And The Oscar Goes To...

I never watch the Academy Awards anymore now that I can see the good parts commercial-and-speech-free on the Internet. Of course, years ago I watched avidly, and never more avidly than the awards of 1990 when Howard and Alan were nominated for Under The Sea and Kiss the Girl from The Little Mermaid.  Although I always believed Howard was a winner, I was too much of a pessimist to believe he would win an Oscar

There was more to worry about that night, though, than who would get the golden statue.  Howard had told us he was HIV positive over a year earlier.  It was a secret closely held between Howard, his companion Bill, Nancy, Ron,  me and very few others.  Not even Alan Menken, who had been working so closely with Howard and who shared the stage and the Oscar with him that night, knew about Howard’s illness.

For all that, it was pretty damn cool seeing my brother up on that stage clutching an Oscar.  He looked happy and, for once in his life, he looked nervous.

By the time he got back home, though, Howard had regained the cool he had spent a lifetime building.  He’d probably used half the flight thinking of what to say when we fussed over this incredible turn of events.

“Howard, my god…you won an Oscar.”

“Yeah,” Howard answered, pausing.  “But I really wanted a Tony.”

You can check out the video of the big moment here:

And the Oscar Goes To...