in both regards.
Geraldine Page won Best Actress for “The Trip to Bountiful.” It was her eighth (and last) nomination and her only win.
Jane Fonda, Alan Alda, and Robin Williams shared the hosting duties.
On January 28, 1985, more than 40 American recording artists gathered after the American Music Awards to record “We Are the World,” a single released to raise money for African famine relief. The song was written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
On June 17, 1985, the Discovery Channel debuted.
On March 11, 1985, Mikhail Gorbachev became General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, following the death of Konstantin Chernenko.
In March 1985, Mohamed Al Fayed and his two brothers bought a controlling interest in the House of Fraser, the retail group that owned London-based department store Harrods.
On March 31, 1985, WrestleMania debuted at Madison Square Garden. The main event was Hulk Hogan and Mr. T vs. “Rowdy” Roddy Piper and Paul Orndorff.
On July 7, 1985, 17-year-old Boris Becker of West Germany became the youngest tennis player to win the men’s singles at Wimbledon. He was also the first unseeded player to win the men’s singles and the first German male Wimbledon champ.
On July 13, 1985, Vice President George H. W. Bush served as Acting President for almost eight hours while President Reagan underwent colon cancer surgery.
On July 13, 1985, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for famine-stricken Africans. The English portion of the event was held at Wembley Stadium in London, while the American festivities were kicked off by Jack Nicholson at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The 16-hour “superconcert” was globally linked by satellite to 1.5 billion viewers in 100 nations. The event raised more than $245 million.
On October 7, 1985, four Palestinian militants hijacked an Italian cruise ship, the Achille Lauro. One passenger, an American, was killed. The hijackers surrendered to Egyptian authorities on October 9th.
On November 18, 1985, Bill Watterson’s comic strip “Calvin and Hobbes” debuted.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
To Charles “Buddy” Rogers.
To Paul Newman, in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft.
To Alex North, in recognition of his brilliant artistry in the creation of memorable music for a host of distinguished motion pictures.