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Friday, February 22, 2008

100 Things About Oscar Awards

Whenever you think about Oscar, what are the things that come to you mind? Lights, red carpets, famous actors and actresses wearing clothes that will change the fashion trends; yes, it is big, it is serious, because it is Oscar; the most respected award any actor or actress could get in USA. In this essay, I bring you one hundred interesting things about Oscar.

Image Credit: Anne Siegel

  1. Oscar is the popular name for the Academy Awards.

  1. This award is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). The award is given through a formal ceremony which is also the most prominent shows watched by people all over the world.

  1. At the time, when Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) was founded, the price of movie tickets was a quarter or 25 cents.

  1. The first Academy Awards Ceremony was held on Thursday, May 16, 1929 at the Hotel Roosevelt. The award show was hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks and director William C. DeMille.

  1. The first Academy Award ceremony lasted only for 15 minutes.

  1. The first Oscar Award had twelve competitive categories in 1927.

  1. The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion holds the record for being chosen as the of the Academy Awards.

  1. In 1937, at the 9th Academy Awards competition Oscar in the Best Supporting acting categories was introduced. 9th Academy Awards in 1937.

  1. The official Oscar statuette is called the Academy Award of Merit. This statuette is made of gold-plated britannium. It is 13.5 inch tall, and weighs 8.5 lb. The statue depicts a knight standing straight holding a crusader’s sword upside down. The knight stands on the reel of a film that has five spokes. These five spokes represents the original five original branches of the Academy: Actor, Writer, Director, Producer, and Technician.

  1. Now the big question comes: How Oscar was created? Who created it? Austin Cedric Gibbons, supervised the design of the award. For the statue, Emilio "El Indio" Fern├índez became model. Sculptor George Stanley first made a clay model. Alex Smith then cast the statue in tin and copper and gold-plated the statue. Gibbon’s assistant, Frederic Hope, created the base of the award with Belgian black marble.

  1. 12 people take 20 hours to produce an Academy Award.

  1. The first statuette contained 24 karat gold.

  1. In 1998, a new mold to create Academy Awards statuette was created. In this new mold the chin of the statuette was strengthened and the neck was chiseled a bit.

  1. Till now, the main design of the Academy Award remained the same for most part. Slight changes were made in the 1940s. The base of the statue was streamlined and from 1945, the metal was used to make the base instead of marble.

  1. Since 1949, each of the Academy Awards produced has been given a number that starts with 501.

  1. How the name Oscar stuck to it? The most popular story is that looking at the statuette Margaret Herrick, the academy librarian and executive director remarked that it looked liked his uncle, Oscar (his uncle’s name was Oscar Pierce). Since then the name has been there.

  1. In 1934, while writing about the Academy Award show, famous Hollywood columnist, Sidney Skolsky, used the name Oscar in his column while writing about Katharine Hepburn first win in the Best Actress category. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) did not start using the name since 1939.

  1. Before the name Oscar, various names were tried. For example, "the Academy statuette," "the golden trophy," "the statue of merit." Weekly Variety tried to popularize the name “the iron man."

  1. Around 40 Academy Awards of Merit (in another website, the number is 60) are made each year in Chicago Illinois. R.S. Owens, a famous award making company produces the statues. R.S. Owens is one of the most famous companies in designing and producing various prestigious awards. It was established by Owen Siegel in 1938. The main company is situated in Chicago. It strictly observes the high standards. If any of the award statuettes does not meet the standard then it is cut half and melted down.

  1. Each of the awards is neatly packed into a Styrofoam container which is a little larger than a shoebox. Then the boxes are put into a larger cardboard box. Eight boxes are put in one big box and then shipped through air express.

  1. The recipient of an Academy Award can not sell it to any outsider. First, it has to offer it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in exchange of $1. This is a controversial issue because this rule denies the ownership of the recipient over the award. Many Academy Awards were sold outside. Famous director, Stephen Spielberg purchased Academy Awards from auctions two times (awards won by Clark Gable and Bette Davis) and returned to the academy.

  1. In 1988, AMPAS sued the Creative House Promotions for making replicas of the Academy Award statuette without its permission. The organization had to pay $300,000 fine.

  1. In the 1930s, there was a category for juvenile players who used to receive miniature replicas of the Oscar. Famous ventriloquist Edgar Bergen was awarded a wooden Oscar statuette with removable mouth. Walt Disney received one full-size and seven miniatures for his famous animated feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. From 1942 to 1944, because of the second World War, Academy Awards were made of plaster. After the end of the war, the recipients returned them to the academy.

