Oscars 2023: 5 memorable moments from the 95th Academy Awards

Five memorable moments from the 2023 Oscars, including Michelle Yeoh's historic win (Image via Frederic J. Brown, Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

The 2023 Oscars ceremony was a relatively straightforward and genial event. This was filled with emotional acceptance speeches, some record-breaking instances, and Brendan Fraser's substantial comeback to the industry, topped off with Jimmy Kimmel's tedious attempt to address last year's Will Smith vs Chris Rock encounter. And, of course, the moment when Cocaine Bear took over the stage.

On the downside, there were also a few snubs that furthered the long list of Oscar upsets caused by celebrities. This year's loss was that of Angela Bassett, who fans believe "refused" to clap or stand after losing to Jamie Lee Curtis for her Everything Everywhere All at Once victory.

All in all, the 95th Academy Awards, which happened on the night of March 12, 2023, was a complete success, and here are a few Oscar moments that will surely go down in the event's history.

From Michelle Yeoh's historic win and Jimmy Kimmel addressing the slap, these are a few of the memorable moments from Oscars 2023

1) Michelle Yeoh created history after bagging the Best Actor Female Oscar


Michelle Yeoh made history as the first Asian woman to win the Academy Award for best actress, adding to the four decades of pioneering and exceptional accomplishments by female artists.

Yeoh, a Malaysian actress, was listed as number one on the Hollywood call sheet for the first time. This is due to her Oscar-winning portrayal of Evelyn Wang, a struggling laundromat owner with a life filled with failure who soon comes across a unique twist and realizes her ability to travel in the multiverse, in Deniels' blockbuster film Everything Everywhere All at Once.

The 64-year-old actress has also become the second woman of color to have won an award in the aforementioned category, coming second to Halle Berry, who made Oscar history over two decades ago in 2002 after bagging the Oscar for Best Actress for her role as Leticia Musgrove in Monster's Ball. Ironically, a teary-eyed Berry was the one to present Yeoh with the trophy.

2) Jimmy Kimmel addresses the controversial Will Smith slap from last year

Late-night talk show host Jimmy Kimmel, who returned this year to make his third appearance as a host on the 95th Academy Awards, did not fail to address the elephant in the room - the infamous Will Smith vs Chris Rock slap. This was a major point of controversy and discussion last year, with the former getting banned from the event for 10 years.

Kimmel spoke extensively about Smith slapping presenter Rock during the Oscars ceremony last year. He started with the quips first thing in his monolog while recognizing the Irish performers who were attending. He reportedly joked:

"Five Irish actors are nominated tonight, which means the odds of another fight on stage went way up."

He further mentioned that Will Smith was granted the chance to receive his award for Best Actor despite the incident, saying:

"We want you to have fun, we want you to feel safe, and most importantly, we want me to feel safe."

3) Lady Gaga gives an empowering without-makeup performance


Lady Gaga wowed the audience with a stripped-down performance of her Oscar-nominated song Hold My Hand from Top Gun Maverick. She made a spectacular entry to the Champagne Carpet before taking off her makeup and the stunning sheer long sleeve black fresh-off-the-runway Versace gown. For her performance, she was dressed in a plain t-shirt and jeans.

Gaga showed up on stage at the Dolby Theatre and sat on a chair, gripping the microphone tightly as she sang the song from Top Gun: Maverick, despite the Film Academy's initial announcement that she wouldn't perform at the 2023 Oscars. At the conclusion of the performance, a picture of the late director Tony Scott and Tom Cruise was displayed along with the inscription:

"In memory of Tony Scott."

4) Cocaine Bear made an on-stage appearance side-by-side with Elizabeth Banks to present

Cocaine Bear made an unexpected appearance as a presenter alongside Elizabeth Banks as she handed Avatar: The Way of Water the Oscar for best visual effects. The Cocaine Bear director then praised the efforts of the visual effects team, claiming that the bear in her movie wouldn't have looked like her co-presenter if it wasn't for them. Banks was seen laughing as the intriguing character in the outfit stomped and pounded the air.

5) John Travolta got emotional while remembering his long-time friend and Grease co-star Olivia Newton-John

Pulp Fiction actor John Travolta got emotional while introducing the In Memoriam segment and paying homage to his long-time friend and Grease co-star, Olivia Newton-John. The memoriam also included a magnificent performance by Lenny Kravitz. Newton-John battled breast cancer for 30 years before passing away on August 8, 2022.

Travolta, during a brief homage to the late actress, broke down into tears, quoting Newton-John's iconic song Hopelessly Devoted to You from their 1978 film and saying:

"They’ve touched our hearts. They’ve made us smile and become dear friends who we will always remain hopelessly devoted to."

After Travolta's moving message, Lenny Kravitz sang Calling All Angels while a montage of recently deceased Hollywood giants in black-and-white appeared on the stage screen.

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