Remembering the Most Memorable Oscar Acceptance Speeches of the 80s

You like me, you really like me!

In honor of the upcoming 88th Academy Awards (and in building anticipation of how awesome- or not- Leonardo Dicpario’s acceptance speech will be)- we’ve compiled a list of the most memorable Oscar acceptance speeches from every years of the 80s.

Some of these actors have become more famous for their speeches, in fact, than the work they won for! Check out below to see what we’re talking about.

1980: Robert De Niro, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Raging Bull

A spritely looking Robert De Niro thanked director “Marty” Scorsese for his second Oscar win, representing just one of the nine collaborations the famous duo would do together.

” And I hope that I can share this with anyone that it means anything to and the rest of the world, and especially all the terrible things that are happening. I love everyone,” an admittedly nervous De Niro said.

1982: Meryl Streep, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Sophie’s Choice

Meryl Streep has been commended for perfecting the “art” of the Oscar’s acceptance speech, thanks in part to the elegant speech she delivered after her 1982 win.

“Oh, boy! No matter how much you try to imagine what this is like, it’s just so incredibly thrilling, right down to your toes. I have a lot of people to thank and I’m going to be one of those people that tries to mention a lot of names because I know just two seconds ago my mother and father went completely berserk and I’d like to give some other mothers and fathers that opportunity.”

1983: Shirley MacLaine, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Terms of Endearment

MacLaine had waited 26 years for this moment, and her speech was so wonderfully prepared, it seemed like she had spent the whole time writing it.

“I’m gonna cry because this show has been as long as my career. I have wondered for twenty-six years what this would feel like. Thank you so much for terminating the suspense. Oh my, I am nervous.”

” Films and life are like clay waiting for us to mold it. And when you trust your own insides, and that becomes achievement, it’s a kind of a principle that seems to me is at work with everyone. God bless that principle. God bless that potential that we all have for making anything possible if we think we deserve it. I deserve this. Thank you.”

1984: Sally Field, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Places in the Heart

“. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me!”

This is what Field actually said, but it would soon be twisted to one of the most quoted phrases of all-time: “You like me, you really like me!”

And this widely-used misquote would almost overshadow the movie itself. Talk about memorable.

1986: Marlee Matlin, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Children of a Lesser God
Marlee Matlin was the first deaf actress to not only be nominated for an Academy Award, but to win one in her movie debut.

She used the help of a sign language interpreter to say:

“I just want to thank a lot of people. I, to tell you the truth, I didn’t prepare for this speech. But I definitely want to thank the Academy and its members. And I want to thank all those special people in the film.”


1987: Cher, Best Actress in a Leading Role, Moonstruck

Everything about this was memorable, from the speech to the outfit Cher gave the speech in. Would you expect anything less from Cher, after all?

“And I don’t think that this means that I am somebody, but I guess I’m on my way. Thank you.”

1987: Michael Douglas, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Wall Street

Douglas’ acceptance sweet is remembered for being a sweet tribute to the director that helped him win the award.

“A large part of this award belongs to Oliver Stone. And not only as the director, but having the courage to cast me in a part that not many people thought I could play. So I’ll always be eternally grateful to him for that.”

1988: Jodie Foster, Best Actress in a Leading Role, The Accused

“And most importantly my mother Brandy, who taught me that all of my finger paintings were Picassos, and that I didn’t have to be afraid. And mostly that cruelty might be very human, and it might be very cultural, but it’s not acceptable. Which is what this movie’s about. Thank you so much.”

1988: Dustin Hoffman, Best Actor in a Leading Role, Rain Man

Hoffman followed Foster’s sweet tribute to her mother with his own inspiring tribute to his father, who couldn’t physically be present at the ceremony.

“My father so wanted to be here tonight. Ironically, a few weeks ago he joined the family of the disabled. And I understand that the hospital where he’s at tonight, that a lot of people that I’ve met recently are gathered with him with tuxedos and champagne cups and formals. And they’re all watching this show right now on a big TV that they rented. So to the…[applause]. It was just a few weeks ago that he was at the Golden Globes and he says, “Let’s find Gene Hackman.” Because he knows we’re old roommates. “C’mon, let’s find Gene.” Anyway, to the wonderful doctors and nurses and rehabilitation people, and to the families that I’ve met recently, and to my father and to his new friends: Here’s looking at you. Thank you.”

1989: Denzel Washington, Best Actor in a Supporting Role, Glory

In Washington’s first Oscar win, he gave a great shout-out to the inspiration behind the film.

“I’d also like to pay homage to the 54th, the black soldiers who helped to make this country free. I thank God. I thank you.”

Author: Nicole

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