Chief LA correspondent Kate Aurthur shared a bittersweet bit of Oscar history this week at BuzzFeed. In 1980, after the death of her beloved father Robert Alan (aka “Bob”), she traveled to LA with mom to attend the Johnny Carson-hosted ceremony that included a nomination for dad’s original-screenplay work on the Bob Fosse film All That Jazz.
Aurthur isn’t sure why she waited this long to visit the Academy’s Margaret Herrick Library on Vine and finally watch the 52nd Annual Academy Awards for the first belated time. But having now done so, she is struck by the ease of Carson as host, how much the show then was not about celebrity and some possible funny business related to dad’s final film project:
My mother swore that [Best Actress presenter and original All That Jazz star] Richard Dreyfuss did a little dance step to taunt Fosse as he walked out to the podium; I will confess I didn’t notice that when I re-watched it. But if you think annoying look-at-me theatrics at awards shows are a recent development — Anne Hathaway haters, take note — you should watch Dreyfuss.
My mother pronounced him “high on drugs.” (Dreyfuss has spoken openly about his problems with addiction during the late ’70s and ’80s. I contacted his representative to alert her to this characterization. And I should also mention that I’ve been a fan of his since I first saw Jaws, and still am — but in the spirit of honesty, I also always have thought he caused trouble for my dad, and therefore have held this grudge! Privately, until now.)
Meanwhile, when Aurthur finally returned to school in New York the following Wednesday, there was no escaping the Oscars since her school’s courtyard had been used as a filming location for Best Picture winner Kramer vs. Kramer. A wonderful Oscar weekend read.