Oscars flashback: Watch the 1st Oscars family album from 25 years ago in 1998

The 70th Academy Award ceremony on March 23, 1998, is the most-watched Oscar ceremony to date — most likely due to a “Titanic” film nominated for several awards. However, Gil Gates, who produced 14 Oscar ceremonies between 1990 and 2008, also wanted a special segment to recognize Oscar’s platinum anniversary, and arranged for 70 past acting winners to sit together on the stage, with Norman Rose announcing the films for which each performer won. It was a spectacular gathering of actors and actresses from Classic Hollywood, New Hollywood and the contemporary period.

Let’s flashback to the first Oscars family album featured in the ceremony 25 years ago (view the video above, with an introduction by Susan Sarandon).

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Among those present was the first performer to win back-to-back acting Oscars, Best Actress champ Luise Rainer. At the age of 88, she was the oldest one on the stage; when she died in 2014, she was just 13 days shy of her 105th birthday, making her the longest-living acting Oscar winner of all time (Olivia de Havilland had just turned 104 when she died many years later). Seated just a few chairs down from Rainer was the youngest to participate, 15 year-old Anna Paquin, who had become one of the youngest Oscar winners in history with her Best Supporting Actress win at the age of 11 just a few years before.

Several of the youngest competitive winners of all time showed up to shine one more time. Paquin’s fellow Supporting Actress winners Teresa Wright and Shirley Jones remain among the 10  youngest winners in that category. Several of the youngest Supporting Actor winners appeared, including the three youngest to date: Timothy Hutton, Cuba Gooding, Jr. and George Chakiris; Jack Lemmon, Robert De Niro and Harold Russell also remain in the top 10. Marlee Matlin has held the record for youngest Best Actress winner for 35 years; at the time of the ceremony, Richard Dreyfuss was the youngest Best Actor winner. Also representing the youngest in the lead categories were Maximillian Schell, Jennifer Jones and Julie Christie.

Christie was also one of four previous acting Oscar recipients who were nominated that evening. She was once again up for Best Actress (“Afterglow”), while three of the Best Actor nominees were prior Oscar champs: Robert Duvall (“The Apostle”), Dustin Hoffman (“Wag the Dog”) and Jack Nicholson, who won his third statue that night, for “As Good as It Gets.”

Some on that stage represent some of the most accomplished performers of their generations. Sidney Poitier was the first Black man to be nominated for Best Actor (in 1959, for “The Defiant Ones”) and the first to win the award (in 1964, for “Lilies of the Field”). Matlin was the first deaf person to win an acting Oscar. WWII veteran Russell was the first non-professional actor to win an acting Oscar, as well as the only to receive two awards for the same performance. Having lost his hands while in service, Russell used hooks to serve as his hands, and appeared in “The Best Years of Our Lives” as a soldier coping with this loss. In 1947, he won an honorary Oscar for being an inspiration to returning veterans, as well as a Best Supporting Actor statue. EGOT recipient Rita Moreno was present, as was future EGOT recipient Whoopi Goldberg.

From 1935-1961, 12 actors and actresses under the age of 18 were bestowed special juvenile Oscars, and three of those recipients appeared. Shirley Temple was honored with the first miniature statuette in 1935, while Claude Jarman, Jr. and Vincent Winter received theirs in 1947 and 1955, respectively.

In the ensuing 25 years, we have lost 28 of these Oscar legends, as well as one winner from the 1998 ceremony; however, three of the attendees are now among the oldest-living Oscar winners. With the recent passing of producer Walter Mirisch, 98-year-old Eva Marie Saint is now the oldest -living Oscar winner; 96-year-old Lee Grant and 95-year-old Estelle Parsons are not far behind.

Also among the oldest-living Oscar champs are Gene Hackman and Joanne Woodward, both 93-years-old; however, they were among the roughly 60 who qualified but were unable to attend. It was no surprise that Marlon Brando, George C. Scott and Katharine Hepburn weren’t there, as they had rarely attended the ceremonies. Several others had prior commitments, health problems or other issues that prevented them from coming, including Julie Andrews, Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, Jane Fonda and Tom Hanks.

At the end of the 12-minute segment, the three newly-minted Oscar champs — Helen Hunt (“As Good As It Gets”), Robin Williams (“Good Will Hunting”) and Kim Basinger (“L.A. Confidential”) — joined the group on stage.

Listed below are those who participated in this special evening, along with the film (or films) for which they had won up to that time. Besides Nicholson’s win that night, Michael Caine, Frances McDormand and Denzel Washington have all gone on to earn additional Oscars. The year in which each champ won is listed, as well as the birth and death years for those who have passed. Hopefully in five years, the producers will do something equally special to honor 100 years of the awards ceremony.

