Year: 1979 (52nd) Academy Awards
Category: Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
Winner: Ray Stark
Presenter: Kirk Douglas
Date & Venue: April 14, 1980; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Thank you, Kirk. I really couldn't have said that better myself. Kirk and I have been great, great friends for years and I've always taken pride in the fact and I've been very flattered by the fact that people say we look alike. This year I'm working on a new arrangement to look like his son Michael.
Tonight's nominees have the advantage of not knowing that they're going to win an award and, therefore, they're speechless. Unfortunately, I've known about this for weeks, and with intense preparation I'm still speechless except for these notes. I'm deeply moved and appreciative that the Board of Governors and the Academy have honored me. I am privileged to have worked, and with a past, for and with all of the greats that have been recipients of the award: David Selznick, Goldwyn, Zanuck. The Thalberg Award is given for a body of work, but in my case it's been given for the privilege of working with a body of talent. Starting with, years ago, with writers like Ben Hecht through Isobel Lennart to Neil Simon, and with stops along the way for friends and mentors like Charlie Feldman, like John Huston, and so many directors, actors and great other talents. We all have to make some thanks, so I make it to Wendy, Fran, Peter, Fly* and Elvis. Tonight has been the second most gratifying night in my life. Tomorrow, when I know I really keep this, will be the first. Thank you.
[*Name and spelling not confirmed.]
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]