Oscar Politics: Campaigns–Sally Kirkland, Aging Actress in Anna

Personal campaigns can be shameless as well. Most Oscar vets applaud the Academy’s ongoing efforts to ensure fairness in voting through an increasingly stringent body of regulations governing the conduct of campaigns. Among the biggest changes: Parties just are not what that used to be. Dale Olson, a four-decade publicist, and now DreamWorks’ Oscar consultant recalled: “I was known for my parties. “People like to come to my parties because I do my own cooking.”

Olson’s Hollywood Hills home was the site of many schmooze festivals involving Academy voters back in the days when such soirees were allowed.

Olson recalled particularly his 1987 bash for actress Sally Kirkland, who had starred that year in the small, widely unseen indie, Anna, in which she played an actress. Academy voters and press members were invited and Olson whipped up a batch of chicken cordon bleu. The press then wrote glowingly about Kirkland’s performance and she received a Best Actress nomination (the winner was Cher for Moonstruck). Olson makes sure to point out that it was not the chicken that won Kirkland the nomination, though a tiny film like Anna was not exactly getting loads of ink before his party.