Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Facts!

By Anant Mathur (February 22, 2013) 

The 85th Annual Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, take place this Sunday (Feb. 24, 2012). Most of us were not around when the first Oscar ceremony took place, so here are some fact and moments you may or may not know from the first Oscars till now.

-First oscar ceremony was on May 16, 1929. 1927 & 1928 films were nominated. The first pic to win was wings (1927). Wings was the most expansive film up to that time.

-In 1942, Walt Disney was awarded 3 Oscars. One for inventing Mickey Mouse; another for creating Snow White, the first feature length animated film (this came with seven little Oscars); but the third, The Irving G Thalberg Award, proved too much for the animation great and he spent most of the speech misty-eyed.

-Since the Academy Awards ceremonies began in 1929, 73 different people have hosted or co-hosted the event. Some have hosted multiple times, but none holds a candle to Bob Hope. The actor/comedian hosted the Oscars a record 18 different times, beginning in 1940.

-My generation most popular host was Billy Crystal who has hosted 8 times

-In 1942, Citizen Kane was beaten to Best Picture by How Green Was My Valley.

-When presenting the award for Best Visual Effects, in 2006, Ben Stiller arrived on stage clad in green unitard so that he might be digitally erased by the power of visual effects and have the award present itself.

-The first ceremony was televised in 1953. 

-Only three films (It Happened One Night, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest and Silence Of The Lambs) have won all five major Oscars (Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay).  

-In 1943, when accepting Best Actress for Mrs Miniver, Greer Garson rambled on with thanks for over six minutes, reputedly the longest acceptance speech in Oscar history.

-In 2002, the audience had to wait over 4 hours and 17 minutes for A Beautiful Mind to be crowned Best Picture.

-The almost unthinkable happened in 1958 when the telecast actually ran short, forcing host Jerry Lewis to fill for twenty minutes.

-Marlon Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather in 1973, staying away from the ceremony himself, he sent a native American named Sacheen Littlefeather to announce that he could not accept the award due to the film industry's poor treatment of native Americans.

-Shirley Temple was given an Honorary Juvenile Award in 1934 "in grateful recognition for her contribution to screen entertainment". She was six.

-At the 1940 ceremony, Hattie McDaniel became the first black actor nominated and the first to win. It would be another 23 years before a black actor, Sidney Poitier, won in either of the leading categories and 62 years before Halle Berry won Best Actress.

-In 1992, Jack Palance won Best Supporting Actor for his role in City Slickers. After taking to the stage to accept his award and joking that he could "crap bigger" than co-star and host Billy Crystal, Palance dropped to the floor and did a series of one-handed press-ups. He was 73!  

-For the first and only time in Oscar history, two people won the award best supporting actress award in 1968 (Barbra Streisand and Katharine Hepburn).

-Sidney Poitier was the first black actor to win the award for a leading role when he won for Lilies of the Field at the 1963 Oscar ceremony.

-Martin Scorsese had been nominated in the directing category five times and lost every one. So, in 2007, when he was nominated a sixth time for The Departed, Steven Spielberg, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola arrived on stage to present the award.

-After six nominations, Alfred Hitchcock never won a competitive Oscar. In 1967, the honorary Irving G. Thalberg award was bestow upon one of cinema's greatest. His entire acceptance speech amounted to a simple, "Thank you". 

-In 1972, Charlie Chaplin received the longest ovation in Oscar history, lasting over five minutes. 

-The greatest boxers of the movie world and the real world met on stage at the 1976 ceremony. As Sylvester Stallone, aka Rocky Balboa, prepared to present an award, Muhammad Ali snuck up behind him.

© Anant Mathur. All Rights Reserved.

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