  1. From 9th to 16th Academy Awards competition, that is, from 1937 to 1944, actors and actresses who won Oscar in supporting categories used to receive plaques instead of traditional statuettes.

  1. From the 29th Academy Awards (1957), Oscar in Best Foreign movie category was introduced.

  1. From the 74th Academy Awards (2002), Oscar in Best Animated movie category was introduced.

  1. In 1953, the Academy Awards held in RKO Pantages Theatre was televised for the first time. In 1966, it was televised in color for the first time.

  1. Throughout the history of Academy Awards, the show has been postponed for three times:

1938 – Postponed for one week for flood.

1968 – Postponed for two days for the funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

1981 – Postponed for one day for the assassination attempt on President

Ronald Reagan.

  1. In 2000, 55 Oscars were stolen while being transported to Los Angeles. Nine days later, 52 statuettes were found by Willie Fulgear near a dumpster. Fulgear was invited to see the 2000 Oscar ceremony.

  1. The Academy Awards are also subject to decay. R.S. Owens has repaired numerous awards.

  1. The length of the tallest decorative prop Academy Award statuette is 24 feet.

  1. The highest number Academy Awards receiver is none other than Walt Disney. He won 26 Academy Awards and had 64 nominations.

  1. The youngest Academy Award recipient is Shirley Temple. In 1934, at the age of five, she won the Academy Award. However, it was not given for her performance in any specific movie. She was actually given an Honorary Juvenile Award. Normally, the trophy was a miniature version of the original Academy Award but Shirley Temple received the original award.

  1. Tatum Beatrice O'Neal is the youngest actress to win an Oscar. At the age of 10 years, for her performance in a comedy movie titled Paper Moon, she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

  1. Famous English actor, Bob Hope, never won any Academy Award for his performance but achieved four Academy Awards in 1960 in recognition to his humanitarian works.

  1. Bob Hope also holds the record of hosting the Academy Award ceremony. He hosted the show 18 times.

  1. Famous Jewish-American comedy actor, George Burns is the oldest actor to win an Academy Award. In 1976, at the age of 80, he received Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, for his character, Al Lewis, in the 1974 movie, The Sunshine Boys. Later, Jessica Tandy broke that record by winning the Academy Award for Best Actress at the age of 81 for her performance in Driving Miss Daisy. Henry Fonda won the Academy Award for Best Actor at the age of 76 for his performance in the drama film, On Golden Pond.

  1. So far, there are three movies that have won the most Academy Awards. They are: Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, Titanic and Ben-Hur. Surprisingly all these three movies won eleven Academy Awards. The second most award winning movie is West Side Story. It won ten Academy Awards.

  1. The actress to win the highest number Academy Awards is Katharine Hepburn. She won four Academy Awards in 1932, 1967, 1968 & 1981.

  1. The longest Academy Award acceptance speech was given by Geer Garson. In 1942, for her performance in Mrs. Miniver, she received Academy Award for best actress. There is no record of the exact time of her speech but most of the sources agree that she spoke for 5 to 7 minutes.

  1. Meryl Streep is the highest Academy Award nomination receiving actress. Till date, she has 14 Academy Award nominations. Previously, Kathatrine Hepburn held this record (12 nominations).

  1. Among the actors, Jack Nicholson has most Academy Award nominations to his credit. He won Academy Award three times.

  1. Spencer Tracy, Gary Cooper, Marlon Brando, Jack Nicholson, Fredric March, Dustin Hoffman and Tom Hanks; all of them has the highest number of Academy Awards in the Best Actor category. Each of them won 2 Academy Awards.

  1. So far, three Academy Awards have been refused. Dudley Nichols (The Informer), Marlon Brando (The Godfather), and George C. Scott (Patton).

  1. Woody Allen never publicly appeared to receive his Academy Awards.

  1. In 1953, Walt Disney won four Oscars in one ceremony. This is the record for taking highest number of Oscars in one ceremony. He won in the following categories: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Cartoon Short Subject and Two-reel Short Subject.

  1. The director who has the highest number of Oscar-winning and Oscar-nominated performances to his credit is William Wyler. Wyler directed movies like Ben-Hur, Roman Holiday, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Mrs. Miniver.

