Hey, isn't it supposed to be the other way around? Win an Oscar, then get drunk? Ah, well, here's a toast to Jeff Bridges' pending victory for playing a stumbling, jelly-belly drunk in "Crazy Heart."
Getting soused or high on screen is an almost surefire way to win an Academy Award in a town where that pastime is a major sport off screen. Consider these notable, boozy wins: Nicolas Cage ("Leaving Las Vegas"), Elizabeth Taylor ("Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"), Ray Milland ("Lost Weekend"), Gig Young ("They Shoot Horses, Don't They?") James Dunn ("A Tree Grows in Brooklyn"), Claire Trevor ("Key Largo"), Maggie Smith ("California Suite").
Alcohol was brewing behind some of the biggest upsets in the acting contests: Lee Marvin ("Cat Ballou"), Humphrey Bogart ("African Queen") and James Coburn ("Affliction"). When Katharine Hepburn pulled off a shocking victory to claim her first Academy Award, it was largely attributed to her drunk scene in "Morning Glory."
Huh. Makes you wonder how Mickey Rourke ("The Wrestler") and Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick ("Days of Wine and Roses") lost, doesn't it?
Photo: Nicolas Cage in "Leaving Las Vegas" (United Artists)