|56th Academy Awards|
|Date||April 9, 1984|
|Site||Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles|
|Hosted by||Johnny Carson|
|Produced by||Jack Haley Jr.|
|Directed by||Marty Pasetta|
|Best Picture||Terms of Endearment|
|Most awards||Terms of Endearment (5)|
|Most nominations||Terms of Endearment (11)|
|TV in the United States|
|Duration||3 hours, 42 minutes|
|Ratings||38.0 (Nielsen ratings)|
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.
James L. Brooks won three Academy Awards this year, winning as producer, director and writer of Best Picture winner Terms of Endearment. Of its other eight nominations (the movie led all nominees with 11), two were for Best Actress; Shirley MacLaine won over Debra Winger in that category. The movie won five Oscars, the fifth being Jack Nicholson's second career Oscar (he won for Best Supporting Actor).
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.
The Award for Best Makeup was not given this year.
While this year's ceremony was the first without the recitation of the Academy's voting procedure at the beginning of the telecast -- it was moved to the end credits -- those of the accounting firm Price Waterhouse who were responsible for tabulating the results and guarding their secrecy were still introduced.
Winners are listed first, highlighted in boldface and indicated with a double dagger ().
|Best Picture||Best Director|
|Best Actor||Best Actress|
|Best Supporting Actor||Best Supporting Actress|
|Best Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen||Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium|
|Best Foreign Language Film||Best Documentary Feature|
|Best Documentary Short Subject||Best Live Action Short Film|
|Best Animated Short Film||Best Original Score|
|Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score||Best Original Song|
|Best Sound||Best Sound Effects Editing|
|Best Art Direction||Best Costume Design|
|Best Cinematography||Best Film Editing|
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. 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.
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.
The following individuals, listed in order of appearance, presented awards or performed musical numbers.
|Hank Simms||Announcer of the 56th Academy Awards|
|Gene Allen (AMPAS President)||Gave opening remarks welcoming guests to the awards ceremony|
Mary Tyler Moore
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actor|
|Presenters of the award for Best Sound Effects Editing|
|Presenters of the Short Subjects Awards|
|Presenters of the Technical Achievement Awards|
|Robert Wise||Presenter of the award for Best Film Editing|
|Presenters of the award for Best Sound|
|Presenters of the award for Best Cinematography|
|Presenters of the award for Best Foreign Language Film|
|Presenters of the Documentary Awards|
|Cheech and Chong||Presenters of the award for Best Visual Effects|
|Presenters of the award for Best Costume Design|
|Presenters of the award for Best Art Direction|
|Presenters of the award for Best Original Song|
|Presenters of the award for Best Original Score|
|Neil Diamond||Presenter of the award for Best Adapted Score|
|Presenters of the award for Best Supporting Actress|
|Presenters of the Writing Awards|
|Frank Sinatra||Presenter of the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award to M. J. Frankovich|
|Richard Attenborough||Presenter of the award for Best Director|
|Presenters of the Honorary Award to Hal Roach|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actor|
|Presenters of the award for Best Actress|
|Frank Capra||Presenter of the award for Best Picture|
|Quincy Jones||Musical arranger and conductor||Orchestral|
The National Dance Institute
|Performers||"Flashdance... What a Feeling" from Flashdance|
|Performers||"Maniac" from Flashdance|
|Mac Davis||Performer||"Over You" from Tender Mercies|
|Donna Summer||Performer||"Papa, Can You Hear Me?" from Yentl|
|Jennifer Holliday||Performer||"The Way He Makes Me Feel" from Yentl|
|Sammy Davis Jr.
|Performers||"There's No Business Like Show Business"|
These films had multiple nominations:
The following films received multiple awards.