The 94th Academy Awards are just around the corner, and it’s Trivia Time right now. We went through the old record books to bring some of the most interesting facts and insights about the Oscars for you.
There may be certain questions that keep popping up during conversations or in your head such as why is it called the “the Oscars” and why not anything else? We have addressed all such queries in this post.
So, the next time a friend brings the question up, you can answer it like a gentleman and be the coolest lad in the group. Get something to munch on and take a look at some of the best Oscars Facts, Trivia, and Insights here.
The Academy Awards History: Why is it called the Oscars?
The Academy Awards, more commonly called “the Oscars” are awarded to recognize artistic and technical merit in the film industry. The Oscars have been termed the most prestigious and prominent awards in the global entertainment industry. Every year AMPAS (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) organizes it.
The history of the Academy Awards dates back to May 16, 1929, when the first Oscars were held at a private dinner function at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The tickets for guests cost only $5 back then, and 270 people attended it. Now tickets cost $75-80 on average.
The first ceremony lasted for only 15 minutes, and fifteen statuettes were awarded to honor the professionals of the industry.
Before 1940, the winners were announced to the media before the ceremony. The winners for the first ceremony were announced three months earlier.
In 1957, the Best Foreign Language Film category was added at the 29th Annual Academy Awards. It is now known as the Best International Feature Film. Before that, foreign-language films were honored with the Special Achievement Award.
In 2002, the first Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was given at the 74th annual ceremony. Last year, it was the first time since 1973 that the ceremony ended with the Academy Award for Best Actor. Until then, Academy Award for Best Picture had been the conclusion.
Why is it called “The Oscar?”
The Academy Awards got “The Oscar” moniker officially in 1939. However, it isn’t well known how it happened. There are multiple theories surrounding that.
In her biography, Bette Davis claimed that she nicknamed the award after her first husband Harmon ‘Oscar’ Nelson.
Another story suggests that an Academy executive secretary called Margaret Herrick saw the award statuette in 1931 and mentioned that it looked like her “Uncle Oscar.”
The Academy Award earned the nickname “Oscar” after Academy librarian Margaret Herrick saw the statuette in 1931 and remarked, “Why, it looks like my Uncle Oscar!” #Oscars90 #Trivia pic.twitter.com/uW4Wow6Quo
— One Perfect Shot (@OnePerfectShot) March 5, 2018
In 1934, Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky is said to have used it first in a piece referring to Katharine Hepburn’s first Best Actress win. There is no official record shared by AMPAS that tells how the name was given.
When were the Oscars televised for the first time?
The Academy Awards were televised for the first time on March 19, 1953, across the US and Canada. Thirteen years after that, the Oscars were broadcasted for the first time in color on April 18, 1966.
The fun fact to note here is that Bob Hope hosted both of these ceremonies.
“And the Oscar goes to…” was adopted in 1989
The phrase “And the Oscar goes to…” was adopted in 1989 to announce the winners as the producer Allan Carr believed it would “not seem as competitive.”
Before that, the phrase “And the winner…” was used to announce the winners.
Allan Carr, producer of Grease, changed Oscar history by changing the traditional "And the winner is" to "And the Oscar goes to" #poposcars
— Mario Castillo (@mcastillo101) February 24, 2013
Interesting History of the Oscar Statuette
The Oscar statuette weighs 8.5 pounds and has a height of 13.5 inches. The coveted statuette is made of gold-plated britannium. The design features a knight holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes.
These five spokes represent the five original branches of the Academy- Actors, Directors, Producers, Writers, and Technicians. It is said that the design was modeled after Emilio Fernandez, who was a Mexican filmmaker and actor.
From 1942 to the end of World War II, winners were given statuettes made of plaster to conserve metal. However, they got the actual trophy after the war subsided completely.
In 1983, the first and only Oscar statuette made of wood was given to Edgar Berge for his ventriloquist dummy partner Charlie McCarthy.
The Oscar Insights Worth Remembering
The firsts are always special and the same goes for the Oscars. Have you ever wondered who was the first actor or actress to win the Oscar, or which movie was the first to win it? Know it all here.
Who was the first Actor to win the Oscar?
Emil Jannings won the first Oscar for Best Actor in the first-ever ceremony for his performances in The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh.
The Academy gave him the prize before the ceremony as he had to return to Europe. This also made him the first-ever person to receive an Academy Award in history.
Who was the first Actress to win the Oscar?
Janet Gaynor is the first Oscar winner for Best Actress at the first Award Ceremony for her performances in 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.
Luise Rainer is the first actress to win the award twice and in consecutive years. She won the award for Best Actress in 1936 for The Great Ziegfeld and in 1937 for The Good Earth.
