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Vanessa Redgrave delivers a controversial speech - Great Oscar Moments

February 22, 2012 12:00:00 AM PST
Throughout this Oscar season, we are looking back at some of the great moments in Academy Awards history. At the 50th Academy Awards in 1978, Vanessa Redgrave delivered a controversial speech when accepting the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Julia" as an anti-Nazi activist.

The Jewish Defense League objected to her nomination and picketed the Oscar ceremony because Redgrave had narrated and helped fund a documentary entitled "The Palestinian," which supported a Palestinian state.

Check out Oscar.com and make your picks on who you think will win at this year's Academy Awards

In her speech, Redgrave said, "My dear colleagues, I thank you very much for this tribute to my work. I think that Jane Fonda and I have done the best work of our lives, and I think this is in part due to our director, Fred Zinnemann."

"And I also think it's in part because we believed and we believe in what we were expressing - two out of millions who gave their lives and were prepared to sacrifice everything in the fight against fascist and racist Nazi Germany," Redgrave continued.

She later added, "And I salute you, and I pay tribute to you, and I think you should be very proud that in the last few weeks you've stood firm, and you have 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 their great and heroic record of struggle against fascism and oppression."

"And I salute that record and I salute all of you for having stood firm and dealt a 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 truth that they believe in," she said. "I salute you and I thank you and I pledge to you that I will continue to fight against anti-Semitism and fascism."

Redgrave was later honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the organization behind the Oscars, in November 2011, for her work as an actress and activist.

Check out this and other moments in Oscar history on the interactive timeline available on the official Oscar.com website.

Oscar.com also hosts the official Oscar blog, which will feature red carpet fashion trends and tips from chef and lifestyle experts for hosting the best Oscar party.

Leading up to the ceremony, "On The Red Carpet" co-host Rachel Smith will be doing interviews with hair and fashion stylists and makeup artists for the "Best Dressed" video series featured on Oscar.com.

The site also has a social media page, Oscar Buzz, which tracks comments from fans using #Oscars and #OscarBuzz.

It was announced in November, that Billy Crystal would return to host the 84th annual Academy Awards.

The awards ceremony will air live on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012 on ABC7. Coverage begins at noon PT.

OnTheRedCarpet.com will have complete coverage of the Oscar season, including an exclusive interactive live stream show LIVE from the red carpet. Follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Twitter and "Like" On The Red Carpet on Facebook, and download our FREE entertainment news app for the iPhone and iPad.

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