This year’s Oscars are over, but here’s a nasty-and totally un- founded- little tidbit about last year’s ceremonies. It centers on ’93’s Cinderella winner, Marisa Tomei, who won a Best Supporting Actress trophy for My Cousin Vinny. As the rumor goes, award presenter Jack Palance inadvertently read the name of the final nominee off the TelePrompTer, instead of the name in the envelope. And depending on who tells the story, the winner was either Judy Davis for Husbands and Wives or Vanessa Redgrave for Howards End.
Nonsense, says an Academy spokesman. ”It’s the policy of the Academy that should wrong information be given, a Price Waterhouse rep is empowered to go on stage and make the correction.”
Apparently, the target of the rumor is not the squeaky-clean accounting firm of Price Waterhouse, but the actress. Tomei has worked steadily since her win, but she seems to have made a few enemies along the way. ”There’s been a change in her,” notes a producer who’s worked with her pre- and post-Oscar. Others feel it’s just another example of Hollywood eating its young. ”She should hire an investigator to track down the source,” says a friend of Tomei’s. But the actress’ publicist, Gina Rugolo, believes the best way to handle the gossip is to take the high road. Says Rugolo, ”It’s not even worth commenting on.”