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Year: 1979 (52nd) Academy Awards
Category: Actress in a Leading Role
Film Title: Norma Rae
Winner: Sally Field
Presenter: Richard Dreyfuss
Date & Venue: April 14, 1980; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
Oh, I'm gonna be the one to cry tonight, I'll tell you right now. They said this couldn't be done.
"Norma Rae" was a real gift to me. It was given to me by Laddie and Jay and Gareth of the old Fox. It was given to me by Alex Rose and Tamara Asseyev, who fought very hard to get it made. It was given to me by Irving Ravetch and Harriet Frank, Jr. And it truly was a gift, every single word. It was given to me by John Alonzo, who followed me around with a camera and never hoped to shine himself, just gave it all to me. It was given to me by the actors, especially Beau Bridges and Ron Leibman, whose real craft and talent and love and support is why I'm here.
And mostly it was given to me because of Marty Ritt. Marty Ritt is "Norma Rae." He has fought all his life to put on films that are courageous, that say things, that are part of him that he feels should be said, that have the box-office potential of seventy-five cents, sometimes less. And I thank him for that. He's taught me a lot. And the best gift that Marty gave me was that he let me feel all the time that I was doing it myself, and I know that I didn't.
And on a personal note, I'd like to thank my mother and my sister for holding me together and just plain old holding me. And my kids, Peter and Eli, for being my constant inspiration, and no matter how many awards I win, if it weren't them I wouldn't be worth a damn. Thank you very much.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]