When Hayes took the stage as the first of the show's hosts, she was greeted with resounding applause. "As George C. Scott didn't get around to saying last year," the 71-year-old actress told the audience, "thank you."
The camera cut to a shot of Warren Beatty, age 61, sitting next to his 40-year old wife, Annette Bening. Both were smiling--she more broadly than he.
A seven-time loser, Newman chose not to appear--so one of Newan's former directors, Robert Wise, accepted on his behalf from presenter Bette Davis. Wise attempted to read a statement from Newman, but Davis kept interrupting.
Director Marty Pasetta finally turned off their microphones and cut to the other side of the stage, where Hawn and Chevy Chase were supposed to introduce Dustin Hoffman. Hawn and Chase tried to talk, but the audience was still watching Wise and Davis, and laughing at their hapless banter. Finally, Hawn asked an entirely sensible question: "Are you guys done yet?"
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In 2002, Halle Berry was added to the list, and she responded with a tearful, impassioned speech that began by paying tribute to Dorothy Dandridge and Lena Horne and four minutes later got around to thanking her agent and lawyer.
It was the kind of speech that Goldberg might be expected to comment upon the next time she took the stage; like all hosts, she kept writers with her in the wings, ready to craft new material as events demanded it. Goldberg's team quickly came up with a variety of punchlines -- but before she retook the stage, the host decided that the import of Berry's award was too big to mess with.
"First of all," said Goldberg the next time she appeared, "I would like to congratulate Miss Halle Berry." Then she moved on.