Well, Glenn Close and Lady Gaga are the favorites going into the Oscars tonight, but Close definitely has the advantage winning the SAG Awards, the Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards, The Globe Globes and others for her role in The Wife.
But 50 years go, in 1969, the 41st Annual Academy Awards were broadcast live on TV in 37 nations for the first time. It was also the first Oscar ceremony held at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, where it was held until they moved to the new Dolby Theater on Hollywood Boulevard.
When presenter Ingrid Bergman strolled out and opened the Best Actress envelope, she said,
“It’s a tie!“
The award went to both Hepburn, for her role as Eleanor of Aquitaine in The Lion in Winter, and Streisand, for her debut performance in Funny Girl. (The veteran versus the newcomer, musical versus serious drama, like today.)
Reprising her role in the hit Broadway musical, Streisand had earned raves for her portrayal of Fanny Brice. But it was the 11th Oscar nomination for Hepburn, who had just won Best Actress the previous year for Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and had not been expected to win again. She didn’t go to that April 14th ceremony, so, an emotional Streisand stole the show, repeating her opening line in Funny Girl,
It COULD (although it’s not likely) happen again tonight or Gaga could pull an upset. But Close has been nominated 7 times and never won an Oscar, so the feeling is this is her night. Gaga is likely to get her gold statue for Best Song, for Shallow, which she will also perform.
There have been other ties over the years, according to the Huffington Post,
• 2013 (85th Oscars) – Sound Editing: Paul N.J. Ottosson (“Zero Dark Thirty”) and Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers (“Skyfall”)
• 1995 Short Film (Live Action): Peter Capaldi and Ruth Kenley-Letts (“Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life”) and Peggy Rajski and Randy Stone (“Trevor”)
• 1987 Documentary (Feature): Brigitte Berman (“Artie Shaw: Time Is All You’ve Got”) and Joseph Feury and Milton Justice (“Down And Out In America”)
• 1950 Documentary (Short Subject): Richard De Rochemont and James L. Shute (“A Chance To Live”) and Chuck Jones and Edward Selzer (“So Much For So Little”)
• 1932 Actor: Fredric March (“Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”) and Wallace Beery (“The Champ”)
(Photo, film still, screen grabs; via History Channel)