Last night’s 90th Academy Awards were a far more relaxed showing in comparison with last year’s headline-making gaffe.
Any drama seemed to be relegated to the red carpet — Taraji P. Henson’s reported jab at Ryan Seacrest had tongues wagging — but there was one especially noteworthy incident, and most people didn’t even know it happened.
According to New York Times culture editor Cara Buckley, while Best Actress winner Frances McDormand — who had just nabbed her second trophy for “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri” — was making her rounds at the Governors Ball, an unknown man grabbed her Oscar and made off with it. The man was reportedly stopped by renowned chef Wolfgang Puck’s photographer, who retrieved the hardware.
“Security at the Governors Ball are looking for this guy, who grabbed Frances McDormand’s Oscar and ran out with it,” Buckley tweeted. “Wolfgang Puck’s photographer stopped him, got the Oscar back, and the guy disappeared back into the ball. Apparently Frances has said to let him go. #Oscars #Drama.”
Buckley stated that McDormand, 60, had reportedly set her trophy down to chat with fellow guests when it was taken.
Although this Oscar mystery didn’t make the airwaves, it will be joining the ranks of drama filled trophy disappearances, according to Mother Jones. In 1954, a housekeeper reportedly took then-child star Margaret O’Brien’s Juvenile Oscar — child actors were nominated for and received their own awards up until the 1980s — and it wasn’t until the 1990s, when memorabilia collectors came across the figurine at a flea market, that it was finally returned. Additionally, the Oscar for Hattie McDaniel’s Best Supporting Actress role as Mammy in “Gone With the Wind” went missing from a display case at Howard University in the 1970s. The award was exceedingly notable because McDaniel’s win was the first one ever by a black woman. The plaque hasn’t yet been found.
And then there was 2000. Like something out of a George Clooney-led heist movie, a whole slew of Oscars were swiped from several packing crates on their way to the ceremony. Fifty-two gold-plated figurines were eventually found in a dumpster by 61-year-old Los Angeles local Willie Fulgear, who was was given a $50,000 reward and tickets to the ceremony. The public would later find out that — although he maintains his innocence — one of the culprits was allegedly a relative of Fulgear. On top of that, much of Fulgear’s reward was reportedly stolen, along with a safe containing it, from his home, never to be recovered, reports Variety.
McDormand is undoubtedly ecstatic that her trophy was returned to her with little fanfare, especially when considering the many other incidents of Oscars going missing. That being said, a manhunt for the culprit would have definitely made for an exciting Oscar-winning story on its own!