Best Picture: Chicago
Chicago also won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actress (Catherine Zeta-Jones), Art Direction-Set Decoration (John Myhre and Gordon Sim), Costume Design (Colleen Atwood), Film Editing (Martin Walsh), and Sound (Michael Minkler, Dominick Tavella, and David Lee).
Five days before the Awards ceremony, the U.S. officially declared war on Iraq. Initially, Academy officials considered postponing the ceremony; the final decision was to proceed as scheduled, but without the usual red carpet fanfare.
Gangs of New York, directed by Martin Scorsese, was nominated for 10 awards but did not win any.
Meryl Streep received her 13th Oscar nomination, this time in the Best Supporting Actress category for Adaptation. She became the most-nominated performer in Oscar history, topping Katharine Hepburn’s 12 nominations.
Jack Nicholson, nominated as Best Actor for About Schmidt, tied Hepburn’s 12 nominations, becoming the most-nominated male performer to date.
Julianne Moore, nominated both for Best Actress (Far from Heaven) and Best Supporting Actress (The Hours), became the ninth member of the exclusive club of performers to be nominated in two acting categories in the same year.
Steve Martin was the host.
In celebration of the 75th Academy Awards, two-time Oscar winner Olivia de Havilland introduced an assembly of 59 other former acting winners.
When Adrien Brody won the Best Actor award for The Pianist, he surprised presenter Halle Berry, and the audience, with a passionate kiss before giving a four-minute speech that included a heartfelt plea for peace.
On October 25, 2002, Irish-born actor Richard Harris, who received two Academy Award nominations for Best Actor (This Sporting Life and The Field) died in London at the age of 72.
In November 2002, Die Another Day, which marked Pierce Brosnan’s last appearance as James Bond, opened in theaters around the world almost exactly 40 years after the first Bond movie, Dr. No, was released in Great Britain in October 1962.
To Peter O’Toole, whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters.