20 years ago this week...
When Suzanne Somers shimmied through a rendition of ”There’s No Business Like Show Business” on the Golden Globes telecast on Jan. 20, 1990, she underscored the obvious: In what other business — and at what other awards show — could one find Audrey Hepburn (accepting a lifetime achievement honor) rubbing elbows with a dorky 16-year-old kid named Neil Patrick Harris (there to plug Doogie Howser, M.D.)? Too bad Robert Duvall missed the entire thing. The legendary thespian snagged the trophy for Best Actor in a TV Miniseries or Motion Picture for playing lovesick cattle rancher Gus McCrae in the epic Western miniseries Lonesome Dove (which also won Best Miniseries), but skipped the ceremony. Still, he considers the role his most important ever, which is saying something coming from a six-time Oscar nominee (and winner for 1983’s Tender Mercies). ”It’s my signature part,” says the 79-year-old actor. ”Let the English play Hamlet and King Lear. I’ll play Augustus McCrae.”
Other big TV winners at the event included Ted Danson (for Cheers), Jamie Lee Curtis (Anything But Love), Ken Wahl (Wiseguy), Angela Lansbury (Murder, She Wrote), Murphy Brown (Best Comedy Series), and the Vietnam-set medical drama China Beach (Best Drama Series), which gave a then-33-year-old Dana Delany her first lead role. ”It was one of those jobs where I would drive to work in the morning and think, ‘I don’t know if I can pull this off,”’ recalls the Desperate Housewives actress. ”That’s such a great feeling as an actor, to have that challenge every day.”
On the movie side, Best Comedy champ Driving Miss Daisy earned acting trophies for stars Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy, while Tom Cruise took home the prize for his role in the night’s Best Drama, Born on the Fourth of July. The winner’s circle also boasted future A-listers Michelle Pfeiffer (The Fabulous Baker Boys), Denzel Washington (Glory), and Julia Roberts (Steel Magnolias). But the event’s biggest surprise had to be Vegas icon Wayne Newton crooning ”America” to a bewildered audience. Somers was right: It really is like no business we know. (Additional reporting by Tanner Stransky)