1970: Veteran actor GEORGE C. SCOTT is Oscar-nominated for his terrific performance as General George Patton in the World War II epic Patton.
But! Calling the Oscars "a two-hour meat parade," Scott announces that he will avoid the awards ceremony altogether. On the big night, presenter Goldie Hawn rips open the best actor envelope and squeals, "Oh my God! The winner is George C. Scott!" True to his word, Scott is not there -- he's home at his farm in New York, watching a hockey game on TV.
He's the first actor ever to refuse an Oscar.
Patton's producer, Frank McCarthy, accepts the statue on George C. Scott's behalf, and keeps his speech short and sweet: "In voting this award, I think that the Academy has distinguished itself. I think it has done itself a great deal of good, and shown what a good organization it is, by recognizing and honoring so generously a fine performance by a great actor."