Man arrested for theft of McDormand’s Oscar

Partygoer allegedly snatched the statuette off Frances McDormand's table

Like a scene from a Hollywood caper film, a tuxedo-clad photographer foiled another man's attempt to make off with Frances McDormand's Oscar from an official Academy Awards after-party on Sunday.

Los Angeles police said on Monday that partygoer Terry Bryant, who allegedly snatched it from her table after she "had set it down and was chatting", was arrested on a grand theft charge and was being held on US$20,000 (S$26,300) bond.

He was arrested after McDormand's Best Actress Oscar went missing briefly at the lavish Governor's Ball party in Hollywood, where Academy Award winners have their statuettes engraved following the annual ceremony.

McDormand, 60, won the award for her role as an angry grieving mother in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.

"I lost my Oscar," the two-time Oscar winner said, shrugging her shoulders as she left the party, according to video recorded by Reuters Television.

The video captured Bryant leaving the ball holding the Oscar and saying: "We got it. We did it. We did it. I got to go."

The Los Angeles police department said in a statement that the photographer, whom they did not identify, grew suspicious when he failed to "recognise Bryant as a recipient from the awards show".

He followed Bryant out of the party "and without any resistance from Bryant took the Oscar from him".

It was not clear how Bryant took possession of the Oscar, or in what capacity he was attending the event, but police said he had a ticket to enter.

Variety magazine reposted a Facebook Live video it said showed the suspect brandishing the golden statuette he says he won "for music" and joking: "Got this tonight. This is mine. We got it tonight, baby."


Dressed in a tuxedo with hair held back in hairpins, he is seen in the footage posted on the page of a Terry Bryant Djmatari kissing the trophy and allowing bystanders to touch it.

"After a brief time apart, Frances and her Oscar were happily reunited. They celebrated the reunion with a double cheeseburger from In-N-Out," McDormand's representative Simon Halls said in a statement, referring to the California fast-food chain.

It was the second time McDormand had bagged the Best Actress statuette following her win for Fargo 21 years earlier, and her acceptance speech was a highlight of the evening.

It was otherwise a relatively uneventful show, however, and early ratings for ABC's telecast showed the US audience at an all-time low of 26.5 million, down around a fifth from last year's audience of 32.9 million, also hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.

All three big set-piece television events so far - the Golden Globes, the Grammys and the Super Bowl - have all returned smaller audiences than last year. - REUTERS/AFP