Oscar Actors: Redgrave, Vanessa in Julia

Vanessa Redgrave's performance in Julia” was undoubtedly brilliant, and it followed three previously Oscar-nominated roles, in Morgan,” Isadora,” and Mary, Queen of Scots,” all of which she lost.

Moreover, in 1977, the competition in the Supporting Actress category was rather weak. The other nominees were: Leslie Brown in The Turning Point,” Quinn Cummings in The Goodbye Girl,” Melinda Dillon in Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” and Tuesady Weld in Looking for Mr. Goodbar.”

Redgrave's chances of wining the Oscar were strong, and Academy officials did expect her to make a political speech, if she won. They didn't mind when she spoke of Julia's meaning for her. Redgrave said: “I think Jane Fonda and I have done the best work of our lives and I think this was in part due to our director, Fred Zinnemann. And I also think it's in part because we believed in what we were expressing: two out of millions who gave their lives and were prepared to sacrifice everything in the fight against Fascist racist Nazi Germany.”

But then Redgrave proceeded into an impassioned political speech, replete with propagandistic statements: “You should be very proud that in the last few weeks you stood firm and you refused to be intimidated by the threats of a small bunch of Zionist hoodlums whose behavior is an insult to the stature of Jews all over the world and to their great and heroic record against fascism and oppression. I salute that record and I salute all of you for having stood firm and dealt the final blow against that period when Nixon and McCarthy launched a worldwide witch hunt against those who tried to express in their lives and their work the truths that they believed in.” And she concluded: “I salute you and I thank you, and I pledge to you that I'll continue to fight against anti-Semitism and Fascism.”