51st Academy Awards

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51st Academy Awards
51st Academy Awards.jpg
Date Monday, April 9, 1979
Site Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles
Host Johnny Carson
Pre-show Regis Philbin
Producer Jack Haley, Jr.
Director Marty Pasetta
Best Picture The Deer Hunter
Most awards The Deer Hunter (5)
Most nominations The Deer Hunter and Heaven Can Wait (9)
TV in the United States
Network ABC
Duration 3 hours, 25 minutes
 < 50th Academy Awards 52nd > 

The 51st Academy Awards were presented April 9, 1979 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Johnny Carson.

Notably, the two "front-runners" for Best Picture this year - Coming Home and The Deer Hunter - were anti-war films that reflected the nation's growing resentment over the Vietnam War. John Wayne, who would die of stomach cancer two months later, made his final public appearance to present the Oscar to the producers of The Deer Hunter.

This was also the final public appearance of Jack Haley, who died two months after presenting the Best Costume Design award with his co-star from The Wizard of Oz, Ray Bolger. His son, Jack Haley Jr., produced this ceremony.

This was the first of several consecutive ceremonies presided over by talk show host Johnny Carson; introducing him on this broadcast, the announcer identified him as "John Carson".

As of 2015, this is the earliest Oscars where all four acting winners are still living.


Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.[1][2]

Best Picture Best Director
Best Actor Best Actress
Best Supporting Actor Best Supporting Actress
Best Original Screenplay Best Adapted Screenplay
Best Foreign Language Film Best Costume Design
Best Documentary Feature Best Documentary Short
Best Live Action Short Best Animated Short
Best Original Score Best Original Song Score or Adaptation Score
Best Original Song Best Sound Mixing
Best Art Direction Best Cinematography
Best Film Editing Best Visual Effects

Academy Honorary Awards[1][edit]

Medal of Commendation[1][edit]

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award[1][edit]


Name Role
Williams, RobinRobin Williams Honorary Award to Walter Lantz
Woodpecker, WoodyWoody Woodpecker
Thomas, DannyDanny Thomas Voting Rules
Cannon, DyanDyan Cannon Best Supporting Actor
Savalas, TellyTelly Savalas
Smith, MaggieMaggie Smith Scientific and Technical Awards
Stapleton, MaureenMaureen Stapleton
Benson, RobbyRobby Benson Short Subject Awards
Lynley, CarolCarol Lynley
Farrow, MiaMia Farrow Documentary Awards
Wolper, David L.David L. Wolper
Jones, ShirleyShirley Jones Best Art Direction-Set Decoration
Schroeder, RickyRicky Schroeder
Bolger, RayRay Bolger Best Costume Design
Haley, JackJack Haley
DeLuise, DomDom DeLuise Best Film Editing
Perrine, ValerieValerie Perrine
Martin, SteveSteve Martin Best Visual Effects
Kidder, MargotMargot Kidder Sound Awards
Reeve, ChristopherChristopher Reeve
Coburn, JamesJames Coburn Best Cinematography
Novak, KimKim Novak
Keeler, RubyRuby Keeler Best Original Song
Kristofferson, KrisKris Kristofferson
Williams, PaulPaul Williams Introducer to Sammy Davis Jr. and Steve Lawrence performance
Martin, DeanDean Martin Music Awards
Welch, RaquelRaquel Welch
Peck, GregoryGregory Peck Presenter: Honorary Award to the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film
Brynner, YulYul Brynner Best Foreign Language Film
Wood, NatalieNatalie Wood
Burns, GeorgeGeorge Burns Best Supporting Actress
Shields, BrookeBrooke Shields
Bacall, LaurenLauren Bacall Writing Awards
Voight, JonJon Voight
Hepburn, AudreyAudrey Hepburn Honorary Award to King Vidor
Coppola, Francis FordFrancis Ford Coppola Best Director
MacGraw, AliAli MacGraw
Grant, CaryCary Grant Honorary Award to Laurence Olivier
Dreyfuss, RichardRichard Dreyfuss Best Actress
MacLaine, ShirleyShirley MacLaine
Valenti, JackJack Valenti Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Rogers, GingerGinger Rogers Best Actor
Ross, DianaDiana Ross
Wayne, JohnJohn Wayne Best Picture


Name Performed
Newton-John, OliviaOlivia Newton-John "Hopelessly Devoted to You" (from Grease)
Olivor, JaneJane Olivor "The Last Time I Felt Like This" (from Same Time, Next Year)
Mathis, JohnnyJohnny Mathis
Summer, DonnaDonna Summer "Last Dance" (from Thank God It's Friday)
Boone, DebbyDebby Boone "When You're Loved" (from The Magic of Lassie)
Manilow, BarryBarry Manilow "Ready to Take a Chance Again" (from Foul Play)
Davis Jr., SammySammy Davis Jr. "Oscar's Only Human"
Lawrence, SteveSteve Lawrence

Multiple nominations and awards[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d The Official Acadademy Awards® Database
  2. ^ "The 51st Academy Awards (1979) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-06.