Oscar win changes local woman's life

BALTIMORE - A local Baltimore woman couldn't believe she won an Oscar.

"I was sure that we were not going to win because people from Baltimore don't win Oscars," said Susan Hadary before the 2000 Oscar ceremony began.

But Hadary did win an Oscar.  Her 2000 short subject film "King Gimp" focused on the remarkable life of Dan Keplinger, a cerebral palsy victim with an incredible hidden talent, won the Oscar.  Her magical red carpet ride started at the gas station.

"I was actually putting gas in my car at the Texaco station when my cellphone rang and I answered it and they said you are nomanated for an Oscar and I just let out a primal scream," Hadary said.

Hadary said that some producers dream about going on the red carpet, but that was never the case with her.

"And then you get there and you see the people who had been in the movies on the red carpet and everyone's taking pictures of you.  It's like you landed in a movie set," Hadary said.

Dan Keplinger, the subject of Hadary's film, sat right next to her at the ceremony.  Hadary said Keplinger slipped out of his wheelchair as the presenters started to say her name because he was so excited.

After her win, Hadary now produces content for the University of Maryland School of Medicine. By winning an Oscar, Hadary said her life changed.

"It's just like a tidal wave coming into your life.  It's kind of like having a stamp of approval on you that says you are the best and it doesn't go away.  You have that forever," Hadary said.

Since the momentous night, Hadary has given back to all of those who helped her win an Oscar.

Oscar Quick Facts

First Oscars
Emil Jannings received the first Oscar for Best Actor in 1929 for roles in "The Last Command and "The Way of All Flesh." The Oscar for Best Actress went to Janet Gaynor for her roles in "7th Heaven" and "Street Angel."

Best Actress in 1980
Sally Field took the honor of Best Actress for her role in "Norma Rae." She beat out a tough group -- Jill Clayburgh, Jane Fonda, Marsha Mason and Bette Midler.

Dorothy Chandler Pavilion
The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion has played host to more Academy Awards ceremonies than any other venue (20+).

Bob Hope
Prior to his 2003 death, Bob Hope hosted the Academy Awards 18 times. He hosted the Oscars more than any other. The closest to Hope's total is Billy Crystal (8).

[ More on the Oscars ]


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