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What Do Oscar Winners Say In Their Acceptance Speeches?

Oh my God! Wow! Thank you. I was so not expecting this! What would the Oscars be without acceptance speeches? Here's what actors say when they reach the stage to collect their golden statuette

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The frocks, the embarrassing moments, the lame jokes and those five magic words (that's "and the Oscar goes to" for the uninitiated). That's what the Oscars are all about right?

Well, actually that's just half the fun. What would the Oscars be without the acceptance speeches?

It could be an outburst of joy, as in the case of Cuba Gooding Junior

Or a few minutes of blubbering along like Gwyneth Paltrow

Or just weird and wonderful, like Roberto Benigni below, acceptance speeches are an integral part of the magic that makes the Oscars.

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A simple thank you goes a long way

Or in the case of Halle Berry, make that 32 simple thank yous. Over the last 30 years of best actor or actress in a leading role acceptance speeches, the first woman of African American descent to win the accolade uttered the most thank yous in her speech than any other victor, with a total of 32. Battling hard to contain the waterworks - and mostly failing - she thanked anyone and everyone, including her lawyers.

In second place in the gratitude charts, Charleze Theron, Susan Sarandon and Jamie Foxx with 15 thank yous apiece.

Are female actors more thankful than male ones?

It's not just Halle Berry though. In the last 30 Academy Awards, women say more thank yous than men when accepting their award, with a total of 225 at a rate of 7.5 thanks per speech. In contrast, male actors express their gratitude on average 5.7 times each speech when they take the floor.

The only winner in this category not to say thanks even once during the acceptance speech in the last 30 years was Tom Hanks, winning best actor in the 1993 film Philadelphia. He made up for it the following year however after winning another Oscar for Forrest Gump with 4 thank yous.

Academy vs God

It's official. The Academy gets more mentions than the Almighty. Over the last 30 years, leading actor and actress winners have namedropped God a total of 31 occasions, while the Academy has been mentioned 43 times.

2001 was the most religious year in leading actor acceptance speech recent history with winners Denzel Washington and Halle Berry calling upon the Lord a total of eight times between them.

A whole lot of love (and agents and Oprah)

So what other words come up frequently in Oscar acceptance speeches? Well love is a pretty popular one, at an average of 2.8 times per year since 1983. Agents sure do get a mention as well, as does Oprah Winfrey.

Not sure "commie homo-loving sons of guns" will pop up again any time soon though…

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Data from the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database

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