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Steve Martin, Alec Baldwin will co-host the Oscars

November 3, 2009 |  4:01 pm


Hugh Jackman decided not to return as host of the 82nd annual Academy Awards.

But former host Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin, the Emmy Award-winning star of NBC’s “30 Rock,” are taking the plunge and co-hosting the star-studded event on March 7 at the Kodak Theatre.  

The announcement was made this afternoon by Oscar telecast producers Bill Mechanic and Adam Shankman.  

Martin, who hosted the 73rd and 75th Oscar ceremony, said in a statement: “I am happy to co-host the Oscars with my enemy Alec Baldwin.”

“I don’t play the banjo but I am thrilled to be hosting the Oscars -- it’s the opportunity of a lifetime,” said movie buff Baldwin in a statement. Though Baldwin will be making his hosting debut, he’s no stranger to the Academy Awards having been nominated for a supporting actor Oscar for 2003’s  “The Cooler.”

The two actors are also appearing together in director Nancy Meyers' December comedy "It's Complicated" alongside perennial Oscar favorite Meryl Streep.

Though it’s rare in recent years to have two performers share hosting duties, it’s not unprecedented.  In 1987,  for example, Chevy Chase, Goldie Hawn and Paul Hogan shared hosting duties and  in 1975, Sammy Davis Jr., Bob Hope, Shirley MacLaine and Frank Sinatra were the emcees.

“We think the team of Steve and Alec are the perfect pair of hosts for the Oscars,” the producers said in a statement. “Steve will being the experience of having hosted the shot in the past and Alec will be a completely fresh personality for this event.”

-- Susan King

Photos: Steve Martin, left, and Alec Baldwin / Getty Images