Best Picture: Forrest Gump
Forrest Gump also won Academy Awards for Best Actor (Tom Hanks), Directing (Robert Zemeckis), Film Editing (Arthur Schmidt), Visual Effects (Ken Ralston, George Murphy, Stephen Rosenbaum, and Allen Hall), and Writing – Screenplay based on material previously produced or published (Eric Roth).
Tom Hanks was the first performer to win back-to-back Academy Awards for Best Actor since Spencer Tracy won in 1937 and 1938.
For the fifth time in Academy history there was a tie: in the Live Action Short Film category, Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Trevor received exactly the same number of votes so both films were named winners.
David Letterman was the host.
Australian costume design nominee Lizzy Gardiner (“The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert”) wore a dress made out of American Express Gold Cards. She and co-nominee Tim Chappel won the award.
On January 6, 1994, top-ranked figure skater Nancy Kerrigan was hit on the right knee after a practice session held in Detroit, two days before the Olympic trials. After his arrest, her assailant confessed to acting on orders from the ex-husband of Kerrigan’s main rival, Tonya Harding. Soon after, at the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, Kerrigan won the silver medal, while Harding finished in eighth place.
On January 17, 1994, an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale rocked the Los Angeles area, killing 60, injuring more than 7,000, and damaging more than 5,000 buildings.
In February 1994, Edvard Munch’s painting “The Scream” was stolen from a gallery in Oslo. The painting was recovered undamaged three months later.
On April 8, 1994, grunge rock icon Kurt Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle, Washington. He had committed suicide three days earlier.
On May 6, 1994, Queen Elizabeth II and French President François Mitterrand formally opened the Channel Tunnel, known as the Chunnel, in a ribbon-cutting ceremony in France, while Eurotunnel officials presided over the festivities in England.
On May 10, 1994, dignitaries from around the world celebrated the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa. Mandela, who had been imprisoned by the South African government for over 27 years, used his inaugural address to urge his fellow citizens to allow the wounds of the past to heal.
In June 1994, Nicole Brown Simpson, ex-wife of former football player O.J. Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman were stabbed to death outside Nicole's home in Brentwood, California. Simpson became the chief suspect.
On June 17, 1994, television news helicopters followed as police cars pursued Simpson, who was in a white Ford Bronco, on an hour-long “slow-speed chase” after he failed to turn himself in to authorities. Simpson was charged with two counts of murder upon being apprehended.
In August 1994, Major League Baseball players went on strike. It lasted until April 25, 1995, resulting in the World Series being canceled for the first time in 90 years.
In November 1994, former president Ronald Reagan wrote a letter to the American people announcing his diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.
On December 11, 1994, Russian President Boris Yeltsin ordered heavily armed military troops to invade Chechnya, which was seeking independence from the Russian commonwealth.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
To Quincy Jones.
To Michelangelo Antonioni in recognition of his place as one of the cinema’s master visual stylists.
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
To Clint Eastwood.