51st Academy Awards ceremony, organized by the (AMPAS), honored Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and took place on April 9, 1979, at the films released in 1978 in Los Angeles beginning at 7:00 p.m. Dorothy Chandler Pavilion / 10:00 p.m. PST . During the ceremony, AMPAS presented EST (commonly referred to as Oscars) in 22 categories. The ceremony, televised in the United States by Academy Awards , was produced by ABC and directed by Jack Haley Jr. . Marty Pasetta Comedian and talk show host  hosted the show for the first time. Johnny Carson Three days earlier in a ceremony held at  in The Beverly Hilton , on April 6, the Beverly Hills, California were presented by hosts Academy Awards for Technical Achievement and Gregory Peck . Christopher Reeve  won five awards including The Deer Hunter . Best Picture Other winners included  with three awards, Coming Home with two awards, and Midnight Express , The Buddy Holly Story , California Suite , Days of Heaven , Death on the Nile , The Flight of the Gossamer Condor , Get Out Your Handkerchiefs , Heaven Can Wait , Scared Straight! , Special Delivery , Superman and Teenage Father with one. Thank God It's Friday
The ceremony, held at the
in Downtown Dorothy Chandler Pavilion , was hosted by late night talk host Los Angeles, California for the first time. Johnny Carson  and Jack Elliott served as musical directors for the telecast. Allyn Ferguson Singers  and Sammy Davis Jr. performed a medley called "Oscar's Only Human" which was composed of movie songs that were not nominated for Best Original Song. Steve Lawrence Initially the Academy's music branch protested that the segment be dropped from the ceremony, but it was kept intact after Haley threatened to leave his position as producer and pull Carson from emcee duties. 
It was also remembered for being the final public appearance of Oscar-winning actor
, where he was given a standing ovation before presenting the award for John Wayne . Best Picture On June 11, two months after the ceremony, he died from complications from  at age 72. stomach cancer This was also the final public appearance for  , presenter of the Jack Haley with his Best Costume Design co-star Wizard of Oz as well as the father of the producer, as he died on June 6 of that year.