Whoopi, Streisand, and Streep: A Look Back at the Legends of the Golden Globes

When the Golden Globes began in October 1943, the ceremony was held during a luncheon at 20th Century Fox and the award winners received scrolls. It wasn't until 1946 that association president Marina Cisternas came up with the "golden globe" statuette. Still, the awards were always handed out by journalists belonging to the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association until Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. stormed the stage in 1958 and stole the show. Ever since, people of showbiz have presented the awards, and the Golden Globes have become a star-studded affair.

2015 will be the 72nd presentation of the Golden Globe Awards, marking 72 years of honoring the best actors in Hollywood. We look back at some of the highlights, from Whoopi Goldberg's yellow tracksuit to America Ferrera's emotional acceptance speech. Before you tune in to the awards on January 11, click through the gallery above to get a taste of Hollywood history.

Featured photo by: Vince Bucci/NBCU Photo Bank

Gallery

In 1955 the committee began honoring achievements in TV as well as film. As the reigning TV queen, Lucille Ball was among the first honorees.

In 1982, Meryl Streep won best drama actress for The French Lieutenant’s Woman, and was nominated for an Oscar for the same role. Photo by John Bulmer/Getty Images

Streep won the next year for Sophie’s Choice, in 1982. Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage

In 1982, Julia Andrews took home best actress in a musical/comedy for Victor/Victoria for which she played a male female impersonator. Here she is with insane sleeves at the LA premiere of Victor/Victoria.   Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage

The first woman to win a best director Golden Globe, Barbra Streisand took home the award for Yentl in 1984. “It represents, I hope, new opportunities for talented women to try to make their dreams become realities,” she said in her acceptance speech. She’s still the only woman to have won a Golden Globe for best director of a film.   Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage

In 1985, Whoopi Goldberg became the first black woman to win best drama actress at the Golden Globes, for The Color Purple. The other best part is that she wore a bright yellow tracksuit and Reeboks. Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

The Golden Globes accurately predicted the Academy Awards two times with Jodie Foster, when she won best actress at both award shows for The Accused and The Silence of the Lambs in 1989 and 1992. Photo by Ron Galella, Ltd./WireImage

In 1994, Angela Bassett became the first black woman to win a Golden Globe for best actress in a motion picture for What’s Love Got to Do With It. Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage

In 1998, Christine Lahti was in the bathroom when her award was announced. When someone said her name had been called, she ran out and onto the stage! But by then she’d been gone for so long, Robin Williams had taken the stage to tell a few jokes. Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage

In 2007, America Ferrera was the only newcomer in the category, and she won best performance in a comedy television series. She spoke with emotion: “It is such an honor to play a role that I hear from young girls on a daily basis how it makes them feel worthy and lovable and that they have more to offer the world than they thought.’ Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images

When Shonda Rhimes accepted the Golden Globe for best drama TV series for Grey’s Anatomy in 2007 she was struck with disbelief. “Seriously?” she said. “Seriously?!” Hear more about how she started writing Grey's Anatomy in her MAKERS interview. Photo by Bob Long/HFPA via Getty Images

In 2009, Tina Fey addressed the haters in her acceptance speech for best actress in a comedy TV series for playing Liz Lemon in 30 Rock. ''If you ever start to feel too good about yourself, there's this thing called the Internet. You can find a lot of people who don't like you there. I'd like to address some of them now...''   Photo by Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

In 2014, Cate Blanchett won a Golden Globe for her role in Blue Jasmine before going on to win the Oscar for best actress. At the Academy Awards, she gave an important, feminist speech: “Those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films with women at the center are niche experiences, they are not. Audiences want to see them, and in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people!”

Showrunner Lena Dunham accepted awards for best comedy show and best actress in a comedy series for her show Girls in 2013. Learn Lena's personal story behind Girls in her MAKERS interview. Photo by Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

In 2013, Jennifer Lawrence referenced another leading lady when she accepted her award for best actress in a motion picture, musical or comedy for Silver Linings Playbook, starting: “I beat Meryl!” Streep is still the most nominated and awarded woman of the Golden Globes. Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage