Oscars Flashback '97: Cuba's Euphoric Response

By ROBERT PACE

February 18, 2013

There have been mixed responses to awards over the years. From blasé to enthusiastic, no reaction to an award is more genuine than Cuba Gooding Jr.'s reaction to his first Oscar in 1997.

Gooding's role as football player "Rod Tidwell" in the oft-quoted romantic comedy Jerry Maguire proved to be his breakout role.

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After receiving a SAG Award and a Golden Globes nomination, Gooding attended the 1997 Academy Awards with a nomination for Best Supporting Actor. The overwhelming critical response to the role was a new experience for the then-29-year-old actor, and receiving his first Oscar was a heart-pounding thrill.

"Is this live?" Gooding says dazedly upon greeting ET 's former co-host Mary Hart backstage. He then goes on to name all the people that he didn't get to mention before the music cut him off in his acceptance speech.

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Although he was only given thirty seconds to speak freely until the music interrupted his speech, Gooding continued on for nearly another minute and created a very memorable speech that riled the crowd into a standing ovation.

Gooding made the most of his award, which proved to be well worth it. Since that year, he has yet to receive another award, receiving solely two SAG Awards nominations.

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