A beautiful year
My 1999 film AMERICAN BEAUTY, directed by Sam Mendes, garnered a whole host of awards, most notably five Academy Awards, including one for me for Best Actor, as well as one for Best Picture. For the same role I also received a Screen Actors Guild Award and a BAFTA Film Award.
We took AMERICAN BEAUTY to the Toronto International Film Festival, but I also attended the festival to promote THE BIG KAHUNA. This is a smaller independent film which I both co-starred in, opposite Danny DeVito, as well as produced.
At the Awards ceremony, I dedicated the Oscar I received, for playing Lester Burnham in AMERICAN BEAUTY, to my good friend and mentor, Jack Lemmon. By winning a second Academy Award (my first being for my supporting role in THE USUAL SUSPECTS), I became one of only six male actors to have won the Oscar in both the leading and supporting categories. The others are: Robert DeNiro, Jack Nicholson, Gene Hackman, Denzel Washington and Jack Lemmon himself.
On October 5 1999, just four days after AMERICAN BEAUTY opened in theaters, I was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Among those who attended and spoke at the ceremony were: Jack Lemmon, Edward Norton, Ted Demme, and my proud mother, Kathleen.
I consider myself a very lucky man, this year being a good example, and count my blessings every day thinking of the inspirational people in my life who have helped me get to where I am.