75th Annual Academy Awards

Broadcast March 23, 2003 (ABC)

59 Oscar winners assembled on stage

The text on this page originally appeared in 2000 on “The Barbra Streisand Music Guide” website and was written by Mark Iskowitz. Thanks to Mark, it is reproduced here ...

Barbra Streisand made two appearances at the 75th Academy Awards on March 23, 2003. At Hollywood's Kodak Theatre, she presented the Oscar for Best Original Song, an award she won in 1977 for A Star Is Born's "Evergreen," and later joined 59 fellow winners of acting Oscars for an on-stage tribute.

Screen shots of Streisand at 2003 Academy Awards show

At around 11:00 pm, just as the telecast was gaining momentum, following Adrien Brody's Best Actor win and Dustin Hoffman's The Pianist intro, Barbra took the stage for the Best Original Song award presentation. Her brief introductory remarks were as follows: “Songs are amazing things. They allow us to raise our voices in pain, in passion, in praise, and in protest. I'm very proud to live in a country that guarantees every citizen, including artists, the right to sing and say what we believe.” Next, Barbra announced the five nominated songwriters live on split screen with film clips, having not pre-recorded the names as some other presenters had. Expressing definite excitement ("Woo!") when opening her envelope to discover that Eminem's "Lose Yourself" (from 8 Mile) had won, she presented the Oscar to absent Eminem's co-writer Luis Resto. The telecast's final hour excitement then moved even higher with Meryl Streep entering to present an honorary award to the eloquent and hip Peter O'Toole.

(Below: Watch official Oscar video of Streisand presenting the award ...)

A little while later, Olivia de Havilland introduced a cool 10-minute tribute to 59 of her fellow Oscar acting winners seated on stage in alphabetical order, Barbra in the front row between fellow Best Actress recipients Streep and Hilary Swank. Beginning with Dame Julie Andrews, each individual received an intro and look back at the films and award ceremonies when they were originally honored. Barbra was introduced in conjunction with Funny Girl.

(Below: Watch official Oscar video of the tribute...)

Streisand contradicted reports that she was shocked Eminem won when she told Billboard “this kid Eminem is really interesting. I can relate to the truth, and I can relate to emotion, and I can relate to him in some strange way. I was raised in the projects. I was born in Brooklyn. We were poor. I relate to that stuff because that's my roots, my heritage.”

End.

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