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8 Academy Award Nominees and Winners Who Snubbed the Oscars

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Stacie Stauff Smith Photography / Shutterstock.com

During the first lines of Annie Hall, Alvy Singer explains his failed relationships with women through an old joke he attributes to Groucho Marx and Freud: "I would never want to belong to any club that would have someone like me for a member." When the movie took home four Oscars the following year, Woody Allen was nowhere in sight on the dais. Although he has more nominations than any writer in history (fourteen — or twenty-three when you include best director and actor nods), not once has Allen attended the ceremony when he’s up for an award. Is it the old joke about not wanting to be a member of any club that would have him?

If so, he’s not the only one. Every year we hear a lot about who got snubbed by the Academy for a nomination, but what about the reverse? Since the 1930s, some of Hollywood’s brightest stars didn’t bother to R.S.V.P. when the Academy came calling. Here’s a list of nominees and winners who snubbed the Oscars.

1. Dudley Nichols

Nichols was a prominent screenwriter beginning in the 1930s. In a career that spanned over 35 years, his credits included movies like Bringing Up Baby, For Whom the Bell Tolls, and the movie that made John Wayne a star: Stagecoach. He won an Oscar for The Informer (1935), a script he adapted from a book about the Irish War of Independence. He became the first winner to decline the award, citing an ongoing writer’s strike. Perhaps as a reward for his loyalty, he was elected president of the writer’s guild a few years later.

2. Katharine Hepburn

Hollywood’s greatest leading lady was nominated for twelve Oscars and won four for leading roles--a record. She never attended the ceremony when she was nominated, although she proudly displayed her statues for visitors at her home in Connecticut. She broke her tradition of non-attendance in 1974 to present producer Lawrence Weingarten a Thalberg Award, where she had this to say: “I’m very happy that I didn’t hear anyone call out ‘it’s about time.’ I am living proof that a person can wait forty-one years to be unselfish.” Watch the video here.

3. George C. Scott

Is it possible to refuse even a nomination for an Oscar? Scott, most remembered for his roles as Patton and the looney General Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove, did just that when he was first nominated for The Hustler. He didn’t win that time, but he did for Patton in 1970. Scott literally telegraphed the Academy his intention to refuse the award before the ceremony, so when presenter Goldie Hawn ripped open the envelope and cried, “Oh my God! The winner is George C. Scott,” no one was surprised to learn he was home at his farm in New York. The former Marine didn’t mince words about the Oscars: "The ceremonies are a two-hour meat parade, a public display with contrived suspense for economic reasons." Watch the film’s producer accept the award for him here.

4. Marlon Brando

A couple years after Scott skipped the Oscars, Brando one-upped him by sending an Apache named Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse the Oscar he won for The Godfather. Littlefeather was booed and catcalled when she announced she was sent to protest Hollywood’s treatment of Native Americans. Clint Eastwood wondered aloud a few moments later whether he ought not be presenting the Best Picture award because of all the slain cowboys in John Ford movies before him. It was later reported that Littlefeather wasn’t a Native American at all, and that she was in fact a Mexican actress named Maria Cruz. She explains her ancestry on her website. Watch the video of her speech here.

5. Terrence Malick

Writer/director Malick has never won an Oscar, but The Thin Red Line was nominated for seven of them in 1999. Despite an abundance of possibility, Malick skipped the ceremonies, in part because he was in the middle of a falling out with several of the film’s producers. In the end it was just as well--his World War II epic didn't win any of the awards it was nominated for. This year, Malick is nominated for best director for The Tree of Life.

6. Woody Allen

Although he’s never shown up on the night of his own nominations, Allen has made one appearance on the Oscar stage. In 2002, less than six months after the September 11th attacks, Allen appeared to introduce a montage of films that had been made in New York, telling the audience that the Big Apple was still a wonderful place to make movies. Watch his entertaining and sincere stand-up routine:

About the awards themselves, Allen had this to say: "I have no regard for that kind of ceremony. I just don't think they know what they're doing. When you see who wins those things -- or who doesn't win them -- you can see how meaningless this Oscar thing is."

7. Jean-Luc Godard

In late 2010 the Academy announced they would award the titan of French New Wave an honorary Oscar. They quickly discovered he was not an easy man to get in touch with. Despite attempts to contact him via “telephone, by fax, by emails to various friends and associates,” and “FedEx,” they never received a reply from Godard, who was just shy of eighty years old then. According to some sources, Godard doesn’t just have a contentious history with Hollywood--he also avoids flying because he can’t smoke on planes. Adding to the controversy was the suggestion in some quarters that Godard didn’t deserve the award because of perceived anti-Semitism. Although Godard never gave a reason for his non-attendance, his long-time partner had this to say: “Jean-Luc won’t go to America, he’s getting old for that kind of thing. Would you go all that way just for a bit of metal?”

8. Banksy

The anonymous British street artist was nominated last year for best documentary feature with Exit Through the Gift Shop, his tongue-in-cheek meditation on the value of art in society. Banksy agreed to attend the ceremony, but only if he was allowed to do so without revealing his identity. When the Academy refused to accommodate his request he didn’t show. A few days before Oscar night, the above Mr. Brainwash mural popped up in L.A., which seemed to suggest an equivalency between Hollywood and the Galactic Empire. Unfortunately for the history of Oscar controversies, the golden statue went to Inside Job instead.

