The 49th Academy Awards were presented March 28, 1977, at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, Los Angeles. The ceremonies were presided over by Richard Pryor, Jane Fonda, Ellen Burstyn, and Warren Beatty.
This Academy Awards ceremony is notable for Peter Finch becoming the first posthumous winner of an Oscar for acting, a feat matched only by Heath Ledger 32 years later. Beatrice Straight set another record by becoming the actor with shortest performance ever in a film to win an acting Oscar, with only five minutes and forty seconds of screentime in Network. Network, along with All the President's Men, were the two biggest champs of the ceremony with four Oscars each; however, John G. Avildsen won Best Director, presaging Rocky's eventual Best Picture victory.
Piper Laurie was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Carrie (1976), her first acting role since her Best Actress-nominated performance in The Hustler (1961), thus being nominated for two consecutive roles, 15 years apart.
As of the 88th Academy Awards, Network remains the last film to receive five acting nominations, and the last to win three acting Oscars. It was also the third and, to date, last film (after Mutiny on the Bounty and From Here to Eternity) to receive three nominations in lead acting categories. It was the eleventh of fifteen films (to date) to receive nominations in all four acting categories.
This year's Academy Awards is also notable for the first ever female nominee for Best Director, Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties. To date, three further female directors have been nominated: Jane Campion for The Piano in 1993, Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation in 2003, and Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2009 (the first to win the award). Barbra Streisand received her second Academy Award, composing music for the love theme "Evergreen", the first woman to be honored as a composer.
No honorary awards were given this year.