The most memorable moments in Golden Globes history

Getty Images

The Golden Globes is the most famously fun ceremony of awards season. So it’s no surprise that the event has had some truly memorable moments over the years. From the first time celebrities stormed the stage to some strange acceptance speeches, here’s a look at the most unforgettable incidents to happen during the ceremony.

MORE: Lily Gladstone makes history with Golden Globes best actress win

The Rat Pack Storms The Stage

When the Golden Globes Awards were first bestowed in 1944, the ceremony was not the fun, humor-filled production it is today. Then the Rat Pack got involved. In 1958, Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr. (seen at a performance below) stormed the stage along with Dean Martin, livening up the whole event with their bawdy antics. They were invited back as hosts the next year, kicking off a long tradition of funny, no-filter MCs.

Getty Images

Oliver Stone Gets Escorted Out

Oliver Stone won the award for Best Screenwriting for “Midnight Express” in 1979. But his acceptance speech quickly went off the rails. As the director and writer started ranting about the United State’s drug policy, the crowd began loudly booing. Though host Chevy Chase asked him to leave the stage, security eventually had to escort him out.

Getty Images

Bette Midler Makes A Dirty Joke

Bette Midler took home two Golden Globes at the 1980 ceremony, one for Best Actress and the other for Best New Female Star. After her win, Midler dropped the obvious joke about her “globes.”

“I’m reminded of when Joan Crawford actually won her Golden Globe and she said…’I’ll show you a pair of Golden Globes,'” Midler joked while pretending to grope herself.

Getty Images

Pia Zadora Gets a Shocking Win

Many were shocked when Pia Zadora beat out fellow nominees, such as Kathleen Turner and Elizabeth McGovern, to win Best New Female Star of the Year in 1982. The actress, then 28, was largely unknown at the time, and the film she got nominated for, “Butterfly,” was critically derided. According to The Hollywood Reporter, it was widely believed that the award had been bought by Zadora’s then-husband, billionaire Meshulam Riklis. The category was discontinued the following year.

Getty Images

Christine Lahti Almost Misses Her Big Moment

Christine Lahti became one of the lucky winners at the 1998 ceremony — except she almost missed her chance to accept her award. The actress was in the bathroom when the presenter announced her as the winner of Best Actress in a TV Drama. She had to run onstage to get her trophy.

Getty Images

Ving Rhames Gives His Award Away

What do you do with your Golden Globe after you win? Well, in Ving Rhames’ case, you give it away. In 1998, the actor won Best Actor for “Don King: Only In America.” During his speech, he invited fellow nominee Jack Lemmon on stage and gave him his award.

Getty Images

Angelina Jolie Jumps In A Pool After The Ceremony

Back in her wilder years, Angelina Jolie knew how to make to make a splash — literally. In 1999, Jolie said she would jump in the pool at the Beverly Hilton hotel if she took home the award for her turn in “Gia.” When she won, she stayed true to her promise, jumping in after the ceremony. The whole thing was caught on tape by “Access Hollywood,” and Jolie even dragged the show’s correspondent in the pool with her.

Getty Images

Elizabeth Taylor Almost Gives Away The Winner Too Soon

In 2001, Elizabeth Taylor had the job of presenting the award for Best Drama. But it seems she may have imbibed a bit too much before taking to the stage. She almost forgot to announce the nominees before opening the envelope with the winner. The show’s producer, Dick Clark, came to her side to help her, but she could still barely get out the title of the winning film, “Gladiator.”

Getty Images

Renee Zellweger Takes a Badly Timed Bathroom Break

Renee Zellweger also almost missed out on accepting her 2001 Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy award for “Nurse Betty.” Like Lahti, she was also in the bathroom during the announcement of the winner. When she finally made it on stage, she couldn’t conceal her shock at her victory.

Getty Images

Jack Nicholson Admits He Took A Valium

In 2003, Jack Nicholson took home a Golden Globe for his performance in “About Schmidt” — but his win didn’t go entirely smoothly. While giving his acceptance speech, the actor seemed a little out of sorts. Finally, Nicholson admitted he had taken a Valium right before the show. Well, at least he’s honest.

Getty Images

Sharon Stone Keeps Interrupting Richard Gere

Award presenters are usually quick to step to the side of the stage after announcing the winner and handing over the trophy. But apparently, Sharon Stone didn’t get the memo. When Richard Gere won for “Chicago” in 2003, Stone kept interrupting his acceptance speech with random comments. Meanwhile, Gere barely acknowledged her presence. Awkward!

Getty Images

Lara Flynn Boyle Wears the Infamous Tutu Dress

In case you haven’t caught on yet, 2003 was a crazy year at the Globes. In addition to Gere and Stone’s uncomfortable moment on stage and Nicholson’s rambling speech, it was also the year that Lara Flynn Boyle wore this infamous outfit on the red carpet. The tutu dress has since gone down in Hollywood history as one of the most memorable award show looks of all time.

Getty Images

Sacha Baron Cohen Goes Full Borat During His Acceptance Speech

When the actor won a Golden Globe for his infamous mockumentary “Borat” in 2007, he gave a speech that was just as strange and unfiltered as his character. He described seeing “some dark parts of America,” going on to explain, “I refer of course to the anus and testicles of my co-star Ken Davitian.” He also pulled a Bette Midler and compared the actor’s privates to “two wrinkled Golden Globes.”