Sophia Loren, who was an Italian actress, is the first-ever winner of the award for a non-English language performance. She won the award for her performance in Two Women in 1961.
Which was the first Picture to win the Oscar?
Wings won the first-ever Best Picture award at the first Oscar ceremony. It is also the only silent film to win the Academy Award for Best Picture. At the same ceremony, Wings also won the Academy Award for Engineering Effects.
Wings, directed by William Wellman, was the most expensive movie of its time. It had an overall budget of $2 Million.
Which was the first Animated Movie to win the Oscar?
Shrek was the first-ever Animated Movie to win an Oscar. The Academy Award for Best Animated Feature was introduced in 2001, and Shrek was announced the winner.
In 1937, Disney’s Snow White won an honorary award for being nominated for its score as an animated feature.
Which was the first International Movie to win the Oscar?
The Oscars have been pretty difficult for International Movies. Over the course of years, the Best International Feature award is almost exclusively given to European movies. Out of the 68 awards since the inception of the category in 1947, 57 have been won by European Movies, 8 by Asian movies, 5 by American movies, and 3 by African movies.
Italian movie Shoe-Shine was the first recipient of the Best International Feature award in 1947.
In 2020, the Korean movie Parasite created history after winning three major awards outside of the Best Internation Feature category. The movie directed by Bong Joon-ho won the Academy Awards for Best Screenplay, Best Director, and Best Internation Film.
Today marks one year since Parasite took home Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards. Making history as the first non-English language film to win the Oscar. It has since become the longest-reigning Best Picture winner since 1930. pic.twitter.com/sBhJYLw0qq
— FILM CRAVE (@fiImcrave) February 9, 2021
Who was the first Director to win the Oscar?
- Frank Borzage won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Director in the Drama category for 7th Heaven.
- Lewis Milestone won the first-ever Academy Award for Best Director in the Comedy category for Two Arabian Knights.
Who was the Youngest winner of the Oscar?
Shirley Temple is the youngest winner of an Oscar. She won the first-ever Juvenile Award in 1934 while she was only six years old. This award category is no longer in existence now.
If considering only competitive awards, Tatum O’Neal is the youngest Oscar winner after winning the award for Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon at 10 years of age in 1973.
Who was the Oldest winner of the Oscar?
James Ivory is the oldest winner of an Oscar. He won the award for Best Adapted Screenplay for Call Me by Your Name in 2017 at 89 years of age.
For an Acting Oscar, the late Christopher Plummer is the oldest Oscar winner after winning the award for Best Supporting Actor for Beginners at 82 years of age in 2011.
The oldest actor to be nominated for an Oscar is Gloria Stewart who got nominated at 87 years of age for her role in Titanic (1997) as aged Rose.
More “Firsts” you should remember about the Oscars
- Sidney Poitier is the first African American to win Best Actor for Lilies of the Field in 1963.
- Halle Berry is the first African American to win Best Actress for Monster’s Ball in 2001.
- Kathryn Bigelow is the first woman to win Best Director for The Hurt Locker in 2008.
- Gone with the Wind is the first movie filmed in color to win the Best Picture award in 1939.
Oscar Awards: Who has won the “Most?”
It is also worth knowing about the movies and actors who have won the most Oscars. However, there are also some of them who got nominated a lot of times but are yet to hold up their first black statuette. Let’s know about them.
Which Movie has won the most Oscars?
Three movies are tied for the record to have won the most Oscars, and they are:
- Titanic: Nominated for 14; Won 11
- Ben-Hur: Nominated for 12; Won 11
- The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King: Nominated for 11; Won 11
On 27 January 2004, LOTR: The Return of the King was nominated for 11 Academy Awards. A month later, the film won all, making it tied with Ben-Hur and Titanic as the most awarded films in Oscar history. It was the first fantasy film to win Academy Award for Best Picture. pic.twitter.com/WHV9UtzPlD
— Putri Prihatini (@BlogTolkien) January 27, 2021
The Lord of the Rings movie got the biggest clean sweep at the Oscars ever, which also makes it the luckiest film at the Academy Awards.
Which Movie has received the most Oscar Nominations?
The record for most Oscar Nominations is also tied among three movies. Each of them has received 14 nominations at the Academy Awards. The movies are:
- All About Eve
- La La Land
As stated above, Titanic bagged 11 awards from the 14 nominations, while All About Eve and La La Land both only managed to receive six awards each.
Fun Fact: There are two films that hold the record for most Oscar nominations without winning a single award. The Turning Point in 1997 and The Color Purple in 1985 got 11 nominations but went trophyless at the ceremony.
