Best Picture: A Man for All Seasons
A Man for All Seasons also won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Paul Scofield), Color Cinematography (Ted Moore), Color Costume Design (Elizabeth Haffenden and Joan Bridge), Directing (Fred Zinnemann), and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Robert Bolt).
The Academy Awards broadcast was almost canceled because of a strike involving the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA), the theatrical performers union governing live telecasts. However, the dispute was settled three hours before the ceremony was scheduled to begin.
Patricia Neal, making her first Hollywood appearance since a near-fatal stroke of two years before, received a standing ovation from the audience.
Vanessa Redgrave and Lynn Redgrave were both nominated for Best Actress. This was the first time in 25 years that two sisters were nominated in that category (Olivia de Havilland and Joan Fontaine were nominated for Best Actress in 1941).
California's governor, Ronald Reagan, was among the guests in the audience. He was a longtime Academy member and supporter.
In January 1966, Indira Gandhi was elected Prime Minister of India.
On January 29, 1966, the musical Sweet Charity opened on Broadway.
In May 1966, the Beach Boys released their album Pet Sounds.
In June 1966, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that police must inform suspects of their rights before questioning them in the case Miranda v. Arizona. This case made what became known as the Miranda warning a part of routine police procedure.
In June 1966, the National Organization for Women (NOW) was founded.
On September 8, 1966, Star Trek made its television debut on NBC.
On September 16, 1966, the Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center in New York City with a performance of Samuel Barber's opera Antony and Cleopatra.
In October 1966, Grace Slick performed live with Jefferson Airplane for the first time.
In November 1966, John Lennon met Yoko Ono for the first time at the Indica Gallery in London.
On December 15, 1966, Walt Disney died. He was in the process of producing The Jungle Book.
On December 18, 1966, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, narrated by Boris Karloff, was shown for the first time on CBS.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
To George Bagnall
To Yakima Canutt for achievements as a stunt man and for developing safety devices to protect stunt men everywhere.
To Y. Frank Freeman for unusual and outstanding service to the Academy during his thirty years in Hollywood.
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
To Robert Wise