Traditionally the previous year's Best Supporting Actor winner (Christoph Waltz was awarded the 2010 Oscar for Best Actor in a Supporting Role) presents the Best Supporting Actress, but for some reason a break with tradition was made and the father of Michael Douglas was the presenter. Waltz was not present at the Oscar ceremony.
Esteemed actor Kirk Douglas made a surprise appearance at the 2011 Academy Awards to present the Oscar for Best Actress and was greeted with a standing ovation by his fellow actors as the snowy haired gentleman used a cane to walk to the podium. Many stars in the audience seemed delighted to see him.
Looking dapper in a beautiful black suit with a crisp white shirt with an elegant tie, the veteran 94 year old Hollywood actor stole the show by throwing out a series of hilarious quips which had the audience roaring.
He did a literal double take when he saw co-hostess Anne Hathaway and flirted with her by saying "Wow! Where were you when I was making movies?" The 28-year-old actress laughed and blew kisses, then fanned herself.
He then told co-host James Franco "You look much better out of the cave" in reference to Franco's Oscar nominated performance for 127 Hours.
Douglas said “here’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for." The cameras pan to Hugh Jackman who is laughing. Douglas points to the Aussie actor and asks "Why does everyone in Australia think I’m funny?” He then points to Colin Firth who isn't laughing and Douglas says Firth doesn't think he's funny, but he's British after all and the British people don't think he's funny. His comment is hilarious, demonstrating he still has a great wit.
The elder Douglas pretended to fight with an on-stage attendant for possession of his dapper walking stick. He announced the five nominees for Best Supporting Actress and then, as the cameras showed, left them agonizing at the edge of their seats as he said "You know, I will never forget this moment" and then proceeded to reference how many times he lost his bid for an Academy Award. He also pretended to stumble with opening the envelope.
Although the Best Actress nominees all appear stressed by the delay, they are also laughing at Douglas as he plays on-stage. Finally he called out the name of the winner - actress Melissa Leo for her role as the edgy mother in David O Russell's The Fighter. It was the first award for Leo and her second nomination. She was previously nominated for her stunning work in Frozen River.
When she arrived on stage Douglas proceeded to flirt with her as well. She ran up to the stage, took the actor's hand and bowed to him. She asked the esteemed actor to pinch her. He held the Oscar statue out to her and said it was pretty heavy. Douglas said 'you're much better looking than you were in the Fighter" and she said "you're pretty good looking yourself. What are you doing later?"
Backstage the actress told the media "he was doing us all this huge favor, because the longer he strung it out, the calmer I got to be." Never mind that the actress dropped the F bomb as she made her stunned acceptance speech which was bleeped from the screen.
Douglas was impressive because he suffered a stroke in 1996. He had to learn to talk again with the aid of a speech therapist. The elder actor also underwent a double knee replacement at the age of 88. He broke his foot in a fall two years ago.
Even with all of his physical challenges he went on to show the world why he was such an impressive performer.
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