Imagine what it's like to be Jamie Foxx this year. He's in an elite group of stars ever to earn two Oscar nominations in a single year -- best supporting actor for "Collateral" and best actor for "Ray."
Imagine the legendary Ray Charles portrayed in a fashion that transcends hard work and talent. Critics and audiences say it's like the role was born with Foxx 37 years ago in tiny Terrell, Texas, and was just waiting for the right moment to emerge.
Foxx credits his grandmother, Estelle Talley, for his piano skills. His parents abandoned him as a baby and Talley raised her grandson to be a classical musician. "She starts talking to God in front of me. 'Jesus, I do everything for him, can you help him, Lord?' And I say 'OK. I'll play,' " he told Walters.
Foxx wanted to be a famous singer, but settled for famous comedian. When he took off for Los Angeles his name was the one he was born with, Eric Marlon Bishop. But he knew that women got to go up early on open mic nights at the comedy clubs, so he invented an androgynous name that stuck: Jamie Foxx.
And, as fate would have it, the first time he really stepped out, he was in heels and playing a woman: Ugly Wanda on the sketch comedy show "In Living Color."
By 1996, Jamie was so hot that he got his own show, "The Jamie Foxx Show."
It hasn't all been accolades and awards. The grandmother who raised him and made him take those piano lessons passed away just as "Ray" was premiering in theaters. As he accepted his Golden Globe, he gave her a tearful tribute.
Foxx told Walters his grandmother was a harsh taskmaster, but one who took good care of him. "I used to think that she was so mean, but when it came down to me [if] there was an argument on the street ... she would come out and take care of it. And everybody knew that she loved Eric Bishop. She loved that little grandson. We were a pair you know," he said.
And with his incredible success, creating a strong family is even more important to Foxx. Though he has never married, Foxx has a 10-year-old daughter who he is devoted to. Several family members live with Foxx, including his sister, a half-sister, another half-sister who has Down's syndrome and a stepfather.
"You know what," Foxx said, "the only thing that you have -- to me -- is your family. Those mornings of waking up and seeing my grandmother cooking at Christmas and arguing with my grandfather and the family coming over, those things I miss more than you could possibly imagine. So now to have all of the success -- you want the other thing too."
If Foxx is called to the stage to accept an Oscar, he says he won't hold back any emotions. "If all of that happens, they've already made jokes about me being the cry baby. But I'm gonna cry. I'm gonna talk about my grandmother."
The Unusually 'Normal' Guy
Most of us go through life afraid of looking foolish or looking like we're not cool. Secretly though, we admire those people who don't care what they look like. Will Ferrell has turned that sort of fearlessness into a career. When he joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in 1995, he created a string of characters who were always the least hip people in the room.
What set Ferrell apart was his ability to commit to the character, without shame and without vanity. He was hysterical.
Ferrell doesn't have the typical tortured youth that has spurred the careers of so many comic performers. His parents divorced when he was 8, but John William Ferrell's life growing up in Irvine, Calif., was happy and normal, words often used to describe Ferrell. His mom was an English professor and his father was on the road most of the time playing saxophone for the Righteous Brothers.
He knows a "normal" childhood is atypical of most comics, and says his interest in comedy is pretty straightforward. "I kind of just had something within me that wanted to explore what made me, made people laugh, and what made myself laugh, and that sort of thing," he told Walters.
His exploration has certainly brought a lot of laughs to audiences, and financial success that's nothing to laugh at. He's able to command $20 million for a feature film, and his dance card is quite full these days with a dozen or so movies in the works.
And Ferrell's home life seems as extraordinarily positive as his professional life. Ferrell, married since 2000 to art auctioneer Vivica Paulin, has a nearly year-old son, Magnus, and says he knows it's the memories he creates with his family that will stay with him when the spotlight has faded.
When Walters asked Ferrell to describe his idea of "perfect happiness," his answer had nothing to do with his film career.
"I'll tell you, Viv and I had to wash one of the dogs yesterday, 'cause she got sprayed by a skunk. And we're there at 11 at night washing our dog in the sink ... smelling like skunk, with hair all over each other and .. I remember thinking these are the moments we're gonna remember," he said.
Referring to his upcoming film "Bewitched," in which he'll be appearing opposite Nicole Kidman, Walters asked Ferrell what supernatural powers he'd like to have. As you might guess he chose some fairly wacky and mundane qualities. "Not to get too gross," he said, "but I'd like to be able to throw up on command, and not feel the ill effects, because that could get you out of a lot of situations." Anything else? "Maybe speed-read, 'cause there's so many books I need to read ... Which should be the name of my book, "Throw Up and Speed-Read." That should be my autobiography."
A Not-So-Desperate Teri Hatcher
Teri Hatcher seems most proud of two things in her life: her daughter, Emerson, and her 1978 VW camper van -- you get the sense she prefers the van to her house. Hatcher's early Hollywood career was anything but extraordinary. She landed a starring role as Lois, on the moderately successful series "Lois & Clark." The series was canceled years ago, and that's where her career looked likely to end. Hatcher, pushing 40, was twice-divorced and a single mom.
Hatcher was a self-described "has-been." She couldn't find work. "The reality is I guess very different than what the perception is because your agent cannot get you an audition. I mean you can't even get in the door to try to change somebody's mind," she said.
The lowest point, Hatcher said, was deciding to leave her marriage. She wanted her daughter to have two parents at home. She said, "It was really painful when I finally decided that I was gonna have to make this choice to get out of this marriage or you know life was just not gonna be anything."
Then, in the wake of "Sex and the City," married women decided they wanted to be bad girls too -- at least on television. "Desperate Housewives" was born and Hatcher, playing the role of Susan, has become, in a few short months, primetime television's biggest star.
She says she's like her television character in that she's never had success with love, and is a bit afraid "that it won't work or that it'll hurt too much to really fall deeply in love with somebody and then what if they leave and all that."
Now, with two Screen Actors Guild awards, a Golden Globe and a full life with her 7-year-old daughter, everything is different for Hatcher and she is truly grateful. "It is so radical, this swing that has happened in the last nine months. It is truly, really should be, inspirational to anyone. In any career that you cannot predict where you're gonna be a year from now ... Life is a really fragile, unpredictable, amazing ride. This is the good part. Like you said this is the good part. And it might last five more minutes or it might last five years."
The show's success has helped Hatcher take a look at the way she had framed her good fortune and failures throughout her life. She told Walters she had gone out for a jog as she was approaching her 40th birthday and was thinking about the upcoming Golden Globe awards. "I was thinking I'm not gonna win," she said, "and I said 'You, really, Teri, do you want to spend an entire other decade, a whole other decade of your life telling yourself what you're not gonna do? Isn't there some place you can have value about yourself without taking away value form anyone else?"
Hatcher said she's lived with what she calls the "burnt-toast syndrome" she learned from her mother. "It's always, 'Oh, I'll have that, you have the good thing. And what I realized is it was kind of a bad message. Because it sort of made me feel like for me to have anything would mean that I was taking something away from someone else."
Hatcher said she made a conscious choice to abandon that way of thinking. "Maybe I'm just finally ready for good things to happen for me."