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Space
Google Street View Now Lets You Explore the International Space Station

Google Street View covers some amazing locations (Antarctica, the Grand Canyon, and Stonehenge, to name a few), but it’s taken until now for the tool to venture into the final frontier. As TechCrunch reports, you can now use Street View to explore the inside of the International Space Station.

The scenes, photographed by astronauts living on the ISS, include all 15 modules of the massive satellite. Viewers will be treated to true 360-degree views of the rooms and equipment onboard. Through the windows, you can see Earth from an astronaut's perspective and a SpaceX Dragon craft delivering supplies to the crew.

Because the imagery was captured in zero gravity, it’s easy to lose sense of your bearings. Get a taste of what ISS residents experience on a daily basis here.

[h/t TechCrunch]

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6 East Coast Castles to Visit for a Fairy Tale Road Trip
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Lucy Quintanilla/iStock

Once the stuff of fairy tales and legends, a variety of former castles have been repurposed today as museums and event spaces. Enough of them dot the East Coast that you can plan a summer road trip to visit half a dozen in a week or two, starting in or near New York City. See our turrent-rich itinerary below.

STOP 1: BANNERMAN CASTLE // BEACON, NEW YORK

59 miles from New York City

The crumbling exterior of Bannerman Castle
Garrett Ziegler, Flickr // CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Bannerman Castle can be found on its very own island in the Hudson River. Although the castle has fallen into ruins, the crumbling shell adds visual interest to the stunning Hudson Highlands views, and can be visited via walking or boat tours from May to October. The man who built the castle, Scottish immigrant Frank Bannerman, accumulated a fortune shortly after the Civil War in his Brooklyn store known as Bannerman’s. He eventually built the Scottish-style castle as both a residence and a military weapons storehouse starting in 1901. The island remained in his family until 1967, when it was given to the Taconic Park Commission; two years later it was partially destroyed by a mysterious fire, which led to its ruined appearance.

STOP 2. GILLETTE CASTLE STATE PARK // EAST HADDAM, CONNECTICUT

116 miles from Beacon, New York

William Gillette was an actor best known for playing Sherlock Holmes, which may have something to do with where he got the idea to install a series of hidden mirrors in his castle, using them to watch guests coming and going. The unusual-looking stone structure was built starting in 1914 on a chain of hills known as the Seven Sisters. Gillette designed many of the castle’s interior features (which feature a secret room), and also installed a railroad on the property so he could take his guests for rides. When he died in 1937 without designating any heirs, his will forbade the possession of his home by any "blithering sap-head who has no conception of where he is or with what surrounded.” The castle is now managed by the State of Connecticut as Gillette Castle State Park.

STOP 3. BELCOURT CASTLE // NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND

74 miles from East Haddam, Connecticut

The exterior of Belcourt castle
Jenna Rose Robbins, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0

Prominent architect Richard Morris Hunt designed Belcourt Castle for congressman and socialite Oliver Belmont in 1891. Hunt was known for his ornate style, having designed the facade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Breakers in Newport, Rhode Island, but Belmont had some unusual requests. He was less interested in a building that would entertain people and more in one that would allow him to spend time with his horses—the entire first floor was designed around a carriage room and stables. Despite its grand scale, there was only one bedroom. Construction cost $3.2 million in 1894, a figure of approximately $80 million today. But around the time it was finished, Belmont was hospitalized following a mugging. It took an entire year before he saw his completed mansion.

STOP 4. HAMMOND CASTLE MUSEUM // GLOUCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

111 miles from Newport, Rhode Island

Part of the exterior of Hammond castle
Robert Linsdell, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 2.0

Inventor John Hays Hammond Jr. built his medieval-style castle between 1926 and 1929 as both his home and a showcase for his historical artifacts. But Hammond was not only interested in recreating visions of the past; he also helped shape the future. The castle was home to the Hammond Research Corporation, from which Hammond produced over 400 patents and came up with the ideas for over 800 inventions, including remote control via radio waves—which earned him the title "the Father of Remote Control." Visitors can take a self-guided tour of many of the castle’s rooms, including the great hall, indoor courtyard, Renaissance dining room, guest bedrooms, inventions exhibit room, library, and kitchens.

STOP 5. BOLDT CASTLE // ALEXANDRIA BAY, THOUSAND ISLANDS, NEW YORK

430 miles from Gloucester, Massachusetts

It's a long drive from Gloucester and only accessible by water, but it's worth it. The German-style castle on Heart Island was built in 1900 by millionaire hotel magnate George C. Boldt, who created the extravagant structure as a summer dream home for his wife Louise. Sadly, she passed away just months before the place was completed. The heartbroken Boldt stopped construction, leaving the property empty for over 70 years. It's now in the midst of an extensive renovation, but the ballroom, library, and several bedrooms have been recreated, and the gardens feature thousands of plants.

STOP 6. FONTHILL CASTLE // DOYLESTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA

327 miles from Alexandria Bay, New York

Part of the exterior of Fonthill castle

In the mood for more castles? Head south to Doylestown, Pennsylvania, where Fonthill Castle was the home of the early 20th century American archeologist, anthropologist, and antiquarian Henry Chapman Mercer. Mercer was a man of many interests, including paleontology, tile-making, and architecture, and his interest in the latter led him to design Fonthill Castle as a place to display his colorful tile and print collection. The inspired home is notable for its Medieval, Gothic, and Byzantine architectural styles, and with 44 rooms, there's plenty of well-decorated nooks and crannies to explore.

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