1976 Academy Awards®
Winners and History
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Academy Awards History (By Decade):
Introduction, 1927/8-39, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s
Academy Awards Summaries
Winners Charts:
"Best Picture" Oscar®, "Best Director" Oscar®, "Best Actor" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actor" Oscar®,
"Best Actress" Oscar®, "Best Supporting Actress" Oscar®, "Best Screenplay/Writer" Oscar®

The winner is listed first, in CAPITAL letters.
Best Picture

ROCKY (1976)

All the President's Men (1976)

Bound for Glory (1976)

Network (1976)

Taxi Driver (1976)

PETER FINCH in "Network", Robert De Niro in "Taxi Driver", Giancarlo Giannini in "Seven Beauties", William Holden in "Network", Sylvester Stallone in "Rocky"
FAYE DUNAWAY in "Network", Marie-Christine Barrault in "Cousin Cousine", Talia Shire in "Rocky", Sissy Spacek in "Carrie", Liv Ullmann in "Face to Face"
Supporting Actor:
JASON ROBARDS in "All the President's Men", Ned Beatty in "Network", Burgess Meredith in "Rocky", Laurence Olivier in "Marathon Man", Burt Young in "Rocky"
Supporting Actress:
BEATRICE STRAIGHT in "Network", Jane Alexander in "All the President's Men", Jodie Foster in "Taxi Driver", Lee Grant in "Voyage of the Damned", Piper Laurie in "Carrie"
JOHN G. AVILDSEN for "Rocky", Ingmar Bergman for "Face to Face", Sidney Lumet for "Network", Alan J. Pakula for "All the President's Men", Lina Wertmuller for "Seven Beauties"

The Bi-Centennial year brought five solid and original films into competition with each other for Best Picture.

The ultimate winner was the underdog, low-budget, simplistic, feel-good boxing film, John Avildsen's and UA's Rocky (with ten nominations and three wins - including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Film Editing). It was the first in the endless series of sequels about a down-and-out young club fighter - 'the Italian Stallion' from South Philadelphia slums, who seeks self-respect, fame, and the American dream. With its Cinderella story, it was the first sports film to win the Best Picture award. [This upbeat boxing/prize-fighting genre film followed the conventions of previous films including The Champ (1931/32), Golden Boy (1939), Champion (1949), and Somebody Up There Likes Me (1956).]

It was shot from an original script by its unknown, unemployed, struggling break-out star Sylvester Stallone. [With Stallone's nominations for Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay, he joined only two others in Academy history with the same pair of honors in the same year: Charlie Chaplin (for The Great Dictator (1940)), and Orson Welles (for Citizen Kane (1941)).]

Other Best Picture nominees included:

Two directors of Best Picture nominees, Martin Scorsese and Hal Ashby, were not nominated for Best Director. They were replaced with two foreign-language film directors:

Performers with nominations for their roles in Network won three of the year's acting Oscars - Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, and Beatrice Straight. [It became only the second time in Academy history that a film had won three acting trophies. This same accomplishment hadn't occurred since three performers won three acting awards in A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) - Vivien Leigh with a Best Actress award, and Karl Malden and Kim Hunter with the two Best Supporting awards.]

British actor Peter Finch (with his second nomination and sole win) was awarded the Best Actor Oscar for his role as crazed, suicidal, UBS network anchor-man and fired 'mad prophet of the airwaves' Howard Beale in Network - memorable for his immortal line: "I'm as mad as hell and I'm not gonna take this anymore." Finch's award was presented post-humously (he died on January 14, 1977, shortly before the awards ceremony). He was the fourth actor to be honored with a posthumous nomination (to date) and the first and only posthumous winner for Best Actor (at that time) - later supplemented with Heath Ledger's posthumous nominaton and win for Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight (2008).

[Others with posthumous nominations - but without awards - were Jeanne Eagels for The Letter (1928-29), James Dean for East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956), Spencer Tracy for Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), Ralph Richardson for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan (1984), Massimo Troisi for Il Postino (1995).]

The other four nominees in the Best Actor category included:

Faye Dunaway (with her third nomination and first win) won the Best Actress award for her role as Diane Christensen - the icy, power-hungry, ratings-obsessed, ruthless and heartless USB programming executive and career-woman (who falls for boss William Holden) in Network. [Dunaway had twice been nominated as Best Actress for Bonnie and Clyde (1967) and Chinatown (1974).]

Competitors in the Best Actress category included two foreign-language performances (a first!):

The award in the Best Supporting Actor category was presented to Jason Robards Jr. (with his first of two consecutive Oscar wins) for his performance as encouraging Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee who supports the pursuit of the Watergate story in All the President's Men.

Two Rocky co-stars were Best Supporting Actor nominees:

The other two Best Supporting Actor nominees were:

Many of the same films previously described also produced Best Supporting Actress nominees - most of whom were nominated for minor cameo roles.

The Best Supporting Actress winner was dark-horse stage and TV star Beatrice Straight (with her sole career nomination) in the short role as Louise Schumacher - William Holden's deserted, neglected and spurned wife struggling to maintain her dignity in Network.

[Straight's screen role, which was composed of two scenes and lasted six minutes (and eight seconds) of screen time, contained fewer on-screen script lines - 18 - than any other acting nominee in awards history.]

The Best Supporting Actress nominees included four other competing actresses:

The Omen (with only two nominations - both for Jerry Goldsmith for Best Song and Best Score) became the first horror film to receive a Best Score Oscar. In this same year, Goldsmith was competing against Bernard Herrmann, who had two post-humous Best Score nominations for Obsession and Taxi Driver. [Herrmann had five Best Score career nominations, and only won once, for The Devil and Daniel Webster (1941), in the same year that he was nominated for Citizen Kane (1941).] Barbra Streisand's Oscar win for Best Song ("Evergreen") for A Star is Born made her the first Oscar-winning actress to receive an award for music. She had won her sole Oscar for Best Actress for Funny Girl (1968).

Oscar Snubs and Omissions:

Director Martin Ritt's The Front (with a single unsuccessful nomination for Walter Bernstein's Best Screenplay) starred Woody Allen as 'front' Howard Price for his blacklisted TV writer and friend, and Zero Mostel as TV star Hecky Brown. Martin Scorsese, the director of the ultimately Oscar-less Taxi Driver was un-nominated as Best Director, a major snub. And Harvey Keitel was overlooked for his role as the long-haired, detestable pimp of 12-year old hooker Iris (Jodie Foster).

Both Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman were not nominated in the acting category for their believable work in All the President's Men. John Wayne was neglected in the Oscar nominations for his role as aging, cancer-stricken legendary gunfighter John Bernard Brooks, as was Lauren Bacall as stern and compassionate widow and boardinghouse owner Bond Rogers in Don Siegel's The Shootist. Audrey Hepburn was bypassed in the nominations for her performance as Maid Marian in Richard Lester's Robin and Marian, opposite Sean Connery as a mature Robin Hood. And Shelley Winters was passed over for a nomination in her role as the quintessential Jewish mother Mrs. Lapinsky in Paul Mazursky's un-nominated comedy Next Stop, Greenwich Village.

Although The Outlaw Josey Wales had one nomination (for Jerry Fielding's score), it lacked nominations for Clint Eastwood's screenplay, direction, and starring role as the title character, for Best Picture, and for Chief Dan George's role as displaced, old Native American Lone Waite.

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