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Year: 1996 (69th) Academy Awards
Category: Actor in a Leading Role
Film Title: Shine
Winner: Geoffrey Rush
Presenter: Susan Sarandon
Date & Venue: March 24, 1997; Shrine Auditorium & Expo Center
I want to thank the members of the Academy. I'd also like to thank every Australian actor and theater colleague I've ever worked with. There's a game you can play where you create a dinner party where you can invite guests from any time in history, real or fictional. The Academy has honored me by choosing to seat me as "David Helfgott" at a table with "Larry Flynt" and "Count Laszlo de Almásy" and "Karl Childers" and "Jerry Maguire." I can't quite imagine where the conversation might head that night, but it has really enriched me as an actor to be seated at that table.
I want to thank Scott Hicks and all of the "Shine" team for giving me the chance to have a glimpse of the bird of paradise. Scott, thank you. My darling wife Jane, I wouldn't be standing here without you, and to Merle and John, my mum and stepdad in Queensland. And to the unstoppable David Helfgott. The front of my script said that this story was inspired by the events of your life. You truly are an inspiration. And to those people who say it's a circus, then with your celebration of life you show me that the circus is a place of daring and risk-taking and working without a safety net and giving us your personal poetry. Thank you.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]