Anne Bancroft (1931-2005): “The Miracle Worker” (1963)
Kathy Bates: “Misery” (1991)
Ernest Borgnine (1917-2012): “Marty” (1956)
Ellen Burstyn: “Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore” (1975)
Red Buttons (1919-2006): “Sayonara” (1958)
Michael Caine: “Hannah and Her Sisters” (1987)
George Chakiris: “West Side Story” (1962)
Cher: “Moonstruck” (1988)
Julie Christie: “Darling” (1966)
Sean Connery (1930-2020): “The Untouchables” (1988)
Geena Davis: “The Accidental Tourist” (1989)
Robert De Niro: “The Godfather Part II” (1975), “Raging Bull” (1981)
Michael Douglas: “Wall Street” (1988)
Richard Dreyfuss: “The Goodbye Girl” (1978)
Faye Dunaway: “Network” (1977)
Robert Duvall: Best Actor, “Tender Mercies” (1984)
Louise Fletcher (1934-2022): “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1976)
Brenda Fricker: “My Left Foot:The Story of Christy Brown” (1990)
Whoopi Goldberg: “Ghost” (1991)
Cuba Gooding, Jr.: “Jerry Maguire” (1997)
Louis Gossett, Jr.: “An Officer and a Gentleman” (1983)
Lee Grant: “Shampoo” (1976)
Joel Grey: “Cabaret” (1973)
Charlton Heston (1923-2008): “Ben-Hur” (1960)
Dustin Hoffman: “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1980), “Rain Man” (1989)
Celeste Holm (1917-2012): “Gentleman’s Agreement” (1948)
Holly Hunter: “The Piano” (1994)
Anjelica Huston: “Prizzi’s Honor” (1986)
Timothy Hutton: “Ordinary People” (1981)
Jeremy Irons: “Reversal of Fortune” (1991)
Claude Jarman, Jr.: “The Yearling” (1947)
Jennifer Jones (1919-2009): “The Song of Bernadette” (1944)
Shirley Jones: “Elmer Gantry” (1961)
George Kennedy (1925-2016): “Cool Hand Luke” (1968)
Ben Kingsley: “Gandhi” (1983)
Martin Landau (1928-2017): “Ed Wood” (1995)
Cloris Leachman (1926-2021): “The Last Picture Show” (1972)
Jack Lemmon (1925-2001): “Mister Roberts” (1956), “Save the
Tiger” (1974)
Karl Malden (1912-2009): “A Streetcar Named Desire” (1952)
Marlee Matlin: “Children of a Lesser God” (1987)
Walter Matthau (1920-2000): “The Fortune Cookie” (1967)
Mercedes McCambridge (1916-2004): “All the King’s Men” (1950)
Frances McDormand: “Fargo” (1997)
Rita Moreno: “West Side Story” (1962)
Patricia Neal (1926-2010): “Hud” (1964)
Jack Nicholson: “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1976), “Terms of
Endearment” (1984)
Jack Palance (1919-2006): “City Slickers” (1992)
Anna Paquin: “The Piano” (1994)
Estelle Parsons: “Bonnie and Clyde” (1968)
Gregory Peck (1916-2003): “To Kill a Mockingbird” (1963)
Joe Pesci: “GoodFellas” (1991)
Sidney Poitier (1927-2022): “Lilies of the Field” (1964)
Luise Rainer (1910-2014): “The Great Ziegfeld” (1937), “The Good
Earth” (1938)
Vanessa Redgrave: “Julia” (1978)
Cliff Robertson (1923-2011): “Charly” (1969)
Geoffrey Rush: “Shine” (1997)
Harold Russell (1914-2002): “The Best Years of Our Lives” (1947)
Eva Marie Saint: “On the Waterfront” (1955)
Susan Sarandon: “Dead Man Walking” (1996)
Maximilian Schell (1930-2014): “Judgment at Nuremberg” (1962)
Mira Sorvino: “Mighty Aphrodite” (1996)
Rod Steiger (1925-2002): “In the Heat of the Night” (1968)
Shirley Temple (1928-2014): “Stand Up and Cheer!” (1935)
Marisa Tomei: “My Cousin Vinny” (1993)
Claire Trevor (1910-2000): “Key Largo” (1949)
Jon Voight: “Coming Home” (1979)
Denzel Washington: “Glory” (1990)
Vincent Winter (1947-1998): “The Little Kidnappers” (1955)
Shelley Winters (1920-2006): “The Diary of Anne Frank” (1960),
“A Patch of Blue” (1966)
Teresa Wright (1918-2005): “Mrs. Miniver” (1943)

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