Each year, on Oscar night, Hollywood's most glamorous stars take home their awards; we witness them laughing, crying and their general hysteria, we feel embarrassed over the warbling speeches, and for weeks afterwards we joke about the outfits. But what happens when Oscar night is over? Where do the famed statuettes end up? Here Hollywood's big winners tell all
Most stars put their Oscars proudly on display in their homes, usually on the bookshelf in the living room. There are two good reasons for this, one; here they see the legendary award every day and are reminded of the highlight of their career, the night they were watched by billions of TV viewers and honoured by their colleagues, and two; all guests want to see their Oscar, so the best place is the living room. And so two-time Oscar winner MICHAEL DOUGLAS (for producing the 1975 Best Picture One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest and for acting in 1987's Wall Street) has displayed his statuettes on the shelf in the New York apartment he shares with his Oscar winning wife CATHERINE ZETA-JONES (for Chicago).
"There's an Oscar magic. Friends want to touch them, as if the statues will bring them luck," explains Douglas, whose acting Oscar means the most to him. "For me the big one was Wall Street, because as an actor, and particularly one with a father who is an icon (Kirk Douglas, with a career achievement Oscar on his own), to get nominated by my fellow actors and win was more important. It really helped me get out of the shadow. That was a great year for me because I also did Fatal Attraction, and the two movies were back-to-back commercial success. They changed my life."
His wife, Catherine, says she has placed her Best Supporting 2002 Actress Oscar "in the middle of my husband's two but a little further forward than his!"
CHARLIZE THERON has the statuette she won for 2003's Monster proudly displayed in the Los Angeles home she shares with boyfriend, actor Stuart Townsend. The Hollywood beauty laughs, "I'm a girl who grew up on a farm in South Africa! Winning was such a strange sensation. And to see it at home is totally surreal."
TOM HANKS won back-to-back Oscars for Philadelphia (1993) and Forrest Gump (1994) and has the two awards on display in his Los Angeles home. "They instantly bring back memories from the wins," says the The Da Vinci Code star. And the most vivid memory? "The evenings were very personal moments in front of three billion people," he laughs. "Your blood is pumping so hard, you lose your senses. I don't remember anything of what I said, but I remember going towards the stage thinking, 'Don't trip'."
JON VOIGHT won his Oscar for Coming Home (1978) and gave the award to his mother. "She had it just inside the front door and put it in a fishbowl with marbles at the bottom. After she died, I put it on my mantel in my living room."
MORGAN FREEMAN has it on a shelf specially built for the award in his Mississippi home. The winner of the 2004 Best Supporting Oscar for Million Dollar Baby, says, "When my house was being built in 1988, one of the guys who was doing finishing work said he wanted to construct a trophy cabinet for me. And he put an acrylic sign on the top shelf saying 'No Parking: Oscar Only.' So when I won, I took down the sign and put the Oscar in its place."
GWYNETH PALTROW won her 1999 Oscar for Shakespeare in Love. "The Oscar is on a shelf," the London-based actress says. "Winning it was a fantasy come trough. It seemed like a dream. I used to watch the Academy Awards. My mother (Meet the Focker star Blythe Danner) presented once when I was eight-years-old. And it was unreal to be there getting the award. You just can't help but be swept away by the award and what people say."
Italian winner ROBERTO BENIGNI won his Best Actor Oscar for 1998's Life is Beautiful and keeps his Oscar in his Rome residence but not on display! "The Oscar has to be at home because when people come to my house, they want to see it, but I keep it with my suits in my closet. When I'm naked and clean and I see the nice clothes and the Oscars, I remember the feeling of that night."
Singer-songwriter ELTON JOHN, who won his Best Song Oscar for 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' from the 1994 animated film, The Lion King, put the award in his library in his English home. Reveals the avid art collector, "I display it in one of my favourite rooms, the library, next to a Francis Bacon painting."
Another Brit, Oliver Twist star BEN KINGSLEY also has his Oscar (for Gandhi in 1982) in the library. "When a British actor wins an Academy Award, it's celebrated as a kind of triumph at home, as if we're exporting our talents and they're seen worldwide," he says of the reason he has it on display. "There's a great sense of pride. It really is like bringing home a gold medal from the Olympics."
