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Steven Spielberg thanks WWII families - Great Oscar Moments

January 30, 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 71st Academy Awards in 1999, Steven Spielberg won the Oscar for Best Director for his war drama "Saving Private Ryan," which he said was an "extraordinary moment" in his life.

The film is a recreation of World War II's D-day invasion, and what resulted immediately afterward. Tom Hanks starred in the film as Captain John Miller, who leads his squad on a mission to bring home Private James Ryan, who is played by Matt Damon.

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During his acceptance speech, the esteemed director thanked Hanks for his efforts, as well as those who lost loved ones during World War II.

"This is just fantastic," Spielberg said in his speech. "Let me just turn my eyes to Mr. Hanks, who from the very, very beginning said 'this is going to be something extraordinary.' We weren't really talking about the film, we were talking about the experience of making 'Saving Private Ryan.' He was right. It is one of the most extraordinary events of all of our lives, and the lives of all of our families - we were in it together."

"This has just been an amazing experience, and what I'd like to do is just thank very, very sincerely the families who lost sons in World War II," he added. "I want to thank?all the families who incurred these tremendous losses in this war. We tried to show a story of one such family, and it turned up that were many such families unfortunately."

Spielberg also honored his father and dedicated the award to him (Watch above).

Spielberg is also known for his many award-winning directorial debuts such as "Schindler's List," for which he won his first Oscar, as well as "A.I. Artificial Intelligence," "Catch Me If You Can," the "Indiana Jones" films and the 2012 Oscar-nominated film "War Horse." The 1982 film "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" earned him a Best Director nomination and also received a Best Picture nod. He and the film lost to Richard Attenborough and his movie, "Gandhi."

In late 2011, the director revealed "Jurassic Park 4" details at San Diego Comic-Con. Spielberg, who directed the first two films, would be overseeing as a producer and said that the film will hopefully will come together in the next two or three years.

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, beginning on February 11. Smith will also be covering live events and offering post-show analysis of Oscar night fashions for the site.

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 Crystal would return to host the 84th annual Academy Awards.

The awards ceremony will air live on Sunday, February 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.