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.
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.
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.