Famous Oscars mistakes, of John Travolta’s ‘Adele Dazeem’ to the Best Picture envelope mix-up

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Celebrities can rehearse for the Oscars all they want, but when the big night finally arrives and the cameras start to roll, no one is fully prepared.

Sure, the hosts have their one-liners ready, presenters, minute-long spiels saved and artists know exactly where they have to stand on the podium — but that doesn’t mean that everything always goes according to plan. At least, that is what history has taught us.


The Academy Awards has its fair share of flubs over the years. From the jaw-dropping envelope mix-up in 2017 to the shocking stage streaker of ’74, here is a look at some of the moments that rocked Hollywood’s biggest night.

2017: The Best Photo blunder

And the winner is… ‘La La Land’. Wait, no, “Moonlight?”

Presenter Faye Dunaway made a huge mistake in the 89th Academy Awards when they awarded the Best Picture Oscar for’ La La Land ‘ instead of the actual winner, “Moonlight.”

The whole room was silent when “La La Land” with producer Jordan Horowitz cut his acceptance speech short in order to announce that “Moonlight” had actually won.

The official auditor of the academy awards, Price Waterhouse Coopers, took responsibility for the error by saying that they gave Dunaway the wrong category envelope.


Warren Beatty, who had presented the award with Dunaway, took the microphone to explain the mix-up.

“I opened the envelope and said Emma Stone, ‘La La Land’. That is the reason why I took a long look at Faye, and to you,” Beatty told the crowd amid the confusion on the stage. “I wasn’t trying to be funny.”

Beatty and Dunaway are reportedly getting a second chance to win the award this year — this time with a newly designed envelope with the category printed in bold letters on both sides.

2014: John Travolta and “Adele Dazeem’


John Travolta turned heads when he butchered “Frozen” star Idina Menzel’s name while introducing the artist, for her performance of “Let it Go” during the 2014 Academy Awards.

“Please welcome the wicked-talented, one and only, Adele Dazeem,” Travolta announced. And the internet was buzzing.

A year later, the actor explained what happened on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

Travolta said that he had been waiting backstage when a page took him and said that he had 1 minute and 15 seconds until it was time to present.


“I said,” Really? What happened to 15 minutes?'” Travolta recalls asking the assistant.

At the time, Travolta said that although he was starstruck by the actress Goldie Hawn, who was also backstage, when the page the command to him, they changed Menzel, the name of the phonetic spelling.

“So I go there and I get her thing, and in my mind I was like, ‘What? What is that name? I don’t know that name,'” Travolta explained. “I didn’t rehearse it that way.”

2010: Winner’s acceptance speech is interrupted

There was a race to the microphone when “Music By Prudence” was announced that the Academy Award winner for Best Short Documentary.

The short’s director Roger Ross Williams, was in the lead. He made it to the podium and began by thanking his cast and crew when he was suddenly pushed aside by the producer, Elinor Burkett.

“Let the woman talk,” Burkett interrupted. “Isn’t that the classic thing?”

Burkett later explained the situation in the Salon.

“What happened was the director and I had a bad difference over the direction of the film, that resulted in a lawsuit that has settled amicably out of court,” she told the site. “But there are all these events around the Oscars, and I was not invited to any of them. And he is not to speak to me. So we were not even able to discuss ahead of time who would be the one person allowed to speak if we won.”

The producer also requested Williams’ elderly mother with her walking stick to block her as she made her way to the stage of the night.

1985: Laurence Olivier, ‘forget’ to get a list of the nominees

Talk about cutting to the chase.

That is exactly what Olivier did when he presented the award for Best film at the 1985 Academy Awards. In place of the name of each nominee, the presenter just tore open the envelope and announced, “Amadeus!”

Olivier turned around, only to realize that he made a mistake — but at that point it was too late and the cast of “Amadeus” was already on his way to the front.

1974: A streaker storms the stage

The ’70s was a wild time, especially at the Oscars.

It was the decade Robert Opel, an American photographer, art gallery owner and gay activist, walked across the stage in the nude during the 1974 show. The crowd erupted in cheers as a co-host David Niven turned around in shock.

“Well, ladies and gentlemen, that was almost to happen,” Niven commented with a grin. “But isn’t it fascinating to think that probably the only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping off and showing his shortcomings?”

1964: Sammy Davis Jr. announces the wrong winner

Sammy Davis Jr. had his own embarrassing moment on the Oscars stage when he was handed the wrong envelope during the 1964 ceremony.

During the presentation of the winner for Best Music adaptation or treatment, Davis Jr. announced John Addison as the winner of “Tom Jones.”

The audience applauded, but nobody stood up. Davis Jr. quickly ran back to the microphone to announce that he had made a mistake.


“They gave me the wrong envelope, Davis Jr. told the crowd. “Wait until the NAACP hears.”

The actual winner was Andre Previn for “Irma La Douce.”

1938: Mystery man accepts award for Best Supporting Actress

Actress Alice Brady was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1938 for her role in “Old Chicago.” Unfortunately the actress was too ill to attend the event.

So, when her name was announced as the winner, a man stepped in to accept the award on her behalf. The problem: no one knew who he was.

He walked away with the trophy, and was never seen again.

“It is never restored and the impostor could never be traced,” according to Brady’s IMDB profile. “Before the Academy could do justice and issue a copy of the award, Alice Brady died.”

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