One of the longest-standing rumors in the history of the Academy Awards is the ugly suggestion that Marisa Tomei couldn't possibly have won her 1993 Best Supporting Actress Oscar over the field of veteran, and supposedly more deserving, nominees. The claim is that she only won because presenter Jack Palance couldn't read the name on the envelope, so he "arbitrarily called out Tomei's name instead of the actual winner."
According to Gawker, the rumor can be traced back to a 1994 Hollywood Reporter article that purported the rumor was "making the rounds in Manhattan" thanks to Palance's son-in-law spreading it around. Other outlets, like EW, then picked up the gossip and reported on it.
Tomei eventually did comment on the controversy, and hilariously so, in her October 1994 SNL monologue when she jokingly thanked Jack Palance for handing her the "Ms. Teenage America" and "Heisman Trophy" awards as well. Tomei wasn't always so good-natured about the rumor, however, according to the Sun Sentinel. "That was really hurtful at first," the My Cousin Vinny star said in 2001, adding, "I was young, and I really didn't know the ways of the world on any level. But now I know the ways of the world, so I'm just, like, OK. I mean, it's so in the past."
While it's great that Tomei has achieved a level of solace with the whole debacle, I can't help but wonder if she was sporting the most satisfied of grins in 2017 during the whole La La Land/Moonlight Best Picture mix-up.