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How much do you know about the Academy Awards? Do you know who is the oldest actress to win an Oscar... how much the award weighs... what the only X-rated movie to win Best Picture was and who gave the longest thank-you speech? Brush up on your trivia knowledge before the big night.

Shirley Temple received an honorary miniature version of the Oscar.

During World War II, Oscar statuettes were made of plaster to conserve metal.

Alfred Hitchcock has been nominated five times in the Directing category but has never won an Oscar, though he did take home the Irving G Thalberg Memorial Award.

‘Cabaret’ won eight out of the ten categories it was nominated for, but did not win the Best Picture award.

Biopics generate the most Best Picture nominations than any other genre.

The only Oscar statuette made of wood was presented to Edgar Bergen for his ventriloquist’s dummy/partner, Charlie McCarthy.

Katherine Hepburn has been presented with the most Academy Awards for an actress.

The official name for the Oscar Statuette is ‘The Academy Award of Merit’.

‘Midnight Cowboy’ was the only X-rated film to win Best Picture (it was later reduced to an R rating).

The Academy Awards made their TV debut in 1953.

At 76 years 317 days old, Henry Fonda is the oldest actor to ever win the Leading Actor category. Fonda waited forty-one years before his first nomination and his first win.

Tatum O’Neal is the youngest Academy Award winner at 10 years 148 days old, for Best Supporting Actress in ‘Paper Moon’.

John Ford has won the most Academy Awards for Directing.

Woody Allen has been nominated in the Writing category 13 times (making it the most times anyone has been nominated in that category). He has only won twice.

Lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II is the only Oscar to win an Oscar.

In 1973, a naked man ran across the stage revealing what host David Niven called ‘his shortcomings’.

Walt Disney was presented with a special Oscar for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 1939 to commemorate the first all-animation feature film. He received a statue surrounded by seven mini statues on a large base.

After winning his Supporting Actor award for ‘City Slickers’ Jack Palance did four one-armed push ups.

The Academy Awards have been delayed or postponed only three times – a flood in 1938, the funeral of Martin Luther King Jnr in 1968 and after the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan in 1981.

At the first Academy Awards ceremony there were only 12 competitive award categories.

In 1972 Marlon Brando sent actress Maria Cruz dressed as a Native American called Sacheen Littlefeather to refuse his Leading Actor award. She read a political statement and quietly left the stage.

Greer Garson gave the longest ever Thank You speech – so long that no-one can be sure exactly how long.

Bob Hope hosted the most Academy Award ceremonies (18).

The Oscar statuette currently weighs 8 ½ pounds

Originally the names of the award winners were given to the press in advance with the stipulation that the information not be revealed until after the awards presentation. However, in 1939 the Los Angeles Times printed the names of the winners before the ceremony. Since then, the winners' names have been kept secret until the official announcement at the awards ceremony.

The true origin of the nickname ‘Oscar’ has never been confirmed. There are three main sources; the first being Actress Bette Davis claiming that the backside of the statuette looked like that of her husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson. Academy librarian Margaret Herrick claimed that the statue looked like her Uncle Oscar, and columnist Sidney Sklosky insists that he thought up the name to negate pretension.

Angelina Jolie has won every award she has been nominated for, including her 2000 Best Supporting Actress award for ‘Girl, Interrupted’.

Michael Caine nearly fainted when he turned around while walking up the steps to receive his second Best Supporting Actor award for ‘The Cider House Rules’. He hadn’t realised he was getting a standing ovation, and was shocked, to say the least.

Published March 15, 2001

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Including Geoffrey Rush profile, the full list of nominees and more!

Alfred Hitchcock

Midnight Cowboy

Woody Allen

Walt Disney

Angelina Jolie

Michael Caine

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