Emma Thompson

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Growing up in England, Emma says she never realized how important the Academy Awards® were because they weren't broadcast in Britain. In 1992, when she arrived in Los Angeles as a first-time nominee, the significance began to sink in. During the awards, Emma's own mother said she didn't have a "snowball's chance in hell" of winning…but she did! "I was totally shocked," Emma says.

After the awards show, Emma says she wrapped her Oscar in a pair of socks and put it in her purse for the flight home. The gold-plated statue set off airport security alarms, and the screeners asked her to unwrap the mysterious cargo from its sock casing. "It was as though they had unveiled the Ark of the Covenant," Emma says. "They all passed it around saying, 'Oh, look! Can we hold it?' … It was very, very moving to me."