Learning about the Oscars

This year’s eldest and youngest nominees are, respectively, Emmanuelle Riva (aged 85) and Quvenzhané Wallis (aged nine) who are both nominated this year for Best Actress.

The Oscar’s will take place on Sunday, Feb. 24, which coincidentally is Riva’s birthday. What could be a better birthday present than winning an Oscar?

The first Academy Awards was held on May 16, 1929 in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. The tickets cost $5.00 and the entire ceremony took 15 minutes.

The Academy Awards are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS).

The origin of the nickname “Oscar” has long been disputed. Bette Davis claims that she named her statuette after her late husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. Another story claims that the Executive Secretary of the Academy Awards saw the statue and said that it reminded her of her Uncle Oscar.

The earliest mention of the nickname Oscar was in 1932 when Walt Disney thanked the Academy for his Oscar in his acceptance speech.

Meryl Streep has been nominated 17 times, mostly for Best Actress, and has won three times.

If Wallis wins she will be the youngest Oscar winner, beating out Tatum O’Neal who won in 1973 for Best Supporting Actress at age ten.

Only two silent films have ever won Best Picture: Wings in 1929 and The Artist in 2011.

Walt Disney has won the most Oscars with a grand total of 32 wins out of 59 nominations.

It takes about a month to create all the statuettes to hand out.

The first black actress to win an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel in 1940 winning Best Supporting Actress for Gone with the Wind.

The first black actor to win an Oscar was Sidney Poitier with Lilies of the Field in 1963.

Amour is the fifth film to be nominated for both Best Film and Best Foreign film along with 1969’s Z, 1971’s The Emigrants, 1998’s Life is Beautiful and 2000’s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.

Adele’s song “Skyfall” is the first Best Original Song nominee in ten years to be on the Billboard Hot 100.

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