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4 Mormons Who Won Academy Awards


Kieth Merrill

4 Mormons Who Won Academy Awards

Photo courtesy of Kieth Merrill

Kieth Merrill has worked in the film industry since 1967. A writer, director, and producer, he won the 1973 Acadamy Award for his documentary The Great American Cowboy. He recalls the moment he won the award:

"I was distracted by the fact that Raquel Welch, one of the truly sensational and sexy movie stars of the era, was the one presenting the Oscar. When she handed me the Oscar, I knew it was Hollywood tradition to give her a kiss. On the face of it, that seems like a good thing, but look at it from my perspective. If I kissed that incredibly gorgeous sex symbol to delight the 70 million people watching on TV and not offend Ms. Welch, I had to remember that I would have to explain my actions to my wife, who was sitting in the fifth row, and my dear mother, who was watching in Farmington, Utah. On the other hand, if I didn’t kiss her, I would have to explain it to the Elder’s Quorum of the Los Altos First Ward."

Merrill also created the LDS films Mr. Krueger’s Christmas, Legacy, and The Testaments. His debut novel, The Evolution of Thomas Hall, was released by Deseret Book in 2011, and he has a new novel, Saga of Kings, Book 1: The Immortal Crown, releasing in May.

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