Academy Awards: And the Oscar goes to…..( 2 Min Read )
Quirky details of its colourful history and about the coveted ‘Golden Guy’ himself.
The first Academy Award was held on 16th May 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel with about 270 people attending it. The winners were announced publicly three months before the awards. The only silent film to win the Best Picture was ‘Wings’ at the 1929 Academy Awards
The Golden Statuettes presented annually are commonly referred to as ‘Oscars’. It was rumoured that a librarian at the Academy, noticed that the statuette bore a striking resemblance to her uncle Oscar, and the name spread. Although a popular story, this has never been substantiated and no one knows for sure where Oscar got his name.
The statuette depicts ‘a Knight holding a crusader sword’, designed by Cedric Gibbons, MGM’s Art Director. It’s height is 13.5 inches, weighs 3.80 Kg, and made of Gold plated Bronze with Oscar standing on a reel of film with five spokes, each representing one of the original Academy Branches.
Since inception the Academy Awards have been postponed only three times: 1938- flooding in Los Angeles, 1968-funeral of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr & 1981- after the assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan.
The Academy Awards were first televised in Black & White in the year 1953 and in colour from 1966. It is the oldest worldwide entertainment awards ceremony and is now televised live worldwide.
In 1949 it was decided that all statuettes would be numbered. ‘501’ was the first number to be issued and all perfect statuettes are now stamped with their serial number behind Oscar’s heels.
Walt Disney has won more Oscars than anyone else. He was nominated for 64 awards, and won 26!. The actress with the most Oscars is Katharine Hepburn who won four Best Actress Oscars. Clint Eastwood is the male actor with the most Oscars, a total of 4 trophies to his name. Surprisingly this dashing cowboy did not win any for acting. He won two Oscars for Best Director and two for the Best Picture.
Three of the most successful films in Oscar history are Ben Hur ( 1959), Titanic ( 1997) and the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ( 2003) with each winning 11 Oscars.
There were metal shortage during World War II, the Oscar statuettes were made of plaster for 3 years. Since 1950, Oscar winners cannot officially sell their statuette without first offering it back to the Academy for US $ 1.
At the 1972 Oscars, Marlon Brando declined the Academy Award for Best Actor for his career reviving performance in ‘The God Father’, as he was protesting Hollywood’s portrayal of Native Americans in Film.
“ I sincerely hope I shall always be a credit to my race and the motion picture industry” Hattie McDaniel- the first African American to win an Oscar for her role of Mammy in “Gone With The Wind”