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Year: 1978 (51st) Academy Awards
Category: Actor in a Leading Role
Film Title: Coming Home
Winner: Jon Voight
Presenter: Ginger Rogers, Diana Ross
Date & Venue: April 9, 1979; Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
I am still reeling really from the appearances just recently on this stage. I don't think there's an actor here or watching this proceeding tonight who doesn't acknowledge a great debt to the continuing legacy of Laurence Olivier. And his presence here tonight has put a great perspective and just, on the proceedings for me, and a warm and generous and dignified one, and I'm not quite able to recover from it, I tell you.
The performances this year in this category are remarkable, really. I am a great fan of the other members of the nominated body. And I know that we are all extremely aware of the extraordinary performances that we have been selected to represent. For my own part I have, as we all do, many people to thank for a performance which stands among this group of performances. I would like to thank everyone, but I select to thank a few who represent the many.
I would like to thank Bruce Dern, my friend, for his encouragement and his wonderful performance, and his friendship. I would like to thank Jerry Hellman, who produced also "Midnight Cowboy;" is an extraordinary man, a great producer, a tenacious fighter, who keeps us all healthy and has great taste. I would like to thank Hal Ashby, a remarkable, a remarkable person who was so helpful in getting me to myself and encouraging my performance. And finally I would like to thank Jane, whose great dignity as a human being – it's a good thing she's not here to see this – is very moving to me. And finally, I'm carrying with me all the men who gave me so much of their experience to deal with, who have contributed so much: the people in chairs, and the veterans, and the civilians, and the walkers, who are so strongly represented in what I'd call my work. Thank you very much.
[Ed. note: Laurence Olivier received an Honorary Oscar earlier in the evening. Jane Fonda was in the press room after having received the award for Actress in a Leading Role just prior to the announcement of this category.]
© Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences[Note: All winners are present except where noted; NOT all winners may have spoken.]