Tinseltown Trivia: 28 Wonderful And Weird Oscar Facts Revealed

We love to see the actors on the big screen. Also, we love to watch them on the edge of their seats, in anticipation of an award that might come or might not come. We have Oscar parties where we make our own predictions. And we love to listen to their speech. Well, more or less. Here’s the next best thing: weird Oscar facts, from inception to today.

1. The tiniest Oscar statuette

weird Oscar facts: tiny oscar statueBobby Driscoll, a child actor, got the mini Oscar at the 22nd Annual Academy Awards for his work on the movie “So Dear to My Heart.” His reaction: “I don’t ever think I’ve been so thrilled in my life.”

2. The Oscar statue’s full name

The official name for the Oscar statuette is the “Academy Award of Merit.” However, most people refer to it simply by its nickname “Oscar.” As for the nickname itself, there are numerous stories with several people claiming to be the ones to call it so.

3. The longest Oscar speech

Greer Garson's 1943 Best Actress acceptance speech

Greer Garson’s 1943 Best Actress acceptance speech for “Mrs. Miniver” lasted around 7 minutes, making it one of the longest Oscar speeches ever. Many people in the industry claim this was the reason why speeches now have to be less than 45 seconds.

4. The Oscar curse

This one is a superstition that if you use best or supporting actor/actress you will see your marriage or relationship fall apart shortly afterward. A 2015 study showed that while this isn’t true for female nominees, the men are less lucky. In their case the divorce rates did increase.

5. George C. Scott’s refusal

oscar facts oscar refusal

The actor refused the Oscar for his role in “Patton” in 1971, making him one of the few actors to decline the honor. He did so because he thought performances can’t be compared.

6. Marisa Tomei’s surprise win

In 1993, Marisa Tomei won Best Supporting Actress for her role in “My Cousin Vinny,” causing a rumor that presenter Jack Palance had read the wrong name. However, this was not the case and Marisa Tomei did indeed win her Oscar.

7. The youngest Oscar winner

Tatum O'Neal

Tatum O’Neal was only 10 years old when she won an Oscar for her role in “Paper Moon,” making her the youngest person ever to win an Academy Award.

8. The first animated film nomination

“Beauty and the Beast” (1991) was the first animated film to be nominated for Best Picture, thus leading to the creation of the Best Animated Feature category.

9. Longest Oscar ovation

Charlie Chaplin in 1972

Charlie Chaplin received an honorary Oscar in 1972. When he was initially introduced, he received a 12-minute standing ovation, the longest in Oscar history.

10. The stolen Oscars

In 2000, a thief stole 55 Oscar statuettes, but they were later found, cleaned and re-plated. This peculiar heist remains one of the strangest Oscar-related incidents, even Larry, the truck-driver who stole them said this from his jail cell “Aw, man, it was a trip.”

11. The first-ever Oscar tie

The first-ever Oscar tie

In 1932, the Best Actor category had a tie between Fredric March for “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” and Wallace Beery for “The Champ,” with both of them splitting the award.

12. The most nominated actor

Meryl Streep holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for acting, with 21 nominations as of 2023.

13. The wrong picture mix-up

The Oscar wrong picture mix-up

In 2017, the wrong Best Picture winner was initially announced as “La La Land,” but it was revealed on stage that “Moonlight” had won, creating one of the most famous Oscar blunders in history, with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway being the presenters for this category.

14. The Oscar for “Best Dance Direction”

The Oscars used to have a category for “Best Dance Direction” in the early years. It was awarded from 1935 to 1937 and then discontinued.

15. “Best Director” and “Best Picture” split

oscar facts green book scaledAt times, there have been instances when the winner of the Best Director award did not match the Best Picture. The most recent significant case was in 2019 when Alfonso Cuarón won Best Director for “Roma,” but “Green Book” was named Best Picture.

16. Tron ineligible for Oscar

“Tron” (1982) featured around 15 minutes of computer-generated imagery (CGI). It was considered cheating to be nominated in the “Visual Effects” category so they just skipped it.

17. The first film to win the Big 5

It Happened One Night won at Oscar 1935

At the 1935 Oscars, “It Happened One Night” made history by winning the “Big Five” awards (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Writing).

18. Oscar’s rebranding

In 2019, the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film was renamed to “Best International Feature Film” to be more inclusive.

19. The return of the Oscars to Hollywood

Kodak Theatre

The Oscars were held at various locations, but in 2002, they returned to the newly constructed Hollywood & Highland Center (Kodak Theatre) in Hollywood, their permanent home since then.

20. The Silent Film Acting Awards

In the early years of the Oscars, there were separate categories for “Best Actor” and “Best Actress in a Leading Role” for both dramatic and comedic performances in silent films.

21. The first Oscar for a black performer in “Best Actor” category

Sidney Poitier

Sidney Poitier made history by becoming the first African American to win an Academy Award for a leading role. He won the Best Actor Oscar for “Lilies of the Field” in 1963.

22. The envelope tradition

After The LA Times published the names of all the Oscar winners BEFORE the ceremony took place, the Oscars began the tradition of keeping the winners’ names secret until the moment of the announcement.

23. The distinctive Oscar envelopes

oscar facts envelope jpg

The envelopes with the Oscar winners’ names are hand-crafted and colored differently for each category. The design features gold leaf and is closely guarded until the ceremony.

24. The first Oscar ceremony

The first-ever Academy Awards ceremony took place in 1929 and lasted just 15 minutes. It was a private dinner with only 270 attendees and awarded 12 categories.

25. The most unusual Oscar speech

Sacheen Littlefeather at Oscar 1955In 1955, Marlon Brando won the Best Actor Oscar for “On the Waterfront” but did not attend the ceremony. Instead, he sent an Apache Native American activist named Sacheen Littlefeather to decline the award on his behalf, protesting the portrayal of Native Americans in film and television.

26. The Oscar streak for Katharine Hepburn

Katherine Hepburn holds the record for the most Oscar wins by an actor, with four Best Actress wins. Interestingly, she never attended any of the ceremonies to collect her awards.

27. The shortest winning performance

weird Oscar facts: The shortest winning performanceAnthony Hopkins’ performance in “The Silence of the Lambs” earned him the Best Actor Oscar, even though he was on screen for just 16 minutes, making it one of the shortest Oscar-winning performances in history.

Recommended reading next: From Ukulele To Typewriters: 23 Weird Celebrity Hidden Talents

28. Oscar’s rescue during World War II

During World War II, the Oscar statuettes were made of plaster due to metal shortages. They were just sprayed with a bronze lacquer and that was it. After the war, winners received their full-size gold-plated Oscars to replace the temporary plaster ones.

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