The 91st Academy Awards are just around the corner, which means the film community has gold on the mind. While we all eagerly await the moment our favorite filmmakers step onto the stage to claim their coveted award, let’s take a look back at the history and the landmarks of Oscars history. Here are 30 surprising (or educational) Academy Awards facts:

  1. The hosting fee for the annual Academy Awards amounts to $15,000
  2. The estimated value of the goodie bags handed out at the Oscars is $100,000
  3. Gone with the Wind is the longest film to win Best Picture with a runtime of 238 minutes.
  4. Gone With the Wind (1939) was the first film shot in color to win Best Picture.
  5. Tatum O’Neal won Best Supporting Actress when she was only 10 years old for Paper Moon (1973).
  6. Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman to win Best Director in 2009 for The Hurt Locker. The only woman to be even nominated for the honor since was Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird (2017).
  7. Hattie McDaniel was the first black performer to win an Oscar. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role in Gone With the Wind (1939).
  8. Sidney Poitier was the first African American to win Best Lead Actor. He did so for Lilies of the Field (1963).
  9. Marlee Matlin became the first deaf actress to win an Oscar. The film was Children of a Lesser God (1987).
  10. Katharine Hepburn won a record four Best Lead Actress Oscars for On Golden Pond (1981), The Lion In Winter (1968), Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967) and Morning Glory (1933).
  11. Damien Chazelle became the youngest Best Director winner at 32 years and 38 days old for La La Land (2016). Norman Taurog is the next youngest at 32 years and 260 days. The film was Skippy (1931).
  12. In 1957, Miyoshi Umeki became the first Asian performer to win an acting Oscar, for her role in Sayonara. She is still the only Asian ever to win best supporting actress.
  13. In 1970, George became the first Native American actor to earn an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in Little Big Man.
  14. Ben-Hur (1959), Titanic (1997), and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) are all tied for most wins in Oscars history, with 11 each.
  15. Gone With the Wind screenwriter Sidney Howard became the first person to win a posthumous Oscar.
  16. Heath Ledger and Peter Finch are the only actors to win an Oscar posthumously, for The Dark Knight (2008) and Network (1976) respectively.
  17. Alfred Hitchcock was nominated for Best Director five times yet never won.
  18. Bob Hope has hosted the Oscars 19 times, making him the most frequent in history.
  19. Peter O’Toole was nominated eight times but never won. He received an Honorary Award in 2003.
  20. Daniel Day-Lewis won a record three Best Lead Actor Oscars with My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2008), and Lincoln (2012).
  21. Black Panther is the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture.
  22. In 1969, Streisand and Hepburn became the first and last performers to tie in the Best Actress category, for their roles in The Lion in Winter and Funny Girl.
  23. Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro became the first actors to win Oscars for playing the same role in different movies, thanks to The Godfather (1972) and The Godfather II (1974).
  24. Midnight Cowboy (1969) won Best Picture in 1970. It is the only X-rated film in history to win an Oscar.
  25. The Oscar statuette’s official name is “Academy Award of Merit.” The name “Oscar” is a nickname with unclear beginnings, though there are multiple stories which all claim to tell the origin of said nickname.
  26. Oscar Hammerstein II won the Oscar for his song, “The Last Time I Saw Paris,” in the movie Lady Be Good (1941). He is the only person named Oscar to win an Oscar.
  27. At the 61st Academy Awards, held in 1989, the phrase “And the winner is…” was replaced with “And the Oscar goes to…”
  28. The Oscar statuette stands at 13 1/2 inches tall and weighs 8 1/2 pounds. It depicts a knight, holding a sword, standing on a reel of film which has five spokes, representing the 5 original branches of the Academy–actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers.
  29. In history, two films have tied for the most Oscar nominations, eleven each, without a single win: The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985).

    What do you think about these Oscars facts? Do any of them surprise you? Did you learn anything? Let me know in the comments below!


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