18 Interesting Facts About The Oscars

POSTED BY Naseema Perveen, UPDATED ON February 29th, 2024
Interesting Facts About The Oscars

Oscar is the most recognized trophy in the world which is a symbol of great success and honor in filmmaking. Each year these awards are presented to the most recognized contributors to the entertainment industry. Here today we are taking a look at the most interesting facts about the Oscars:


18. Youngest Oscar Winners

Earning an Academy Award is an artist’s dream and they have to give the very best of their performances to even become eligible for such an honor.

Some exceptional artists, however, were both lucky and talented enough to grab an Oscar at quite an early age such as:


Timothy Hutton

Timothy Hutton

The famous television and film actor Timothy Hutton is best known for his notable films including Playing God and Beautiful Girls. Starting his career with small significant roles on television, he set Hollywood ablaze when he appeared in his first feature film “Ordinary People” in 1980.

He won an Oscar Award for his extraordinary role as a teenager who handles his older brother’s death in Ordinary People. For his role as a supporting actor in Ordinary People, he has been classified as the youngest actor to win an Oscar Award.


Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple Fun Facts About the Oscars

Popularly known as the famous child star of all time Shirley Temple Black was a singer, dancer, and actress. In 1932, she started working on television when she was as young as three years old.

She progressed to become a superstar in her early childhood. When she was only five years old she could dance, sing, and act on-screen. For consecutive four years starting from 1935 to 1938, she remained a box office champion beating out even famous stars such as Gary Cooper, Robert Taylor, and Clark Gable.

In 1934, Shirley Temple won an Oscar at the tender age of 6. Shirley didn’t win an Oscar for a particular movie but for her extraordinary contribution as a child to the entertainment industry. Today, Shirley Temple Black is recognized as the youngest child actress to win an Oscar.


Norman Taurog

Norman Taurog

Born on February 23, 1899, Norman Taurog was a famous actor and director. He was best known for his famous films like “Boys Town” and “Skippy”.

He was also a successful child actor in 1907. Norman Taurog was known for his direction of children and dogs. He was fond of working with children, often he awarded them chocolate bars for their good performances, and in return, youngsters would call him “Uncle Norman”.

Before becoming a talented director he paid his dues as an editor and a prop man. In 1931 at the age of 32 years and 260 days, Norman Taurog became the youngest director to win an Oscar for his famous film Skippy, in which his real-life nephew Jackie Cooper featured as a child actor.


17. Oldest Oscar Nominee

Gloria Stuart

Chosen among the 50 Most Beautiful People in the World in 1998 by People magazine, Gloria Stuart was a glamorous blond Hollywood actress, who was born in California in 1910 and died in 2010 at the age of 101.

Her early role as an actress includes her performances as a young girl in plays that she produced in her own home. She was best known for her appearance as a supporting actress in her featured film Titanic in 1998.

Her performance in it earned her an Oscar nomination classifying her as the oldest Oscar nominee ever; she received her nomination when she was 87 years old.


16. Highest Number of Oscar Nominations

Meryl Streep

Best known as one of the greatest film actresses of all time, Meryl Streep is a talented American film producer and actress who was born on June 22, 1949. She earned her professional recognition after her debut in the 1971 film The Playboy of Seville.

In January 2014, Meryl made an Academy record by receiving her 18th Oscar nomination for her role as the Best Actress in August: Osage County (2013). The 64-year-old Meryl earned the title of the most nominated Hollywood star with Jack Nicholson and Katharine Hepburn trailing behind each with twelve nominations. Among her eighteen nominations, Meryl won three Oscar Awards in 1980, 1983, and 2012 respectively.


15. Oldest Oscar Winner

Christopher Plummer

The 85-year-old Christopher Plummer was born on December 13, 1929, and is the great-grandson of former Canadian Prime Minister Sir John Abbot. He is a well-known television and film actor, who is best known for his debut in Stage Struck in 1958.

At the age of 82 years and 75 days, Christopher Plummer became the oldest person to receive an Oscar Award at the Academy Awards ceremony of 2012 for his role as the Best Supporting Actor in “Beginners” (2010) ahead of other nominees; Max Von Sydow and Kenneth Branagh.

