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56th Academy Awards

56th Academy Awards
Date Monday, April 9, 1984
Site Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
Host Johnny Carson
Producer Jack Haley, Jr.
Director Marty Pasetta
Best Picture Terms of Endearment
Most awards Terms of Endearment (5)
Most nominations Terms of Endearment (11)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 42 minutes
Ratings 38.0 (Nielsen ratings)
 < 55th Academy Awards 57th > 

The 56th Academy Awards were presented April 9, 1984 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Johnny Carson.

The Best Supporting Actress winner this year was unique. 4' 9" Linda Hunt won the award for her role as Billy Kwan - a male Chinese-Australian photographer - in Peter Weir's The Year of Living Dangerously, making her the first actor to win an Oscar for playing a character of the opposite sex.

Gordon Willis, a respected cinematographer most famous for his un-nominated work on The Godfather, The Godfather: Part II, and Woody Allen's Manhattan, received his first Best Cinematography nomination for Zelig.

Joe I. Tompkins becomes the first African-American to be nominated in Best Costume Design.

This ceremony ended with Sammy Davis Jr. and Liza Minnelli leading the crowd in "There's No Business Like Show Business" in tribute to Ethel Merman, who had died a month and a half before this Oscar ceremony. The performance occurred over the closing credits to the broadcast.


  • Awards 1
    • Honorary Academy Award 1.1
    • Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award 1.2
    • Special Achievement Academy Award 1.3
    • Nomination announcements 1.4
    • Ceremony 1.5
    • Presenters 1.6
    • Performers 1.7
    • Multiple nominations and awards 1.8
  • See also 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


James L. Brooks, Best Director winner
Robert Duvall, Best Actor winner
Shirley MacLaine, Best Actress winner
Jack Nicholson, Best Supporting Actor winner

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

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 Film Editing
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 Costume Design
Best Sound Mixing Best Sound Editing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography

Honorary Academy Award

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award

Special Achievement Academy Award

Nomination announcements

The filmmakers and studio executives were very surprised by the five Academy Award nominations for Tender Mercies, which was released ten months before the nominations were announced and had received little campaigning; the film had been exhibited in only three theaters after its release. Universal Studios had already previously sold the video rights for Tender Mercies based on their lack of confidence in the film following poor test screenings; the studio was therefore unable to redistribute Tender Mercies after the Oscar nominations were announced, and cable companies ran the film on television one week before the Academy Award ceremony.[2]


When screenwriter Horton Foote won a Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar for To Kill a Mockingbird, he was not present at the 1963 ceremony to collect it because he did not believe he was going to win and did not attend. As a result, Foote made sure he was present for the ceremony when he was nominated for Tender Mercies; he won that Oscar as well, this time for Best Original Screenplay.[2]



Multiple nominations and awards

See also


  1. ^ "The 56th Academy Awards (1984) Nominees and Winners". Retrieved 2011-10-09. 
  2. ^ a b  
  • "The Official Academy Awards Database".  

External links

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