The Academy Awards are counted among the most prestigious awards within the film community. The iconic gold-plated Oscar statuette given during the ceremony has emerged as a highly regarded symbol of honor and pride for recipients. Several interesting facts, legends and records are associated with this action-packed oldest entertainment awards ceremony that is held annually by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and viewed by millions.
Louis B. Mayer, co-founder of AMPAS, wanted to present the Oscar to bring together five sections of motion-picture industry - actors, directors, producers, writers and technicians. Five spokes of the film reel designed in the Oscar statuette represents these five sections.
The 1st Academy Awards ceremony that lasted for 15 minutes was held more as a private event without much pageantry with about 270 people in attendance.
Emil Jannings, winner of Best Actor Award for the 1st Academy Awards ceremony, became the first Academy Award recipient in history.
Shirley Temple, at age 6, became the youngest Oscar winner in 1935. She received the first Academy Juvenile Award (now discontinued), a small replica of the standard Oscar statuette roughly half its height.
Tatum Beatrice O'Neal, at age 10, became the youngest person to win a competitive Oscar. She received Best Supporting Actress award for her performance in Paper Moon in 1973.
AMPAS librarian Margaret Herrick is often credited for nicknaming the Academy Awards statuette as ‘Oscar’ as she possibly said that she nicknamed it after her Uncle Oscar asserting that it looked just like him. Actress Bette Davis claimed once that she invented the nickname as she found the statuette’s posterior to bear a resemblance with that of her husband Harmon Oscar Nelson’s.
According to some sources, the Oscar statuette was modeled on Emilio "El Indio" Fernández who posed nude for MGM art director Cedric Gibbons for creating design of the award.
The elegant Oscar statuette, made of gold-plated bronze having a black metal base, is 13.5 inches in height and weighs 3.856 kg.
Walt Disney earned 59 Oscar nominations of which 22 were wins. He also received 4 honorary Oscars thus receiving a total of 26. With this he holds the record of earning most Oscar Awards and nominations as an individual.
Anthony Hopkins, at age 83, got nominated and won Best Actor Award for The Father in 2021 and with this became the oldest Best Actor nominee and winner and the oldest winner for acting.
Katharine Hepburn holds the maximum number of Oscar awards won by any actor with a record win of 4 for Best Actress, while Meryl Streep bagged most Oscar nominations as an actor with 21, of which she won 3.
John Williams is the only individual in Oscars’ history to have received nominations in seven consecutive decades starting from the 1960s to the 2020s. He is also the oldest person, at age 90, who received an Oscar nomination.
Kobe Bryant is the only person who earned both Olympic medal and an Oscar, winning gold medals in 2008 and 2012 as part of US Olympic basketball teams and an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film for Dear Basketball in 2018.
Gone with the Wind that received ten Oscars in 1940 is the longest film to win Academy Award for Best Picture.
The 2016 American documentary O.J.: Made in America that won Best Documentary Feature award is the longest film (467 minutes) to garner an Oscar nomination and win; while the animated short The Crunch Bird (2 minutes, 32 seconds) that won an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film in 1971 is the shortest to win the accolade.
Three films that won most Oscar awards, 11 each in different categories in a single ceremony, are Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003).
Greer Garson delivered the longest acceptance speech, which is believed to have lasted for almost six minutes, in 1943 while accepting Best Actress Award for Mrs. Miniver. AMPAS thereafter set time limit for an acceptance speech to forty-five seconds.
Fran Walsh won the Oscars for Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2004 thus becoming the only woman to have won three Oscars in a single ceremony.
Two of the most prominent families of tinsel town that boast of having three generations of Oscar winners are the Hustons with Walter, his son John and the latter’s daughter Anjelica; and the Coppolas, with Carmine , his son Francis Ford and the latter’s daughter Sofia.
The Emmy Awards, Tony Awards and Grammy Awards are modeled after the Oscars.
Production of Oscars telecast has bagged 195 Emmy nominations of which 47 were wins, marking the production of the Oscars telecast as winner of most Emmys.