How the 'Worst Oscars Ever' Ruined a Young Actress' Hollywood Career
Eileen Bowman's portrayal of Snow White at the Oscars was supposed to launch her career. Instead it killed it.
Thirty years ago, Eileen Bowman thought she'd landed the break of a lifetime.
Just 22 years old at the time, Bowman was tapped to play Snow White in an opening live number alongside Rob Lowe at the 1989 Academy Awards, which were hostless that year.
What resulted was a total disaster, prompting that year's awards show to be dubbed by some the "worst Oscars ever."
As this year's Academy Awards prepare to go hostless as well, Bowman spoke to Inside Edition about the nightmarish moment she realized what was supposed to be her big break was, in fact, a train wreck.
"Did you look out and see faces saying, 'Oh my god'?" Inside Edition's Chief Correspondent Jim Moret asked Bowman.
"Oh yeah ... I look like a crazy woman," she replied.
The 15-minute performance was widely panned, with the New York Times writing that it had earned "a permanent place in the annals of Oscar embarrassments."
Bowman was encouraged by Lowe to get out of Los Angeles immediately following the show.
"He said, 'I would get out of LA as quickly as you can. ... There's blood in the water and the sharks are circling for you,'" she recalled.
Afterward, she struggled to recover. "I couldn't get work in LA for years," Bowman said.
Bowman said she was actually proud of the performance, which was supposed to be campy. But when she woke up the next day, her future in Hollywood was over.
"I thought, 'Why is this all over the papers and why are people talking?' I really did not know that's what it was going to be," she said.
Even now knowing what the reaction would be, Bowman said she wouldn't change a thing.
"I think it would be the funniest darn thing," she said. "So I'm available if you'd like me to do that."
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