As I've mentioned, John Mills (later Sir John) won the Oscar in 1971 for Best Supporting Actor as a deaf-mute in Ryan's Daughter, directed by David Lean (for whom Mills had starred in such films as Great Expectations and Hobson's Choice), and written by Robert Bolt. I figured that after that wonderful performance in the video of Cats here yesterday, he deserved to pick up his award, so here's his charming acceptance speech. (One tends to use "charming" a lot when describing John Mills...)
And for all you fans of Downton Abbey, it's presented by a much younger than 'Countess Crawley," Maggie Smith, who had won as best actress the year before, for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
(BobNote: as kidling on a family trip, I saw the original stage production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie in London's West End. It starred Vanessa Redgrave, though as a little kid, the person I remembered most was the young girl, played by Olivia Hussey, who a few years later who come to fame starring in the film version of Romeo and Juliet.)
By the way, there's something amusing related to John Mills' acceptance speech. It falls under the category of "Another Reason Why You Should Be Careful About Believing Anything You Read on the Internet: Consider the Source 101.")
When researching some of this, to get dates and such right, I came across several websites that all said slightly different versions of the same thing. Here's one example --
It wasn't Kirk Douglas who gave the shortest Oscar acceptance speech.
"If fact," he says. In fact. Fact. That's what so many of them say. No words, just a bow and he leaves. In fact.
Well...in fact, here is the footage of John Mills accepting his Oscar. Who will you believe -- these impressive experts or your lying eyes?
Put your money on the charming John Mills. (And interesting sidenote: among his topnotch competition are two actors, Richard Castellano an John Marley, and two years later would be co-starring together in The Godfather, as Clemenza and Hollywood producer Jack Woltz...who owned a horse). By the way, the young woman to John Mills' left is his daughter Juliet, who the previous years had come to fame in the U.S. starring in the TV series, Nanny and the Professor.
And so, here is the mute John Mills...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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