Year: 2004 (77th) Academy Awards
Category: Actor in a Leading Role
Film Title: Ray
Winner: Jamie Foxx
Presenter: Charlize Theron
Date & Venue: February 27, 2005; Kodak Theatre
Wow. I guess we got to do it again. [Sings:] "Oooh!" [Audience repeats back.] [Sings:] "Aaah!" [Audience repeats back.] Yeah, you're ready. That's the Ray Charles. Give it up for Ray Charles and his beautiful legacy. And thank you, Ray Charles, for living.
I got so many people to thank tonight. And first I'm going to start it out with Taylor Hackford. Taylor, you took a chance, man. I mean that love for Ray Charles was deep down in the earth somewhere and you opened it up. And it's cracked open and it's spilling, and everybody's drowning in this love. I thank you for taking a chance on this film. And thank you for waiting fifteen years to get me to do it. I want to thank you; I want to thank Crusader.
I want to thank my agents. I want to thank Rick Kurtzman. I want to thank Kim Hodgert. I want to thank Steve Smooke. I want to thank my managers Jaime King and Marcus King. Let's live this African-American dream. It's beautiful. I'm glad I'm with you and I ain't never leaving you. So I love you.
I got a chance to meet a whole lot of people, experiencing this. And other people I want to thank, I want to thank my sister; four foot eleven of nothing but pure love. I want to thank my daughter for telling me just before I got up here, "If you don't win, Dad, you're still good."
I see Oprah and I see Halle and I just want to say your names. I want to talk to you later. Both of you. Because Oprah allowed me to meet somebody by the name of Sidney Poitier. And Sidney Poitier said [mimicking his voice], "I saw you once. And I looked in your eyes and there was a connection." And he says, "I give to you responsibility." So I'm taking that responsibility tonight. And thank you, Sidney.
This is probably going to be the toughest part of this speech. My daughter shares my grandmother's name: Marie. My grandmother's name is Estelle Marie Talley. And she's not here tonight. And this is going to be the toughest part. But she was my first acting teacher. She told me, "Stand up straight. Put your shoulders back. Act like you got some sense." We would go places and I would wild out, and she says, "Act like you've been somewhere." And then when I would act the fool, she would beat me. She would whup me. And she could get an Oscar for the way she whupped me because she was great at it. And after she whipped me, she would talk to me and tell me why she whipped me, said, "I want you to be a southern gentleman." And she still talks to me now; only now she talks to me in my dreams. And I can't wait to go to sleep tonight because we got a lot to talk about. I love you.
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]