Getty Images

The Golden Globes Didn’t Happen In 2008

Nothing controversial occurred at the awards show in 2008 — because it didn’t happen! The show was canceled due to a strike among the Writer’s Guild of America. Instead of holding the traditional ceremony, the winners were announced in a bland news conference.

golden globes 2008 photo
Getty Images | Toby Canham

Hugh Laurie Draws Names To Decide Who To Thank

When “House” star Hugh Laurie won for Best Actor in a TV Drama in 2006, he had a unique method for keeping his speech short and sweet. The actor confessed he had way too many people to thank (172 — yes, he counted), so he wrote every name on a small piece of paper and drew three from his pocket while on stage. So who made the cut? He ended up recognizing his agent, his script supervisor and his hairstylist.

Getty Images

Ricky Gervais Offends Everybody

After earning praise from audiences for his hosting in 2010, Gervais returned in 2011 — and went way too far. Whether it was a genuine attempt to be funny or he was overly confident from the previous year’s stint, the comedian used his opening monologue to aim a barrage of insults at just about everybody, including Bruce Willis, Charlie Sheen, Robert Downey Jr., and the whole cast of “Sex and the City.”

As Downey Jr., said of the ceremony that year, “Aside from the fact that it’s been hugely mean-spirited, with mildly sinister undertones, I’d say the vibe of the show is pretty good so far, wouldn’t you?”

Getty Images

Meryl Streep Forgets Her Glasses

Even Meryl Streep messes up from time to time. When she went on stage to accept her statue for “The Iron Lady” in 2012, the actress forgot to bring her glasses. When she realized her goof, she cursed on stage and had to be bleeped. Oops!

Getty Images

Rob Lowe And Julianne Moore Experience A Teleprompter Fail

Rob Lowe and Julianne Moore were presenting at the 2012 ceremony when things suddenly went awry. The pair experienced a teleprompter glitch and couldn’t get things back on track.

“This is why we love this evening!” Lowe joked on stage.

Finally, a stagehand had to help the two with their lines. 

Getty Images

Jodie Foster Acknowledges Her Sexuality During Speech

After years of staying private about her personal life, Jodie Foster discussed her sexuality while accepting a lifetime achievement award at the 2013 ceremony.

“This won’t be a big coming out speech tonight because I already did my coming out about a thousand years ago back in the stone age,” she said, also thanking her ex, Cydney Bernard, who she called “my heroic co-part, my ex-partner in love.”

Though the speech drew mixed reactions from activists, Foster’s speech lives on as one of the most unforgettable moments in Golden Globes history.

Getty Images

Emma Thompson Goes On Stage Barefoot

In 2014, Emma Thompson walked on stage with her shoes in hand, claiming the red on the sole was actually her blood. In her other hand, she held a martini glass — which, as you can imagine, proved to be a problem when she had to open the envelope. To remedy the situation, Thompson threw the heels over her shoulder and handed her glass off, causing the audience to burst into laughter.

Getty Images

Tina Fey And Amy Poehler Take On Everyone

During their three-year tenure as Golden Globe hosts, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler lobbed hilariously savage jokes at many of their famous peers. But their roasting of George Clooney is perhaps their best. In 2015, Fey dropped this (all-too-accurate) jibe:

“George Clooney married Amal Alamuddin this year. Amal is a human rights lawyer who worked on the Enron case, was an adviser to Kofi Annan regarding Syria and was selected to a three-person U.N. commission investigating rules of war violations in the Gaza Strip. So tonight, her husband is getting a lifetime achievement award.” 

Getty Images

Jeremy Renner’s Joke Doesn’t Go Over Well

When presenting with Jennifer Lopez in 2015, Jeremy Renner dropped a cringe-worthy joke about her cleavage-baring dress. He asked Lopez to open the envelope. When she noted that she had the nails for it, he replied, “You’ve got the globes, too.” Lopez took the joke in stride, but viewers at home were quick to call it inappropriate. 

Getty Images

Chrissy Teigen Becomes A Meme

You’ve probably used a GIF of Chrissy Teigen’s crying face on Twitter or in response to a friend’s text. Well, the now-famous meme all started at the 2015 Golden Globes. Teigen had this reaction to her husband John Legend’s win (alongside Common) for Best Original Song. And just like that, Teigen cemented her reputation as an internet sensation.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Reaction Goes Viral

In 2016, Lady Gaga took home the Best Actress in a Miniseries award. But the most talked-about moment of her win happened during her walk to the stage. As she passed by, she bumped into Leonardo DiCaprio, prompting him to make a face. Cameras caught the awkward interaction, which immediately went viral.

“That’s trending, huh?” the actor later told Entertainment Tonight of the moment. “I just didn’t know what was passing me. I was like, ‘Oh!'”

Ryan Reynolds And Andrew Garfield Share A Kiss

Ryan Reynolds and Andrew Garfield both lost out in the 2017 Best Actor category to Ryan Gosling. As Gosling made his way to the stage, cameras caught Reynolds and Garfield jokingly sharing a kiss.

Garfield later explained the moment to Graham Norton, saying, “I said to Ryan Reynolds, ‘If you win, kiss me instead of your wife.’ He said, ‘Yeah, that’s great.’ And the plan was that he would kind of move towards his wife, and then kind of last minute lean into it. And then he didn’t win, much to our disappointment, so I said to Ryan, ‘We can still just do it if we want.’ And he was game.”

Celebrities, Entertainment, Fashion & Style

Related posts

James Marsden arrives at the 81st Golden Globe Awards on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2024, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
James Marsden's mom sent him the sweetest text about the Golden Globes
Lily Gladstone poses in with her Golden Globe statue
Lily Gladstone makes history with Golden Globes best actress win
Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep's 2024 Golden Globe nomination breaks her own record
Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift’s ‘Eras Tour’ film has been nominated for a Golden Globe

About the Author
Michelle Regalado

From our partners