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10 Oscar Speeches That Were Under 11 Words

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When Greer Garson won the Academy Award for Best Actress in 1943 for Mrs. Miniver, she set a Guinness World Record for "Longest Oscars Acceptance Speech" with a rant that clocked in at five and a half minutes. That’s more than twice as much time as Gwyneth Paltrow spent on her famously long speech after she nabbed the same award for Shakespeare in Love in 1999.

Oscar producers imposed a 45-second time limit on speeches in 2010, but not every winner would have needed it. Here are 10 who thanked the Academy in 10 words or fewer.

1. ALFRED HITCHCOCK (1968) // Total Words: 5

It took Alfred Hitchcock 20 seconds to make his way across the stage to accept the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award but only six seconds to offer his simple, “Thank you," before pausing and adding, "Very much indeed.” In true Hitchcock fashion, he effectively gave us all we needed without showing too much.

2. JOE PESCI (1991) // Total Words: 5

One gets the feeling that Joe Pesci had a lot more to say than, “It’s my privilege, thank you,” when he won Best Supporting Actor for Goodfellas, but no one wants to see one of cinema’s greatest tough guys cry. Now go home and get your f***ing shinebox.

3. PATTY DUKE (1963) // Total Words: 2

Hitchcock and Pesci may have given two of the most memorably truncated Oscar speeches ever, but Patty Duke makes them both look positively long-winded. When she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Miracle Worker, her response was a to-the-point, but clearly heartfelt, “Thank you.”

4. WILLIAM HOLDEN (1954) // Total Words: 4

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When he won Best Actor for Stalag 17, William Holden offered his thanks—twice—with a simple, “Thank you. Thank you.”

5. GLORIA GRAHAME (1953) // Total Words: 4

Gloria Grahame wasn’t fooling around when she breezed onto the stage to grab her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for The Bad and the Beautiful, uttering a quick, “Thank you very much,” without so much as stopping at the microphone to savor the moment.

6. LOUIE PSIHOYOS (2010) // Total Words: 2

If The Cove director Louie Psihoyos had his way, he would have said a lot more than just, “Thank you,” when he took home an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Fellow producer Fisher Stevens ate up the bulk of their 45 seconds, so when the mic finally came around to Psihoyos, he could only mutter two words before that ominous sound of orchestral strings hushed him. Psihoyos posted a video online of his intended speech the very next day.

7. DIMITRI TIOMKIN (1953) // Total Words: 6

When you win two Oscars in one night like High Noon music director Dimitri Tiomkin did in 1953, it makes sense to keep one of your speeches brief. But Tiomkin kept it short and sweet for both, offering a simple, "Thank you very much. Thank you,” for his first win for Best Dramatic or Comedy Score and, “I feel like a mother of the wonderful twins,” when he was handed a second statue for Best Original Song.

8. ALFRED NEWMAN (1953) // Total Words: 4

The year 1953 was a fine one for succinctness. Right before Tiomkin accepted his second award, fellow musician Alfred Newman offered a modest, “Thank you very much,” after receiving the Oscar for Best Musical Score.

9. DELBERT MANN (1956) // Total Words: 8

When Delbert Mann won his first and only Oscar for directing Marty, he made his appreciation clear: “Thank you. Thank you very much. Appreciate it.” And… scene!

10. BILLY WILDER (1961) // Total Words: 10

Billy Wilder won all three of the Oscars for which he was nominated for The Apartment—Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best Picture. While he allowed himself a full 70 words on that last award, his acceptances earlier in the night were much less long-winded. He and co-writer I.A.L. Diamond showcased their talent for brevity when they each thanked each other. And when Gina Lollobrigida handed Wilder the Oscar for Best Director, he quipped, “Thank you so much, you lovely discerning people. Thank you.”

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entertainment
The Time Douglas Adams Met Jim Henson
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On September 13, 1983, Jim Henson and The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy author Douglas Adams had dinner for the first time. Henson, who was born on this day in 1936, noted the event in his "Red Book" journal, in characteristic short-form style: "Dinner with Douglas Adams – 1st met." Over the next few years the men discussed how they might work together—they shared interests in technology, entertainment, and education, and ended up collaborating on several projects (including a Labyrinth video game). They also came up with the idea for a "Muppet Institute of Technology" project, a computer literacy TV special that was never produced. Henson historians described the project as follows:

Adams had been working with the Henson team that year on the Muppet Institute of Technology project. Collaborating with Digital Productions (the computer animation people), Chris Cerf, Jon Stone, Joe Bailey, Mark Salzman and Douglas Adams, Jim’s goal was to raise awareness about the potential for personal computer use and dispel fears about their complexity. In a one-hour television special, the familiar Muppets would (according to the pitch material), “spark the public’s interest in computing,” in an entertaining fashion, highlighting all sorts of hardware and software being used in special effects, digital animation, and robotics. Viewers would get a tour of the fictional institute – a series of computer-generated rooms manipulated by the dean, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew, and stumble on various characters taking advantage of computers’ capabilities. Fozzie, for example, would be hard at work in the “Department of Artificial Stupidity,” proving that computers are only as funny as the bears that program them. Hinting at what would come in The Jim Henson Hour, viewers, “…might even see Jim Henson himself using an input device called a ‘Waldo’ to manipulate a digitally-controlled puppet.”

While the show was never produced, the development process gave Jim and Douglas Adams a chance to get to know each other and explore a shared passion. It seems fitting that when production started on the 2005 film of Adams’s classic Hitchhiker’s Guide, Jim Henson’s Creature Shop would create animatronic creatures like the slovenly Vogons, the Babel Fish, and Marvin the robot, perhaps a relative of the robot designed by Michael Frith for the MIT project.

You can read a bit on the project more from Muppet Wiki, largely based on the same article.

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Art
Get Crazy With the Official Bob Ross Coloring Book
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If you watched Bob Ross's classic series The Joy of Painting for hours on end but didn’t come away a terribly capable artist, you can still enjoy replicating the amazing public television personality’s work. You can now pretend you’re painting along with the late, great PBS star using a brand-new adult coloring book based on his art.

The Bob Ross Coloring Book (Universe) is the first authorized coloring book based on Ross’s artistic archive. Ross, who would have turned 75 later this year, was all about giving his fans the confidence to pursue art even without extensive training. “There’s an artist hidden at the bottom of every single one of us,” the gentle genius said. So what better way to honor his memory than to relax with his coloring book?

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the Ross landscapes you can recreate, all while flipping through some of his best quotes and timeless tidbits of wisdom.

An black-and-white outline of a Bob ross painting of a mountain valley

A black-and-white outline of a Bob Ross painting shows a house nestled among trees.

A black-and-white outline of a Bob Ross painting shows a farm scene.

And remember, even if you color outside the lines, it’s still a work of art. As Ross said, “We don’t make mistakes. We just have happy accidents.”

You can find The Bob Ross Coloring Book for about $14 on Amazon. Oh, and if you need even more Ross in your life, there’s now a Bob Ross wall calendar, too.

All images courtesy of Rizzoli.

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