Shirley Temple received an honorary miniature version of the
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
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