CHARLOTTE, NC: Whether it’s hype, too many award shows, overly long acceptance speeches, Hollywood’s egomaniacal actors or some combination of them all, the Academy Awards are no longer the event of the season. Still, the Oscar nominees are choosing their designer ensembles for their red carpet walk.
And what is arguably the best of the never-ending Pat-Yourself-On-The-Back Lovefests is on the horizon. While watching the fete, have some Oscar Trivia on hand to impress your friends and family.
Oscar Awards History
- Oscar weighs 6 3/4 pounds and stands 13 1/2 inches high. Margaret Herrick, the Academy librarian, coined its nickname in 1931 when she exclaimed, “It looks like my Uncle Oscar!”
- The first color film to win Best Picture is 1939’s Gone with the Wind.
- It is a bit unfair to say Wings (1927) is the only silent movie to win Best Picture. Talkies were the rage when the first Academy Awards were held in 1929.
- If you are wondering how a film made in 1927 could capture the honor in 1929. The awards are given for the previous year however at the first awards show, both 1927 and 1928 were included.
- If you think those interminable acceptance speeches praising everyone in the world that nobody has ever heard of are a recent phenomenon, thank Greer Garson. When Garson won Best Actress in 1942 for Mrs. Miniver her acceptance took a whopping five minute and 30 seconds.
In Hollywood, sequels are usually the kiss of death, but two have managed to win Best Picture; The Godfather Part II in 1974 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003. Some critics even say the second Godfather film was better than the first.
The Oscar goes to -nominees and winners:
- Liza Minnelli has the distinction of being the only Academy Award winner whose parents were each Oscar recipients themselves. In 1939, Minnelli’s mother, Judy Garland won an honorary miniature statuette. Her father, Vincente Minnelli, won Best Director in 1958 for Gigi.
- Liza Minnelli was Best Actress as Sally Bowers in 1972’s Cabaret.
- Continuing the family tradition, though this one does not just concern winners, the only brothers to receive acting nominations were River Phoenix in 1998 and Joaquin Phoenix in 2000, 2005 and 2012.
- Brother and sister stars fare slightly better, with a Best Actor trophy going to Lionel Barrymore in 1931 for A Free Soul and Ethel Barrymore’s portrayal of Ma Mott in None but the Lonely Heart in 1944.
- Believe it or not, there are two three-generation Oscar-winning families. The Hustons (Walter Huston in 1948; son John Huston in 1948; and granddaughter Anjelica Huston in 1985) and the Coppolas (Carmine Coppola in 1974; son Francis Ford Coppola in 1970; and granddaughter Sofia Coppola in 2003).
If that sounds impressive, then hold on to your hats because these are guaranteed to win you some beers.
- The most Oscar-nominated family in history is the Newmans with 87 nominations and counting. Brothers Alfred Newman (43 nominations), Emil Newman (1), and Lionel Newman (11); second generation, Randy Newman (20), David Newman (1), and Thomas Newman (11). Kinda makes you wonder what happened to Paul and Alfred E. with that kind of legacy.
- Another rarity is back-to-back Best Actor Oscar winners, although in this case, there are probably more than you think. Five performers have accomplished the task; Luise Rainer (1936 and 1937), Spencer Tracy (1937 and 1938), Katharine Hepburn (1967 and 1968), Jason Robards, (1976 and 1977) and Tom Hanks (1993 and 1994)
- For the record, David O. Russell is the first director to have back-to-back movies with nominations in every acting category.
The Films of Oscar
Since most Americans tend to view the Academy Awards as their own, Foreign Language films are in a sub-category. With that in mind, consider that France has earned the most foreign film nominations with 36, but Italy takes the honor with the highest number of Oscars at 13.
- Foreign Language Film is the film with the most nominations (10) and wins (4) in a single year is Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
- Liberal as Hollywood is, even La-La Land does not always avoid controversy. The year 2004 is the first time that five African American performances were nominated for acting awards; Jamie Foxx (Best Actor: Ray & Best Supporting Actor: Collateral), Morgan Freeman (Best Supporting Actor: Million Dollar Baby), Don Cheadle (Best Actor: Hotel Rwanda) and Sophie Okonedo (Best Supporting Actress: Hotel Rwanda)
- A few years later the academy took some heat after accusations that they acedemy is overlooking top-notch portrayals by black performers.
- IN 2013, producer Meg Ellison became the first woman in Academy Awards history to receive two Best Picture nominations in the same year for Her and American Hustle. Only three people have ever achieved that honor.
Closing out today’s trivia, just for fun, the tallest actor to win an Oscar was John Wayne at 6’4″.
And finally, the only person who was actually named Oscar to win the award was Oscar Hammerstein II for Best Song in 1941 and 1945.
Just so you know, Oscar the Grouch never got a nomination.’
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor is an award-winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe.
Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com)
Editors Note: Support Bob’s GoFundMe to give him a hand up