Oscar History: Academy Award Winning Movies and Actors of 1973

A look at Oscar winners and nominees, behind the scenes on the decisions for best picture, actor, etc for 1973, The Sting wins top honors, a streaker.

1973

Best Picture

NOMINEES: American Graffiti, Cries and Whispers, The Exorcist, The Sting, A Touch of Class

THE WINNER: The Sting (Universal-Bill/Phillips-Hill)

DIRECTOR: George Roy Hill

PLAYERS: Paul Newman, Robert Redford

Best Actor

NOMINEES: Marlon Brando (Last Tango in Paris); Jack Lemmon (Save the Tiger); Jack Nicholson (The Last Detail); Al Pacino (Serpico); Robert Redford (The Sting)

THE WINNER: Jack Lemmon

Best Actress

NOMINEES: Ellen Burstyn (The Exorcist); Glenda Jackson (A Touch of Class); Marsha Mason (Cinderella Liberty); Barbra Streisand (The Way We Were); Joanne Woodward (Summer Wishes, Winter Dreams)

THE WINNER: Glenda Jackson

Behind the Oscar

The highlight of the award ceremony came when 33-year-old Robert Opel, a Hollywood advertising man, having gained access to the backstage area with a press badge, stripped off his clothes and streaked past the footlights just as David Niven was speaking. Ad-libbed Niven as he watched the nude streaker exit, "The only way he could get a laugh was by showing his shortcomings." Wrote San Francisco columnist Terrence O'Flaherty: "There's only one trouble with streaking--the wrong people usually do it. The ones who should have removed their clothes were Cher Bono, Twiggy, and Elizabeth Taylor." For the 1st time in 22 years, Bob Hope was not on hand. Jack Lemmon bet Walter Matthau $1,000 to $500 that he wouldn't win the Oscar. He lost his bet. Enraged that his picture, The Exorcist, wasn't voted Best Picture, director William Friedkin refused to attend the ball celebrating the awards. By winning the award for Best Supporting Actress, 10-year-old Tatum O'Neal (Paper Moon)--who had once headed a juvenile ring of bicycle thieves--became the youngest winner of a full Oscar in history (Shirley Temple had been given a miniature Oscar when she was 6).

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