10 facts about The Oscars that you may not know!

The 1958 Academy Awards held at Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California.
The 1958 Academy Awards held at Pantages Theater in Hollywood, California.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, Awards Season! And we have finally made it to the big one, The 92nd Academy Awards. With Oscar fever hitting Hollywood, here are 10 facts about the big award show that you may not know!

Walt Disney at the Academy Awards.
Walt Disney at the Academy Awards.

1. DISNEY HOLDS THE RECORD

Walt Disney holds the record for the most Academy Awards nominations and wins with 59 nominations and 26 wins. He also holds the record for the most awards won in one night with four wins in 1954. 

1940 Best Picture winner, Gone with the Wind.
1940 Best Picture winner, Gone with the Wind.

2. THE ACADEMY LOVES LONG MOVIES

Think this year’s Best Picture nominee The Irishman is long at 210 minutes? Gone With The Wind is the longest film to win Best Picture at 234 minutes!

3. THERE’S ONLY BEEN ONE OSCAR TO WIN AN OSCAR

Shocking, isn’t it? But the only Oscar to win an Oscar is lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. He was nominated five times and won two of the awards.

Liza Minnelli with her mother and fellow Oscar winner Judy Garland.
Liza Minnelli with her mother and fellow Oscar winner Judy Garland.

4. IT RUNS IN THE FAMILY

The only Oscar winner whose parents both won Academy Awards is Liza Minnelli who won for Best Actress in 1973 for her performance in Cabaret. Her mother Judy Garland won an honorary award in 1939 and her father Vincente Minnelli took home the award in 1959.

5. WHY ARE THE OSCARS CALLED THE OSCARS?

In 2013, The Academy Awards were officially rebranded as simply, The Oscars. But there has never been a verified reason for how the ceremony got this name. Bette Davis claimed to have coined the term, naming the statue after her then husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. Another story is that when Academy librarian, Margaret Herrick, first saw the award in 1931, she claimed they reminded her of her Uncle Oscar. Who knows how it happened, but it has certainly stuck!

Kathryn Bigelow with her Academy Award for Best Director in 2010.
Kathryn Bigelow with her Academy Award for Best Director in 2010.

6. WOMEN DIRECTORS STILL LACK REPRESENTATION.

In the nearly century since the Academy Awards first ceremony in 1929, only five women have been nominated for Best Director – and only one has won. Kathryn Bigelow won the award in 2010 for The Hurt Locker. The 2020 director nominee category again lacks female representation with no female directors nominated. 

Hattie McDaniel, the first person of colour to win an Academy Award in 1940.

7. SLOWLY, THE OSCARS ARE BECOMING MORE DIVERSE.

Hattie McDaniel was the first ever person of colour to win an Academy Award in 1940, for her performance in Gone with the Wind. And while the playing field is not completely level yet, representation of all ethnicities is slowly changing. Perhaps not fast enough, though. This year, Best Film nominee Parasite is the first South Korean film to be nominated, and only the 11th foreign language film to do so. 

Tatum O'Neal with her Academy Award in 1974.
Tatum O’Neal with her Academy Award in 1974.

8. CREATIVES OF ALL AGES ARE ELIGIBLE TO WIN. 

The youngest ever Oscar winner is Tatum O’Neal who was only 10 years old when she won Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Paper Moon in 1974, while the oldest Oscar winner is James Ivory who received the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his work on Call Me By Your Name in 2018.

9. AS HEAVY AS IT LOOKS?

The gold plated award currently weighs a hefty 3.5kgs or nearly 8 pounds!

The Academy Award.
The Academy Award.

10. THE AUDIENCE HAS GROWN IN THE PAST CENTURY.

Only 270 people attended the first Academy Awards back in in 1929, while it was estimated that 43 million people watched in the US in 2014.

After decades of hard work and never giving up, history will once again be made. Good luck to all the nominees, I can’t wait to see the show!

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