  1. All About Eve (1950) and Titanic (1997) have the highest number of nominations to their credit. Each of these movies had 14 nominations.

  1. Harold Russell, a World War II veteran, won two Academy Awards in the same year for same performance in the same movie, The Best Years of Our Lives. He won Academy Awards in Best Supporting Actor category and another honorary award for bringing hope and courage to his fellow war veterans.

  1. Luise Rainer is the first actor to win consecutive awards in the same category; The Great Ziegfeld and The Good Earth.

  1. In 1939, Gone with the Wind was the first color movie to win Academy Awards in the best picture category. The movie won Academy Awards in eight categories including Best Picture, Best Actress and Best Director.

  1. For playing the character of a male photographer, Billy Kwan, actress Linda Hunt won Academy Awards in the Best Supporting actress category in 1983.

  1. The two films to win three of the four Academy Awards for acting are: A Streetcar Named Desire (1951) and Network (1976). For A Streetcar Name Desire, Kim Hunter, Best Supporting Actress; Vivien Leigh, Best Actress; and Karl Malden, Best Supporting Actor. For Network, Peter Finch, Best Actor; Faye Dunaway, Best Actress; Beatrice Straight, Best Supporting Actress.

  1. In 1960, two directors, Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, won Academy Awards for West Side Story.

  1. Lina Wertmuller for Seven Beauties (1976); Jane Campion for The Piano (1993); Wertmuller and Campion and Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003)are the only three women nominated for Academy Awards for Best Director.

  1. Lionel Barrymore and Ethel Barrymore are the only brother and sister to win Academy Awards. Lionel Barrymore won the Best Actor award for A Free Soul and Ethel Barrymore won the Best Supporting Actress award in 1944 for None but the Lonely Heart.

  1. Hal Mohr is the only write-in Oscar winner. In 1935, Mohr won Academy Awards without being nominated. This is a very rare incident.

  1. Liza Minnelli is the only Oscar winner who is born to parents who were Oscar winners as well. In 1972, Liza won Academy Award for Best Actress for Cabaret. Her mother, Judy Garland, received the juvenile award in 1939 for her outstanding performance. Liza’s father, Vincente Minneli won Academy Awards for Best Direction for Gigi in 1958.

  1. Schindler's List (1993) was the last black-n-white movie to win an Academy Award in the Best Picture category. The second latest black-n-white movie to win an Academy Award in Best Picture category was The Apartment (1960).

  1. Bing Crosby, Paul Newman, Peter O'Toole, and Al Pacino, all these four actors played same type of characters in two movies and won Oscar nomination two times for the same role.

  1. Katharine Hepburn won the highest number of Academy Awards in acting category. Walter Brennan, Ingrid Bergman and Jack Nicholson are second place holders. Each of them won three Oscars in acting category.

  1. It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Network (1976), Coming Home (1978), On Golden Pond (1981), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), As Good As It Gets (1997), all the leading actors and actresses of these seven movies won Oscar.

  1. In 1961, actress Sophia Loren received Academy Awards for Best Actress for her performance in the Italian movie, Two Women. It was the first foreign language performance of any actor that won an Oscar.

  1. Judi Dench and Kate Winslet are the only performers who got Oscar nomination for playing the same character in the same movie Iris.

  1. For playing the character of Wladyslaw Szpilman in The Pianist, Adrien Brody won Academy Award for Best Actor in 2002 at the age of 29 years and 343 days. He is the youngest actor to win an Oscar. Earlier, this record was held by Richard Dreyfuss who won Academy Award in 1977 for The Goodbye Girl at the age of 30 years.

  1. Keisha Castle-Hughes is the youngest actress ever to be nominated for Best Actress. For her role in Whale Rider, she won the nomination at the age of 13 years.

  1. The Godfather (1972, 1974, 1990) and The Lord of the Rings (2001, 2002 and 2003) are the only trilogy movies that received Oscar nomination in the Best Picture category for each of their installments.

  1. Gone With the Wind (1939) is the longest movie (234 minutes) to win an Oscar Award in the Best picture category.

  1. The shortest movie to win an Oscar Award in the Best Picture category is Marty (1955) (91 minutes).

  1. Beauty and the Beast (1991) is the first animated feature movie to receive Oscar nomination in the Best Picture category.

  1. For her performance in Gone With the Wind (1939), Hattie McDaniel won Academy Award in the Best Supporting Actress category. She is is the first African American to an Academy Award.

