Year: 1997 (70th) Academy Awards
Category: Actress in a Leading Role
Film Title: As Good as It Gets
Winner: Helen Hunt
Presenter: Geoffrey Rush
Date & Venue: March 23, 1998; Shrine Auditorium & Expo Center
The first time I saw "Mrs. Brown" -- saw it three times. The first time I saw it, I leaned over to my beloved and said, "She's [Judi Dench] going to win an Academy Award." And in my mind tonight she has. And so has Julie Christie, and so has Helena Bonham Carter, and so has Kate Winslet. And for that matter so has Billy Connolly, and so has Ben Affleck, and so has Joan Allen. And I am honored to work in a year when there were so many magnificent performances.
I am here for one reason and that's Jim Brooks. One single reason, and that's the only reason really. That's the only reason. I thank -- I am tired of thanking you -- I thank God for giving me a little piece of you. Jack, I worship you, you know it. Greg, I hope you hold in your heart how beautiful your performance in this movie was. I would like to thank our producers Bridget Johnson, Kristi Zea, Larry Mark. Everyone at Sony. The team of experts it took to make me available for this movie. My acting teachers Lurene Tuttle, wherever you are, Gordon Hunt, Larry Moss, Gary Austin, for giving me a way to learn about myself and the world, and a way to express myself. I hate to think who I would be without that. My parents, who are sobbing at this point. My friends, who are at home jumping up and down. And you [Hank Azaria], the very, just the very best man I know. Thank you so much. This is a magnificent honor. 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.]