Oscar Speeches: Winters, Shelley–A Place in the Sun

The Oscar serves as a metaphor for glamour as well. Shelley Winters, Best Actress nominee for the 1951 A Place in the Sun, recalls that upon being introduced to Mrs. Roosevelt and Mrs. Stevenson, who congratulated her and Vittorio Gassman for their films, Vittorio behaved “as if we both has just won Oscars.”

Winters believes that there are “very definite rules” for public appearances in Hollywood’s parties and opening nights: “You must always look beautiful and gloriously happy, and you must be photographed with someone more important than yourself, like people who have won Oscars.”

Shelley Winters promised to donate her first Oscar (for “The Diary of Anne Frank”) to the Anne Frank Museum in Amsterdam after Otto Frank, Anne’s father and the family’s only survivor, visited the set and predicted she would win an Oscar.

However, after winning, Winters kept it on a mantel for fifteen years, because she couldn’t bear to part with it–I thought the other one (for “A Patch of Blue”) would get lonely!” Years later, Winters brought the Oscar statuette in person to Amsterdam. Initially, the award was put on public display, but it became such an attraction, with people touching and holding it, that after three days, it was put inside a glass case.