Year: 1978 (51st) Academy Awards
Category: Honorary Award
Winner: To Laurence Olivier for the full body of his work, for the unique achievements of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film.
Presenter: Cary Grant
Date & Venue: April 9, 1979; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Oh dear friends, am I supposed to speak after that? Cary, my dear old friend, for many years, from the earliest years of either of us working in this country, thank you for that beautiful citation and the trouble you have taken to make it and for all the warm generosities in it.
Mr. President and governors of the Academy, committee members, fellows, my very noble and approved good masters, my colleagues, my friends, my fellow students: In the great wealth, the great firmament of your nation's generosities, this particular choice may perhaps be found by future generations as a trifle eccentric. But the mere fact of it, the prodigal, pure, human kindness of it must be seen as a beautiful star in that firmament which shines upon me at this moment, dazzling me a little, but filling me with warmth and the extraordinary elation, the euphoria that happens to so many of us at the first breath of the majestic glow of a new tomorrow. From the top of this moment, in the solace, in the kindly emotion that is charging my soul and my heart at this moment, I thank you for this great gift which lends me such a very splendid part in this, your glorious occasion. Thank you.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]