The Academy Awards are the American film industry’s highest honor. This year’s telecast is sure to be an exciting production of people dressed in fancy clothes walking up to the stage and accepting a statue if they win. Here’s some fascinating facts I guarantee you don’t know about Hollywood’s big awards show.
- Originally, The Academy members voted for Best Picture based on whether a movie had the same name as chicken parts, which is why Wings won the first award in 1928. After that, everyone agreed to go on merit.
- The design of the actual award went through a few changes before the final product was produced. I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on the original concept art:
- In 1974 everyone thought is was adorable when 10 year old Best Supporting Actress winner Tatum O’Neal wore a tuxedo, but people weren’t as charmed by Best Actor winner Jack Lemmon’s long flowing evening gown.
- In 1975 they phased out the category “Best Cigarette Smoking.”
- Sally Field stole her famous acceptance speech “you like me, you really like me” from The Jolly Green Giant, whose catchphrase at the time was “you like peas, you really like peas.”
- In 1989 Rob Lowe sang a cheesy duet with Snow White, which we all wish we didn’t remember, but just the year before Charlton Heston and Bambi did an incredibly awkward number which is rarely ever mentioned these days.
- In 1988, there was an unprecedented three-way tie for Best Supporting Actor. The Fat Boys split the vote and each took home a statue for the 1987 film Disorderlies.
- Meryl Streep has won three acting Oscars, one for Makeup for “Harry and the Hendersons,” and one for writing the original song “It’s Hard out Here for a Pimp.”
- Two-time winner and a nominee this year, Daniel Day-Lewis is well known for his method acting. As a child, before he forged his parents’ signatures on his report cards, he would spend days in their clothes.*
- Never won an Oscar: Cary Grant, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, BIg Bird, Me, my cat Elliott, everyone who lives on my street, the last person who sold me a lottery ticket, and George Washington (fun fact: this is a real fact).
- If you’re a seat filler, and for whatever reason, if you are in a winner’s seat when that winner is announced, you get the award. AND, if you thank the original winner’s spouse or significant other, you get to take them home for the night.