With this, he replaced Jessica Tandy (80 years 292 days) and George Burns (80 years 69 days) as the oldest Oscar winners.


14. Highest Number of Oscar Wins

Jack Nicholson Batman Movie

Image Source: imdb.com

The legendary Hollywood star Jack Nicholson is one of the most successful and heralded actors in Hollywood who was born on April 22, 1937. Jack Nicholson is an American film director, actor, and producer. For his challenging and unique roles throughout his career, he was nominated for the Oscars a total of twelve times.

Among his twelve nominations, he has won three Oscar Awards classifying him as the actor who won the highest number of Oscar Awards. He is best known for being one of the two actors who received Oscar nods in each decade from 1960 to the 2000s, Michael Caine is the other.


13. Longest Oscar Speech

Greer Garson

The longest Oscar speech in history was delivered by Greer Garson who received her Oscar Award for her role as the Best Actress in 1943. She delivered a five-and-a-half-minute-long speech while receiving her award.

The famous British-American actress Greer Garson was listed as one of the top ten American box office draws by Motion Picture Herald from 1942 to 1946.

She is best known for her role in Mrs. Miniver (1942).  Born on September 29, 1904, Greer was one of the most popular actresses during the Second World War who died on April 6, 1966, due to heart failure.


12. Shortest Oscar Speech

Joe Pesci

The shortest Oscar speech was delivered by Joe Pesci. Upon accepting his Oscar for the Best Supporting Actor Award he simply said:

“It’s my privilege: Thank you.”

Joe Pesci received this Oscar for his role in “Goodfellas” for his role as Best Supporting Actor at the 63rd Academy Awards. This speech is marked as the shortest speech in the history of the Oscar Awards.

The American musician, comedian, and actor who was born on February 9, 1943, is best known for some of his high-profile films including, Lethal Weapon, A Bronx Tale, Home Alone, JFK, My Cousin Vinny, and Once Upon a Time in America.


11. Great Actors Who Never Won an Oscar

Shockingly many of the highly acclaimed celebs have never won an Oscar despite their several well-received performances from critics and fans. Although many great actors never won an Oscar we are only going to mention a few here:


Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp Jack Sparrow

Born in 1963, Johnny Depp is a famous director and an acclaimed versatile actor who earned universal recognition for his role as Captain Jack Sparrow in the Pirates of the Caribbean. His performance in the film was ranked #79 by Premiere Magazine’s list of 100 Greatest Performances of All Time in 2006.

One of the most surprising things that you get to know about Johnny Depp is that he has never won an Oscar. Despite his talent and the extremely diverse roles in well-known films like Sleepy Hollow, Edwar Scissorhands, Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Finding Neverland, and Secret Window, Johnny Depp was never awarded an Oscar.

However, he was indeed nominated 3 times for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.


Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise in Risky Business

Born on July 3, 1962, Tom Cruise is a famous American filmmaker and actor who started his career at the age of 19. He was classified as one of the 100 sexiest film stars in history by Empire magazine and was also chosen as one of the top 100 movie stars of all time by the same magazine in which he was ranked number 3.

Tom Cruise is one of the biggest names in Hollywood and is known for his lead roles in high-profile films like Born on the Fourth of July, Top Gun, Cocktail, A Few Good Men, Valkyrie, Mission Impossible series, and “Vanilla Sky.”

Despite his several nominations for the Oscar Awards for Leading Role in the Best Actor category for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, and Magnolia in which he played a supporting role, Cruise has never been able to win an Oscar.


10. The Most Frequent Oscar Host

Bob Hope

Bob Hope who is best known for having 58 honorary degrees was a well-known television, film actor, and entertainer who died in 2003 at the age of 101 years. He remained successful due to the rapid-fire delivery of jokes. For several decades he reigned as the king of American comedy.

Hope earned public recognition by starring in numerous hit comedies throughout the 1940s and remained one of the top film stars. Bob Hope has been one of the most frequent Oscar hosts of all time. He hosted Oscar Awards a whopping 19 times.


9. The First Oscar Statue

first oscar trophy in 1929

The first Academy Awards were held in 1929. Image Courtesy of lovetwenty.com

Officially named the Academy Award of Merit, since 1929 Oscar Statue has been the most recognized trophy in the world and has stood on the mantels of the greatest filmmakers. It was first presented in the Crystal Ballroom of the Biltmore Hotel on May 16, 1929, in Los Angeles.

