Sons and Mothers: What is it about Best Actor Winners and Tributes to their Mothers?

Long before 12 Years A Slave director Steve McQueen celebrated the women in his life during his Best Picture acceptance speech at this year’s Oscars, the trend of actors celebrating women in acceptance speeches- particularly mothers- has always been in vogue, writes Philip Cummins

Sons and Mothers: Jared Leto, Leo Di Caprio and Bradley Cooper all poses with their respective mothers at this year's Oscars

Sons and Mothers: Jared Leto, Leo Di Caprio and Bradley Cooper all pose with their respective mothers at this year’s Oscars

OVER THE DECADE, it became parodic for American pop stars- Britney Spears- esque pop tarts, and the like- to accept worthless awards, such as the MTV VMA’s, and to gush endlessly about their indebtedness to God. Not only was it toe- curling, ham- fisted, American- style cheese of the highest order, it was also a sign of how inarticulate the current crop were at acceptance speeches, dedicated, largely, to an inanimate being.

Fast forward some years later and, while the trend of thanking God hasn’t quite let up just yet, the trend of American actors thanking their mothers is quite astounding, bringing to mind Sally Field’s hilarious quote from last year’s Oscars about Tom Hanks; asked about what it was like to work with an intense method actor such as the incomparable Daniel Day Lewis, the maverick actress joked “I’ve worked with method actors before: Tom Hanks still calls me ‘Mama’!”.

Here are five actors who publicly announced just how important and inspirational their mothers were to their success.

Kevin Spacey – Best Actor for American Beauty

Philip Seymour Hoffman – Best Actor for Capote

Clint Eastwood– Best Director for Million Dollar Baby

Anthony Hopkins– Best Actor for Silence of the Lambs

Jared Leto– Best Supporting Actor for Dallas Buyers Club

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