Cinematographer Allen Daviau and director Steven Spielberg line up a shot over Danny Glover on-set of The Color Purple (1985). This movie is tied with The Turning Point (1977) for the most Oscar nominations (eleven) without a single win. pic.twitter.com/XNgsJQH716
— ClassiCMovieSHD (@Classic48296113) January 30, 2022
Who has won the Oscar for Best Actor the most?
Daniel Day-Lewis has won the Oscar for Best Actor a maximum of three times for his performances in My Left Foot (1989), There Will be Blood (2007), and Lincoln (2012).
Jack Nicholson also has three Oscars as an Actor which include two Best Actor awards for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and As Good As It Gets (1997), and a Best Supporting Actor award for Terms of Endearment (1983).
Other actors who have won the award for Best Actor include-
- Spencer Tracey
- Frederic March
- Gary Cooper
- Marlon Brando
- Dustin Hoffman
- Tom Hanks
- Sean Penn
Who has won the Oscar for Best Actress the most?
Katharine Hepburn has won the Oscar for Best Actress a maximum of four times for her performances in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).
Meryl Streep holds the record for most Oscar nominations as an actress, however, she only has three wins, which include two Best Actress awards for Sophie’s Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011), and a Best Supporting Actress award for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).
Ingrid Bergman is another actress with three Oscar wins, which include Best Actress twice for Gaslight (1944) and Anastasia (1956), and Best Supporting Actress for Murder on the Orient Express (1974).
Who has won the most Oscars for Best Director?
John Ford holds the record to have most Oscars for Best Director. He had won the award four times for The Informer (1935), The Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), and The Quiet Man (1952).
There is a tie for second place between William Wyler and Frank Capra who have each won the award for Best Director three times.
Billy Wilder has also earned six Oscars while Francis Ford Coppola has earned five. However, their awards came across different categories including directing, producing, and writing.
Who has the most Oscar wins and nominations?
Walt Disney holds the record for most Oscar wins as well as nominations. The pioneer has won 22 Oscars from the record 59 nominations and also has four honorary Oscars as well.
Walt Disney also holds the record for most nominations in a single ceremony with six, which led to four wins. He also has the longest winning streak as he won 10 awards in eight successive years from 1931 to 1939.
— Celeb Crunch (@celebcrunch02) February 10, 2020
Who has been the host for Oscars the most?
The Academy Awards have been hosted by some of the most legendary personalities of the film industry including the likes of Will Rogers, Frank Capra, Jack Benny, Fred Astaire, Jack Lemmon, and David Letterman.
However, the record for being the host at the maximum number of Oscars is held by Bob Hope. He had hosted a whopping 19 Academy Award ceremonies.
The amazing Bob Hope hosted the Oscar show 19 times, a record. He often kidded about never winning the award himself. "Welcome to the Oscars or, as it's known around my house, Passover." 😂 pic.twitter.com/M46sVXAFp8
— Buzzer 🐝 (@Buzzersplace) April 13, 2021
Billi Crystal sits at the second position after hosting 9 Academy Awards.
Facts about The Academy Awards Ceremony
Usually, The Academy Awards Ceremony lasts for three and a half hours. At the first Oscars, it lasted for only 15 minutes, whereas, the longest one took place in 2002 when it last for four hours and twenty-three minutes.
According to the financial site WalletHub, the Academy Awards Ceremony has a massive budget of $44 million on average. This also includes $400 for each Oscar Statuette.
The Oscars also have a Red Carpet which is among the most popular ones in the world. Every year, 18 workers take 900 hours to install the red carpet which costs a whopping $24,700.
After the main award ceremony ends, there is an After-Party called the Vanity Fair Oscar Party. The tickets to attend it very expensive and may cost as high as $105,000.
The Ceremony has been Hostless Since 2018
Every Academy Awards ceremony has had a host since 2018 when Kevin Hart stepped down as a host due to resurfacing of his old homophobic tweets. Since then, every ceremony has been hostless but featured iconic performances from superstars.
However, this year, the Oscars will be having hosts, Craig Erwich, the president of Hulu Originals and ABC Entertainment has announced it officially.
Variety first broke the news that Amy Schumer, Regina Hall, and Wanda Skyes will be hosting an hour each at the Oscars 2022. Good Morning America later confirmed this news.
— Cersei Ciarolla (@cersei_c) March 19, 2022
Who gave the longest-ever speech after winning an Oscar?
Greer Garson delivered the longest speech which lasted for around six minutes after winning the Oscar for Best Actress for her performance in Mrs. Miniver in 1942
Unfortunately, the speech is not available on the Internet. We only know that she started it by saying “I’m practically unprepared.”
Shoutout to Greer Garson who has the record for the longest Oscar speech and was possibly the reason for the 45 second ruling. #Oscars
— 𝔈𝔪𝔦𝔩𝔶🦇 (@vincentprices_) April 26, 2021
In contrast, William Holden and famous director Alfred Hitchcock hold the record for the shortest speech after winning the Oscar. They both only said “Thank you” and left the stage.