It was designed by Cedric Gibbons, Chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. For three years during the Second World War, the Oscar was made of painted plaster. The total weight of an Oscar Award is 8.5 pounds and it is 13.5 inches tall. A total of 29,053 Oscar Awards have been presented to the recipients to date.


8. The First Comedy Film to Win an Oscar

It Happened One Night

“It Happened One Night” was the first comedy movie to win an Oscar for Best Picture in 1934. It was one of the three films to win Oscar Awards in the top five categories, including Best Actor, Best Picture, Best Director, and Adapted Screenplay.


7. The First Thriller Film to Win an Oscar


Directed by Alfred Hitchcock “Rebecca” is the first thriller film to win an Oscar in 1940 for Best Picture. Later this film won another Academy Award.

It is the only film that did not receive an Academy Award for directing, acting, or writing despite winning an Academy Award for Best Picture. Rebecca was a classic gothic tale and was shot in black and white.


6. The First Black to Win an Oscar

The Beulah Show first black to win Oscar

Born on June 10, 1895, Hattie McDaniel was a famous actress, who was one of the first African-American women to appear on radio in 1925. She appeared on-screen in 1934 in Judge Priest. Later she starred on CBS in the famous show The Beulah Show.

In 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first African-American to win an Oscar for her supporting role in Gone with the Wind in which she played the role of Mammy. During her career to supplement her income, she also worked as a restroom attendant.


5. The First Best Actor to Win an Oscar

The Last Laugh

Known for his high-profile films The Blue Angel, Faust, and The Last Laugh, Emil Jannings was a well-known film director who died in 1950. For his outstanding performances, he won an Oscar in 1929 becoming the first-ever best actor to win this award.

He won the Academy Award for his multiple films including The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh. He belonged to Switzerland and was also the first non-American to win an Oscar.

Unfortunately, his career ended later due to his political affiliations during the Second World War. After the end of the war he played in several German movies but he failed to recapture the same brilliance in his career as early.


4. The First Female Director to Win an Oscar

Known for her heart-pounding actions and incredible visuals, Kathryn Bigelow is one of the most popular Hollywood stars born in November 1951, in California. She is one of the acclaimed talented screenwriters and filmmakers.

Kathryn Bigelow became the first woman director in history to win an Oscar in 2009 for The Hurt Locker (2008). The Hurt Locker was her low-budgeted Iraq War film about a bomb disposal team. Other than that she has also directed mainstream films like Zero Dark Thirty and Point Break.


3. The First Animated Movie to Win an Oscar

Beauty And The Beast first animated film to win Oscar

Produced by the Walt Disney Feature Animation on September 29, 1991 – Beauty and the Beast premiered at the New York Film Festival and became an instant box office success and grossed $425 million against its $25 million budget. From CinemaScore, it also earned an “A+” rating.

In 1991, Beauty and the Beast created history and became the first animated feature movie in history to be nominated for an Oscar Award for Best Picture. However, Beauty and the Beast only managed to win an Oscar in the Best Music category in 1992.


2. The First Asian Director to Win an Oscar

Brokeback Mountain 2005

Directed by Ang Lee, Brokeback Mountain is an epic romantic drama film of 2005. It stood among the highest nominated films at the 78th Academy Awards.

Brokeback Mountain also earned Ang Lee an Oscar and made him the very first Asian to win an Academy Award for Best Director.


1. The First Sports Movie to Win an Oscar

Rocky first sports film to win Oscar

Directed by John G. Avildsen, Rocky was a sports film that was budgeted at $1 million and still grossed $225 million and stood among the highest grossers of that year. Being one of the culturally, historically, and aesthetically significant films, it was selected by the US National Film Registry for preservation in 2006.

Out of the ten Oscar nominations for the nine categories, Rocky won two Oscar Awards in 1976 for Best Picture and Best Director becoming the first sports film ever to win an Oscar.

On Rotten Tomatoes, even today it has a 92% rating which makes it one of the highest-rated movies on RT.

Feel free to share some more interesting facts about the Oscars in the comments below!

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