The 41st Academy Awards were presented April 14, 1969 at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. It was the first Academy Awards ceremony broadcast worldwide. There was no host.
Oliver! became the first—and so far, the only—G-rated film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. In stark contrast, the following year would see the only X-rated film to win Best Picture: Midnight Cowboy.
As the special effects director and designer for 2001: A Space Odyssey, Stanley Kubrick was the recipient of the Academy Award for Best Visual Effects this year. It was the only Oscar he would ever win. Of all the films nominated for the Oscar this year, only 2001 would show up 30 years later on the American Film Institute list of the greatest American films of the 20th Century.
Also, the year was notable in that for the first—and so far, the only—tie for Best Actress (or any female acting category). Katharine Hepburn in The Lion in Winter and Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl shared the award. Hepburn also became the second actress to win Best Actress two years in a row, after Luise Rainer in 1936 (The Great Ziegfeld) and 1937 (The Good Earth). The previous year, Hepburn had won Best Actress for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.
At the ceremony, Young Americans was announced as the Documentary Feature winner. On May 7, 1969, the film was disqualified because it had played in October 1967, thus making it ineligible for a 1968 award. Journey Into Self, the first runner-up, was awarded the Oscar on May 8, 1969.
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“...I have come to make distinctions between what I call the academy and literature, the moral equivalents of church and God. The academy may lie, but literature tries to tell the truth.”
—Dorothy Allison (b. 1949)