Oscars 2018: Lesser-known facts about the Academy Awards

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The Oscar season is here and to catch up with the frenzy of the most celebrated night of Hollywood, the cinephiles have been getting up-to-date with all the films that have been nominated this year. While catching up on all the films makes us root for our favourites during the ceremony, it is the charm of the Oscars that draws us to the coveted award ceremony every year.

There have been 89 Academy Awards ceremonies in the past and through all those years, there have been milestones that the artists and the Academy has achieved. As the 90th Academy Awards are just around the corner, here’s looking at the lesser-known facts about the Oscars.

1. Hosting the ceremony at the Academy Awards is a coveted job. While there have been many hosts over the years, the one who has hosted a record number of 18 Academy award ceremonies is Bob Hope. Billy Crystal ranks in second for hosting the ceremony 8 times.

2. Winning an Academy Award is one of the biggest honours for an artist who works in the movies but there have been times when this esteemed trophy was declined by the winners. Dudley Nichols was the first person to refuse the Academy Award which he had won for Best Screenplay for The Informer (1935). He did so because of the ongoing conflicts between the Academy and the Writer’s Guild.

Actor George C. Scott refused the honour that he received for Best Actor for Patton stating that the award ceremony was “a two-hour meat parade.”

Actor Marlon Brando also refused the honour for Best Actor for The Godfather because of the discrimination towards Native Americans by Hollywood and USA.

3. The Oscar statuette is 13.5 inches tall and weighs 8.5 pounds. It has a knight holding a sword standing on top of a film reel which has five spokes. These spokes represent five branches of the Academy, actors, producers, directors, writers and technicians.

4. The first Academy Award ceremony was held in 1929 where 15 statuettes were given. The ceremony only lasted for 15 minutes. In contrast, the longest show lasted for 4 hours 23 minutes in 2002.

5. Christopher Plummer is the oldest person to win an Academy Award. He won the award when he was 82 for his supporting role in the film Beginners (2010). Christopher Plummer is also the oldest nominee as he has been nominated for his work in All the Money in the World (2017).

6. Tatum O’Neal is the youngest recipient of the Academy Award. She won the award when she was 10 for her role in Paper Moon.

7. Midnight Cowboy (1969) is the only X-rated movie to win an Oscar.

8. It was in 2009 that the Academy Awards saw its first female Best Director. Kathryn Bigelow won this honour for The Hurt Locker.

9. Hattie McDaniel was the first African-American person to win the Academy Award. She won Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her performance in Gone with the Wind in 1939.

10. Meryl Streep still holds the record for the maximum academy Award nominations for acting. She has been nominated 21 times and has won the Oscar 3 times.

11. John Williams is the most Academy Award-nominated person alive today. The music composer has 51 nominations and 5 wins to his credit.

12. Italy has won the maximum number of Foreign Language Film awards at the Oscars. Over the years, 14 awards have been collected by Italian films.

13. Ben Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and Lord of Rings: Return of the King (2003) are the three films to win the maximum number of Oscars. Each of these films won 11 statuettes.

14. During the early years, supporting actors and actresses were only given plaques instead of statuettes.

15. Since 2010, the Academy made a rule that the winners’ speeches must not go beyond 45 seconds. But in 1942, the longest speech was delivered by actor Greer Garson. It lasted for over 5 minutes 20 seconds.

16. Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to have an Oscar for playing the same character of Vito Corleone from The Godfather series.