Oscarstanding!

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It’s showtime! The Oscars 2020 are  on Sunday, 9th February in Los Angeles. There is always a buzz about these Academy Awards including who wore what, who came with who, and of course, who won and lost. Let us give you some other interesting facts about these movie awards that started in 1929! 

How Oscar got his name

The real name of the Oscar statue is the “Academy Award of Merit.” There are a few myths surrounding who the statue got its  name but the most common one is about a librarian named Margaret Herrick who worked at the Academy. When she first saw the statuette she said that it reminded her of her uncle Oscar. The nickname stuck apparently and was officially used by the Academy from 1939.

Oscar Vital Statistics

Height: 13.5 inches

Weight: about 3.8 kgs. 

Composition:  Gold-plated britannium, except during World War II, when the statues were made of plaster. The only Oscar statue made of wood was given to Edgar Bergen for his ventriloquist dummy Charlie McCarthy.

Designed by: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) art director Cedric Gibbons

Oscar Rules:

Oscar-winners are not allowed to leave with their award ceremony before signing a winners agreement, stating that they will not sell their award without first offering it back to the Academy for $1. If someone loses it, they will be given a replacement as Gene Kelly was when his Oscar was destroyed in a fire. 

The Show doesn’t always Go On. Though organisers do everything in their power to see that the ceremonies go off smoothly and on time, the Awards have been postponed three times. The first was when there was flooding in Los Angeles in 1938. Then in 1968, the awards were pushed back two days because of the funeral of Martin Luther King. In 1981, it was postponed a day because of an assassination attempt on then President Ronald Reagan. 

Oscar Records

The most nominations for a single film: 14. Titanic and All About Eve

Most wins for a movie, 11 for Ben Hur, Titanic and Lord of the Rings.  

The most  nominated person ever: Walt Disney. 64 nominations, 26 wins. 

The most nominated actor ever: Meryl Streep with 19 nominations and 3 wins. 

Most wins for a country in the Foreign Language category: Italy with 10 wins. 

Most nominated person without a win? Sound mixer Kevin O’Connell, nominated 20 times. 

Youngest person to win – Tatum O’Neal at 10 years, Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon. 

Oldest person to win – Christopher Plummer, 82 years, Best Supporting Actor for the movie, Beginners. 

Clean Sweep 

Three films have pulled off the remarkable feat of winning  the top five awards of Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Writer, Best Director and Best Film  – It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Silence of the Lambs.  

The Short and Sparkling  Oscar Path of John Cazale: Actor John Cazale had a short but remarkable acting  career. Before he died at the young age of 42, he acted in five films; all of them were nominated for Oscars! 

Fictional Nominees: Brothers Joel and Ethan Coen won several nominations for No Country For Old Men, directing it under the pseudonym Roderick Jaynes.

Oscar to Oscar: The only person named Oscar to win an Oscar was Oscar Hammerstein for his song, The Last Time I Saw Paris in the movie Lady Be Good. 


Written by: Pereena Lamba. Pereena is a freelance writer, editor and creative consultant. She is also co-author of Totally Mumbai.

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