With the Golden Globes, Hollywood Throws its dress rehearsal for the Oscars

By Fred Bernstein
February 14, 1983 12:00 PM

Laurence Olivier has finally proved that the Golden Globes are not unalloyed. Picking up a lifetime achievement trophy at Hollywood’s biggest annual pre-Oscar celebrathon, Lord Larry accepted his award humbly, but not gently enough to keep the top from cracking off. An unglued organizer hastily fixed the statuette just in time for Olivier’s picture session.

Nearly 4,000 Motion Picture Academy members vote for Oscars, but the Globes are allocated by just 70 members of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, a motley group most of whose members are “illegal aliens,” in the sarcastic words of one observer. “No one should take these awards seriously,” says winner Tony Randall. “They’re a publicity gimmick. My show’s rating stinks, so we need all the help we can get. That’s the only reason I’m here.”

Even the event’s tarnished prizes and the $150-a-prime-rib tickets didn’t keep 200 celebs—and 1,000 other bigwigs—from the Beverly Hilton. Most of the stars, though, seemed unaware that CBS had dropped the awards show this year for uninspiring ratings.

But those who came to the show, which was taped for syndication, eked out their share of fun. Jack Lemmon, accompanying his wife, noted, “Every year I say to Felicia, ‘Do we have to do this?’ Then we usually end up the last ones to go home.”

When the awards were handed out, the first three victors—Lou Gossett, Alan Alda and Jessica Lange—were announced as “unable to attend.” But Joan Collins, Ben Kingsley and Olivier brightened the evening with acceptances, and the attendant celebs made stargazers forget they were at a second-rate fête. The party wowed everybody but the cameramen, who tripped over each other to capture all the action. Groused one wag: “There may be more stars here than in heaven, but this many stars is hell.”