Mother's Day Comes Early to Hollywood

Justin Timberlake took his mother Lynn Harless as his date to the awards.

ByABC News
February 28, 2011, 1:24 PM

Feb. 28, 2011 -- Mother's Day is not until May 8th, but at last night's Oscars it was the moms who stole the show. During the opening monologue both Anne Hathaway's mother and James Franco's grandmother made cameos from their seats. Hathaway's mom critiqued her daughter's posture and Franco's grandma was giddy at the sight of "Marky Mark," Mark Wahlberg.

The hosts' families weren't the only ones in attendance. Justin Timberlake took his mother Lynn Harless as his date to the awards, Russell Brand brought his mother, Barbara Brand, and Jesse Eisenberg was accompanied by his mom, Amy Eisenberg.

The online world was filled with the mothers of nominees as well, taking to twitter to express their joy and excitement. The producers of the show enlisted the moms of James Franco, Jeremy Renner, Mark Wahlberg, Mark Ruffalo and others to be official "mominees."

As part of their duties they tweeted in the lead up to the Oscars and during the show. They were also interviewed on TV for the Oscar pre-show and their tweets were curated into an official "Oscars Mominees" twitter list.

"It's motherly insight into what their child was like growing up and where they ended up and their reaction to where they are today," said Charlie Haykel, co-producer of ABC's Oscar pre-show. "We're trying to make the whole Oscars more relatable. ... Everybody's got a mom and they always embarrass us."

For the Oscar winners their mothers were a source of pride rather than embarrassment.

Best Actress winner and mother-to-be Natalie Portman singled out her parents in the audience.

"I want to thank my parents, who are right there, first and foremost for giving me my life and for giving me the opportunity to work from such an early age and showing me everyday how to be a good human being by example."

Luke Matheny won the Oscar for Best Live-Action Short for his film "God of Love" and thanked his mother for a more practical reason.