  1. Dudley Nichols is the first person ever to refuse an Academy Award. He won in the best screenplay category; The Informer (1935).

  1. James Dean has received the most posthumous Academy Award Nominations. He won two nominations for East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1956).

  1. Oscar Hammerstein II is the only Oscar winner whose name contained the word, ‘Oscar.’

  1. Families that won Oscar for three generations:

The Hustons - Walter Huston, John Huston, and Anjelica Huston.

The Coppolas - Carmine Coppola, Francis Ford Coppola, and Sophia Coppola.

  1. Jerome Robbins won Oscar in the Best Director category for his movie West

Side Story (1961). It is the only movie he ever made in his life time.

  1. Wings(1927) is only silent movie to win the Academy Awards in the Best

Picture category.

  1. Midnight Cowboy (1969) is the only X-rated picture to win Academy Award in the Best Picture category.

  1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of The King (2003), The Last Emperor (1987), Gigi (1958) and It Happened One Night (1934) are the pictures that took Academy Awards in all the categories they were nominated.

  1. It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991)- all these movies won Oscar in the five main categories (picture, director, actor, actress, screenplay).

  1. Walt Disney, Stanley Kubrick, Warren Beatty, Kenneth Branagh, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen- all these individuals received Oscar nominations in four different categories.
  2. Laurence Olivier in Hamlet (1948) and Roberto Begnini Life if Beautiful (1997) directed themselves and won Academy Awards in the best Actor category.

  1. Al Pacino (1992) and Jamie Foxx (2004) got nomination for Academy Awards in Best Actor and Best Supporting actor category in the same year.

  1. The actresses who received nomination in the Best Actress and Best Supporting actress category in the same year are: Fay Bainter (1938), Teresa Wright (1942), Jessica Lange (1982), Sigourney Weaver (1988), Holly Hunter (1993), Emma Thompson (1993), Julianne Moore (2002) and Cate Blanchette (2007).

  1. In 1973, the Academy Awards show was interrupted by a streaker. (those of you who do not know- streaker is a naked or half-naked person in public).

  1. Famous American comedian Groucho Marx received an honorary Oscar Award in 1973. At that time he was 83 years old.

  1. The oldest director to receive an Oscar is Clint Eastwood in 2004 for his movie Million Dollar Baby.

  1. At the age of 79, John Huston received Academy Awards nomination in Best Director category for his movie Prizzi’s Honor (1985). He is oldest person to receive a nomination in that category.

  1. The oldest person to win Academy Awards in the Best Actor category is Henry Fonda. He won at the age of 76 for his role in On Golden Pond (1981).

  1. In 1984, at the age of 82, Ralph Richardson received Academy Awards nomination in Best Supporting Actor category. He is the oldest person to receive a nomination in this category.

  1. That same year, Peggy Ashcroft also received the Academy Awards in the Best Supporting actress category for A Passage to India. She was the oldest Best Supporting Actress nominee. Her age was 77 at that time.

  1. In 1997, at the age of 87, Gloria Stuart received Academy Award nomination in the Best Supporting Actress category.

  1. Norman Taurog is the youngest director to receive the Academy Award. He received it for his movie, Skippy (1930/31). At that time, he was 32 years old.

  1. In 1991, at the age of 24, John Singleton received nomination for Academy Awards in the Best Director category. His movie was Boyz N the Hood.

  1. For his role in Skippy (1930), Jackie Cooper received Academy Awards nomination in the Best Actor category. He was 9 years old.

  1. For her role in the movie, Children Of a Lesser God (1986) actress, Marlee Matlin, won Academy Award in Best Actress category. She was then 21 years old.

  1. For his role in Ordinary People (1980), Timothy Hutton won the Academy Award in the Best Supporting actor category.

  1. For his role in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979), actor Justin Henry received Oscar nomination in the Best Supporting Actor category. He was then 8 years old.

  1. Director John Huston directed both his father (Walter Huston) and daughter (Anjelica Huston) in The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948) and Prizzi’s Honor (1985). Both of them won Academy Awards in Best Actor and Best Actress category for their performances.

  1. At the 67th Academy Awards function, actress Lizzy Gardiner wore a dress made of American Express Gold Cards. All the cards were actual credit cards Gardiner expired. The dress was auctioned for $12,650 in 1999.

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