The organizers offer around 45 seconds for speech to every winner of the Oscar. However, the speeches usually last for around a minute or two.
What are the Eligibility Criteria to be considered for an Oscar Nomination?
The eligibility criteria to be considered for an Oscar nomination includes:
- The Film must be 40 minutes long.
- It must be on 35mm or 70mm film, or 24-frame or 48-frame progressive scan Digital Cinema format at a minimum resolution of 2048 by 1080 pixels.
- It must be screened for paid admission in Los Angeles for at least seven days.
Fun Fact: Due to these rules, Charles Chaplin’s film Limelight (1952) won an Oscar in 1972 when it played in Los Angeles.
What do the Winners get upon winning the Oscar?
Upon winning, the winners receive an iconic Oscar statuette. However, they are not really the owner of it. They must sign an agreement stating that if they ever wish to sell their statuettes, they must offer them to the Academy for $1. And, if they refuse, they can’t keep it.
This rule has been in effect since 1950. That’s why you would’ve seen the older statuettes in the open market.
In 2001, Steven Speilberg bought Bette Davis’ Oscar for $578,000 and donated it back to the Academy. He had also bought Clark Gable’s 1934 Best Actor Oscar for It Happened One Night, for the bargain price of $550,000 in 1996
Apart from the statuette, the Oscar winners also get a goodie bag that contains gifts worth $148,00. Along with all this, the Best Actor and Actresses also get a pay raise of 20-30%.
Random Fun Facts & Trivia about the Oscars
Now let’s take a look at some of the coolest trivia and fun facts about the Oscars:
An Oscar has won an Oscar only once:
In 1941, Oscar Hammerstein II won the Oscar for his song “The last time I saw Paris” from the movie Lady Be Good.
Three Movies have won all of the “Big Five” Oscar awards:
The Big Five Oscar awards are Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Three movies have won all of them in a single ceremony. They are: It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and The Silence of the Lambs.
The Godfather is the only franchise to win the Best Picture twice:
The gangster masterpiece by Francis Ford, The Godfather (1972), and The Godfather: Part II (1974) have won the Oscar for Best Picture. This makes it the only franchise to have won the Academy Award for Best Picture twice.
In 1990, The Godfather: Part III was also nominated for Best Picture, however, it lost to Dances with Wolves.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) also won the Best Picture award as a sequel, however, none of its prequels had won the prize.
Marty is the Shortest movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture:
Marty has a duration of only 90 minutes, making it the shortest picture to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
First movie to win best picture that was based on a tv show
Lowest budget movie to win an Oscar until Moonlight (adjusted for inflation)
At 90 mins it is the shortest film to be best picture winner
— 🐓Cerrano'sChicken🐓 (@CerranosChicken) March 17, 2022
Gone with the Wind is the Longest movie to win the Oscar for Best Picture:
Gone with the Wind runs for 238 minutes including the overture, intermission, entr’acte, and exit music. This makes it the longest movie to have won the Best Picture at Oscars.
When only considering runtime, Lawrence of Arabia is the longest Best Picture winner with a duration of 222 minutes.
More Oscar Trivia that you should know
- Composer Victor Young has had the longest streak before finally winning an Oscar. He went trophyless for his 21 nominations and then got lucky at the 22nd time for Around the World in 80 Days
- Currently, sound engineer Greg P Russel holds the longest Oscar nominations streak (16) without winning it.
- During the Academy Awards in 1974, a man named Robert Opal ran across the stage naked, flashing the peace sign. David Niven had been on stage at that moment. He remarked, “The only laugh that man will ever get in his life is by stripping … and showing his shortcomings.”
- Three people have declined an Oscar in history. However, one of them, Dudley Nichols later accepted the award after three years.
- Beatrice Straight won Best Supporting Actress for Network, making it the shortest performance to win an Oscar. Her performance in the movie was for only five minutes and two seconds.
- In 2016, the presenters Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway wrongly announced La La Land the winner of the Best Picture award. However, they corrected the record 2 minutes and 23 seconds later. Moonlight then shockingly, and yet deservedly won Best Picture.
- Moonlight is also the lowest-budget film ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture.
- The greatest director in all of film history, Alfred Hitchcock has never won the Oscar for Best Director. Although his first Hollywood movie Rebecca won the Best Picture in 1940.
- The Hustons and The Coppolas are the two families who have three generations of Oscar winners.
That’s all for our record of Oscar trivia, facts, and insights. Would you like to add some more facts or stats to this post? Share them in the comments section.
We’ll definitely have a look, verify them, and add them here with proper credits.