Above are two of Katherine Hepburn’s no-shows for her Oscar wins (there were four). The first is for ‘Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner’–the award is accepted by her long-time director, pal and landlord George Cukor. It’s not nearly as interesting an event as the second clip, though. In this one, Kate actually ties for best actress with Barbara Streisand (Kate for ‘The Lion In Winter’, Babs for ‘Funny Girl’). Imagine if Kate had been present? The idea of the two Diva’s sharing the stage–the unbearable friction, the awkward moment where the decision is made as to who goes first and, more importantly, who gets the last word–would have made for a truly delightful moment of Oscar discomfort, probably only to be superseded by the “Best Picture is ‘La-La Land’–er, no it’s not, it’s ‘Moonlight'” moment last year. As it is, though, we do have a nice moment of Babs tripping and almost going on her ass on the way up the stairs due to the flouncy cuffs of her absurd spangled pantsuit. Anthony Harvey, the director of “The Lion In Winter’ bails her out and graciously accepts Hepburn’s award first. Streisand’s acceptance speech is interminable and embarrassing and no doubt was a big factor in the Academy developing the ‘get off the stage’ music which they use to great effect–and not often enough IMHO. Hepburn’s nonappearance actually has the peculiar reverse effect of dampening Streisand’s win–the cool of Hepburn’s absence being superior and more knowing then the high school eagerness in Streisand’s over-dramatic acceptance speech. And the whole time you keep thinking: you didn’t even win. You tied.


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