QUEER VOICES
02/29/2016 01:52 pm ET

Here Are 10 Openly Gay People Who Won Oscars Before Sam Smith

Many members of the gay and lesbian community have enjoyed great success in the movie industry.

Sam Smith looked moved at the Oscars when he nabbed the Best Original Song award for his song, "Writing's on the Wall," from the James Bond film, "Spectre." It was an upset over Lady Gaga, who had been considered a shoo-in for her song, "Til It Happens To You."  

In the acceptance speech that followed, however, the singer-songwriter misquoted an interview with Sir Ian McKellen, and implied that he was the first openly gay man to win an Academy Award. 

"I read an article a few months ago by Sir Ian McKellen and he said that no openly gay man had ever won an Oscar,” he said. “If this is the case — even if it isn't the case — I want to dedicate this to the LGBT community all around the world."

Unfortunately for Smith, McKellen had been referencing the fact that no openly gay man had won the Oscar for Best Actor, specifically. Needless to say, the star was quickly called out for his blunder on Twitter. Fellow Oscar winner Dustin Lance Black was among the most outspoken critics, and tweeted: 

Others were similarly riled by Smith's gaffe: 

Of course, the gay and lesbian community has long been successful in Hollywood. To help Smith get started on his research, we've created a list of 9 openly gay men -- and women -- who've won Academy Awards over the years. (Not included are those like Joel Grey and Jodie Foster, who came out after they won their respective Oscars). 

Take a look: 

  • John Gielgud, 1982
    Gielgud, pictured with co-stars Dudley Moore (left) and Liza Minnelli (right), won the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch
    Getty Images
    Gielgud, pictured with co-stars Dudley Moore (left) and Liza Minnelli (right), won the Best Supporting Actor award in 1982 for "Arthur." He is generally considered the first openly gay actor to win an Oscar, though he rarely discussed it openly. 
  • Howard Ashman, 1990, 1992
    The&nbsp;lyricist (not pictured) received the Best Original Song honor twice: in 1990 for "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/w
    Anne Cusack via Getty Images
    The lyricist (not pictured) received the Best Original Song honor twice: in 1990 for "Under the Sea" from Disney's "The Little Mermaid," and posthumously in 1992 for "Beauty and the Beast" from the smash film of the same title, with composer Alan Menken. He died in 1991 of AIDS-related causes.
  • Stephen Sondheim, 1991
    The legendary composer, who was known as <a href="http://www.eonline.com/news/36447/sondheim-opens-up-on-being-gay" target="_
    Fred Prouser / Reuters
    The legendary composer, who was known as openly gay in theater circles, nabbed a Best Original Song award for "Sooner or Later," performed by Madonna in "Dick Tracy."
  • Elton John, 1995
    In 1995, John (left) won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F-EsrOB1yNg" target="_
    DAN GROSHONG via Getty Images
    In 1995, John (left) won an Oscar for Best Original Song for "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" from Disney's "The Lion King," with lyricist Tim Rice.
  • Bill Condon, 1999
    Condon won a <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VbYmUl16d7E" target="_blank">Best Original Screenplay</a> award for "Go
    HECTOR MATA via Getty Images
    Condon won a Best Original Screenplay award for "Gods & Monsters." 
  • Alan Ball, 2000
    Ball, who has been called a "<a href="http://voices.outtakeonline.com/2008/08/alan-balls-lgbt-vision-audio-interview.html" ta
    Ron Galella, Ltd. via Getty Images
    Ball, who has been called a "strong voice for the LGBT community," won for Best Original Screenplay for "American Beauty."
  • John Corigliano, 2000
    Corigliano won&nbsp;the Academy Award for Best Original Score for &ldquo;<a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAQZbt4GZ18
    Reuters Photographer / Reuters
    Corigliano won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for “The Red Violin." He dedicated his "Symphony No. 1," which he wrote in 1988, to friends he'd lost in the AIDS crisis.
  • Pedro Almodóvar, 2000, 2003
    The <a href="http://www.theguardian.com/film/2013/apr/28/almodovar-my-gayest-film-ever" target="_blank">out</a>&nbsp;Spanish
    Michael N. Todaro via Getty Images
    The out Spanish filmmaker won Best Foreign Language Film in 2000 for "All About My Mother," and for Best Original Screenplay for "Talk to Her" in 2003.
  • Dustin Lance Black, 2009
    Black won the Oscar for <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfPXcCroPJc" target="_blank">Best Original Screenplay</a> fo
    Gary Hershorn / Reuters
    Black won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for "Milk" in 2009. He wore a "White Knot" on the lapel of his tuxedo in an effort to show solidarity with the marriage equality movement.
  • Melissa Etheridge, 2007
    In 2007, Etheridge <a href="http://oscar.go.com/video/oscar-music-moments/musical-moments-melissa-etheridge" target="_blank">
    Frank Trapper via Getty Images
    In 2007, Etheridge won the Academy Award for Best Original Song for "I Need To Wake Up," from "An Inconvenient Truth." The title of her award-winning 1993 album, "Yes I Am," is considered a nod to her coming out.
  • Marvin Hameyson poses with canorous girls from his new musical smile about beauty contests. The other Gentlemen with Heimlich
    New York Post Archives via Getty Images
    Marvin Hameyson poses with canorous girls from his new musical smile about beauty contests. The other Gentlemen with Heimlich with pain director Lyricist Howard Ashman. September 09, 1986. (Photo by Michael Norcia/New York Post Archives / (c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty Images)

 

 

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