2006's Best Supporting Actor (for Syriana) GEORGE CLOONEY also keeps his Oscar in the library, next to his favourite books and a couple of Golden Globes and SAG awards, "It's not really a place where people go," he says. "I'm proud of the Oscar, but it's not something you go in and polish up every day."
Actor KEVIN COSTNER has his two Oscars, for producing and directing the 1990 hit Dances with Wolves, displayed in a golden shelf unit in his screening room in the actor's Los Angeles mansion. "I used to have my Oscars in my underwear drawer for three or four years," he laughs, "until I built the screening room. Now they are in a specially designed shelf unit."
Two-time Oscar winner and art collector BARBRA STREISAND (Best Actress for the 1968 film debut in Funny Girl and winner of Best Song in 1977 for 'Evergreen' from A Star is Born) goes one further. She has built a barn on her Malibu estate for her Oscars and other career memorabilia.
But GOLDIE HAWN, who won her Oscar as Best Supporting Actress for her very first film, 1969's Cactus Flower, has the opposite philosophy. The award is casually placed on a bench in her meditation room in Los Angeles. "My award is in the room where I study and practice meditation," tells the actress. "Trophy rooms are the opposite of me. Awards are history that's my philosophy."
Some stars feel that an office is the most appropriate place for such an award. Sound of Music legend JULIE ANDREWS keeps her 1964 Mary Poppins Oscar on a similar white bookshelf in her Long Island office, outside New York, while MICHAEL CAINE has two golden boys resting comfortably in the office of his London home: the 1986 Best Supporting Actor award for Hannah and Her Sisters and the 1999 Best Supporting Actor award for The Cider House Rules. "My statuettes are in the perfect spot in my office next to my Golden Globes and BAFTAs, and they never move," he reports. "But I need one for the middle of the shelf I hope the Academy realizes that!"
English actor JEREMY IRONS also has his Oscar placed on a shelf in his office, next to private photos and other awards. He remembers his 1990 win for Reversal of Fortune this way: "When I won, I remember kissing Madonna, who was in front of me with Michael Jackson I very nearly kissed Michael Jackson. I would have kissed anybody, really, at that point."
There are some not too obvious placements for the award. ANNA PAQUIN won her Best Supporting Oscar for her first film, The Piano, in 1993. A child star at the time, she recalls, "I went to sleep that night with the Oscar by my bed, but now it's in my closet in my apartment in LA, next to my boots."
EMMA THOMPSON keeps her Oscars (for acting; 1992's Howard's End and screenwriting; 1995's Sense and Sensibility) in the bathroom of the barn that her husband restored in Scotland. "The brass fittings fit perfectly," she explains. "They look far too outre anywhere else. They're great big, gold, shiny things. They're up there tarnishing quietly along with everything else I own, including my body."
CLINT EASTWOOD has two Oscars for directing the 1992 Western Unforgiven and the 2005 hit Million Dollar Baby. The legendary actor-turned-director behind the acclaimed 2006 films Flags of Our Father and Letters from Iwo Jima put his first Oscar in the drawer where his second has joined it. "I was glad to get the first Oscar because in my mind it was probably the last of that genre that I was going to make," recalls Eastwood of winning for Unforgiven. "Maybe that's why I put it in the drawer. It's almost like fate."
RENEE ZELLWEGER, who won her 2004 Best Supporting Oscar for Cold Mountain keeps the statue in her bedroom to remind herself "how lucky I am."
JULIETTE BINOCHE, the French actress who got her 1997 Best Supporting Oscar for her performances in The English Patient, admits that winning the Oscar was "a dream come true" but that she doesn't have the coveted statue on display. "I didn't know where to place it, so I put it in a box with the plates." She smiles sheepishly: "I guess I shouldn't do that."
Some stars haven't even kept it. JULIA ROBERTS, who won her 2001 Oscar as Best Actress for Erin Brockovitch, gave it to her "best friend" and sister, while ANJELINA JOLIE gave her 2001 Oscar (for Best Supporting Actress in Girl Interrupted) to her mother. Explains the The Good Shepherd star, "My mom has got all the awards at her home and that's where the Oscar is as well."
- Planet Syndication