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51st Academy Awards

51st Academy Awards
File:51st Academy Awards.jpg
Date Monday, April 9, 1979
Site Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
Host Johnny Carson
Pre-show Regis Philbin
Producer Jack Haley, Jr.
Director Marty Pasetta
Best Picture The Deer Hunter
Most awards The Deer Hunter (5)
Most nominations The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait (9)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 25 minutes
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The 51st Academy Awards were presented April 9, 1979 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Johnny Carson.

Notably, the two "front-runners" for Best Picture this year - Coming Home and The Deer Hunter - were anti-war films that reflected the nation's growing resentment over the Vietnam War. John Wayne, who would die of stomach cancer two months later, made his final public appearance to present the Oscar to the producers of The Deer Hunter.

This was also the final public appearance of Jack Haley, who died two months after presenting the Best Costume Design award with his co-star from The Wizard of Oz, Ray Bolger. His son, Jack Haley Jr., produced this ceremony.

This was the first of several consecutive ceremonies presided over by talk show host Johnny Carson; introducing him on this broadcast, the announcer identified him as "John Carson".

As of 2015, this is the earliest Oscars where all four acting winners are still living.


File:Maggie Smith Othello 1965.jpg
Maggie Smith, Best Supporting Actress winner

Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.[1][2]

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film Best Costume Design
Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short
Best Live Action Short Best Animated Short
Best Original Score Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score
Best Original Song Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Academy Honorary Awards[1]

Medal of Commendation[1]

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award[1]


Name Role
McMahon, EdEd McMahon Announcer for the 51st Academy Awards
Koch, Howard W.Howard W. Koch (AMPAS President) Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony
Williams, RobinRobin Williams Presenters of the Honorary Award to Walter Lantz
Woodpecker, WoodyWoody Woodpecker
Thomas, DannyDanny Thomas Explained the voting rules to the public
Cannon, DyanDyan Cannon Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor
Savalas, TellyTelly Savalas
Smith, MaggieMaggie Smith Presenters of the Scientific and Technical Awards
Stapleton, MaureenMaureen Stapleton
Benson, RobbyRobby Benson Presenters of the Short Subject Awards
Lynley, CarolCarol Lynley
Farrow, MiaMia Farrow Presenters of the Documentary Awards
Wolper, David L.David L. Wolper
Jones, ShirleyShirley Jones Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Schroeder, RickyRicky Schroeder
Bolger, RayRay Bolger Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design
Haley, JackJack Haley
DeLuise, DomDom DeLuise Presenters of the award for Best Film Editing
Perrine, ValerieValerie Perrine
Martin, SteveSteve Martin Presenter of the award for Best Visual Effects
Kidder, MargotMargot Kidder Presenters of the award for Sound Awards
Reeve, ChristopherChristopher Reeve
Coburn, JamesJames Coburn Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography
Novak, KimKim Novak
Keeler, RubyRuby Keeler Presenters of the award for Best Original Song
Kristofferson, KrisKris Kristofferson
Williams, PaulPaul Williams Introducer to Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performance
Martin, DeanDean Martin Presenter of the Music Awards
Welch, RaquelRaquel Welch
Peck, GregoryGregory Peck Presenter of the Honorary Award to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film
Brynner, YulYul Brynner Presenter of the award for Best Foreign Language Film
Wood, NatalieNatalie Wood
Burns, GeorgeGeorge Burns Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress
Shields, BrookeBrooke Shields
Bacall, LaurenLauren Bacall Presenters of the Writing Awards
Voight, JonJon Voight
Hepburn, AudreyAudrey Hepburn Presenter of the Honorary Award to King Vidor
Coppola, Francis FordFrancis Ford Coppola Presenters of the award for Best Director
MacGraw, AliAli MacGraw
Grant, CaryCary Grant Presenter of the Honorary Award to Laurence Olivier
Dreyfuss, RichardRichard Dreyfuss Presenters of the awards for Best Actress
MacLaine, ShirleyShirley MacLaine
Valenti, JackJack Valenti Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Rogers, GingerGinger Rogers Presenters of the award for Best Actor
Ross, DianaDiana Ross
Wayne, JohnJohn Wayne Presenter of the award for Best Picture


Name Role Performed
Elliot, JackJack Elliot Musical arrangers Orchestral
Ferguson, AllynAllyn Ferguson
Newton-John, OliviaOlivia Newton-John Performer "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (from Grease)
Olivor, JaneJane Olivor Performers "The Last Time I Felt Like This" (from Same Time, Next Year)
Mathis, JohnnyJohnny Mathis
Summer, DonnaDonna Summer Performer "Last Dance" (from Thank God It's Friday)
Boone, DebbyDebby Boone Performer "When You're Loved" (from The Magic of Lassie)
Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow Performer "Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play)
Davis Jr., SammySammy Davis Jr. Performers "Oscar's Only Human"
Lawrence, SteveSteve Lawrence

Multiple nominations and awards

See also


  1. ^ a b c d The Official Acadademy Awards® Database
  2. ^ "The 51st Academy Awards (1979) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-06.