Wednesday 25 April 2018

Little-known facts about the Oscars

Hollywood puts on its gladrags this weekend for the Oscars. Here are some things you may not know about the biggest showbiz bash of all:

1929 - the year the first ceremony was held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

270 - the number of guests who attended that event.

15 - the number of statuettes handed out in 1929.

3 - the number of times the ceremony has not gone ahead as planned. In 1938 flooding in Los Angeles delayed it by a week. The event was postponed in 1968 following the murder of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and again in 1981 after the failed assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan.

1939 - the first time the Academy called the award by its nickname - the Oscar. Up until then they had been known by their formal title - the Academy Award of Merit.

3 - the number of years during the Second World War that painted plaster statuettes were given out because of a shortage of metal caused by the conflict. They were all exchanged for gold-plated metal awards when the war ended.

2000 - the year that the ceremony's shipment of statuettes were stolen. They were recovered in time but the Academy has kept a spare ceremony's worth of statuettes on hand ever since.

3.4 million - the number of times host Ellen DeGeneres's selfie - with a line-up of stars including Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Kevin Spacey, Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt - was retweeted. It broke a record set by US president Barack Obama with a picture of him hugging First Lady Michelle Obama after his re-election in 2012. Twitter even had to send out an apology because all the retweeting disrupted the service for more than 20 minutes.

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