"He's everything!" Cates said. "He's a movie star, he's funny, he's classy, he's literate - he'll be a wonderful host."
This will be Martin's eighth appearance on an Oscar(R) telecast, his first as host. Martin served as a presenter on six shows and introduced a Best Picture clip on the 69th telecast in 1997. He also participated in a gag film sequence for the 67th show in 1995.
"If you can't win 'em, join 'em," said Martin, who has not yet been nominated for an Oscar.
Martin is experiencing great success with the publication of his first novella, "Shopgirl," which is currently on the New York Times and Los Angeles Times best seller lists, and recently had its seventh printing. This past spring, Martin completed filming the black comedy "Novocaine" with Helena Bonham Carter and Laura Dern. The film is scheduled for release by Artisan Films in 2001.
Academy Awards for outstanding film achievements of 2000 will be presented on March 25, 2001, at the Los Angeles Shrine Auditorium. Sunday at the Oscars(R) will be televised live by the ABC Television Network beginning at 5 p.m. (PST), with a half-hour arrivals segment preceding the presentation ceremony.