Academy Awards Acceptance Speeches | Margaret Herrick Library | Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

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Year: 1977 (50th) Academy Awards

Category: Documentary (Short Subject)

Film Title: Gravity Is My Enemy

Winner: John Joseph and Jan Stussy, Producers

Presenter: Kirk Douglas, Raquel Welch

Date & Venue: April 3, 1978; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion

All of us that worked on this film and all the generous people who supported our effort would like to pay tribute to Mark Hicks for his profound effect on all of our lives. We would like to thank the Academy for recognizing his incredible talent, and I would personally like to thank my close friends Joseph Kwong and Stacy Shulman, and my cameraman John Sharaf. Thank you.

It's a miracle that our film got made at all, and winning this is another kind of miracle. But the real miracle was Mark Hicks, the young artist that you saw in our film that painted his pictures by holding the brushes in his teeth. He taught us how to live the life of a hero. A lot of people helped us: Dean Speroni, the Dean's Council, the UCLA Art Council, Ray Wagner, so many others I can't mention them all tonight. The thing about a quadriplegic is that they teach you to live in a way that's different than you normally do. It's not our award, it's Mark's award. Wherever you are tonight, Mark, this is for you. He's left his wheelchair and is running free somewhere in God's heaven tonight. Thank you.

© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]