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Oscars: facts and nomination trivia

The Oscar statuette:

The Oscar measures just 13½ inches high and is officially named the Academy Award® of Merit. The statuette is made of tin, copper and antimony, with a thick covering of 24 carat gold. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held on May 16th 1929. The origin of the name is disputed. One biography of Bette Davis claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson, another account claims that the Academy's Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, first saw the award in 1931 and made reference to the statuette's reminding her of her "Uncle Oscar" (a nickname for her cousin Oscar Pierce).

Most nominated:

Titanic (1997) holds the record for most film nominations. From its 17 nods, it took home 14 statuettes. All about Eve had 14 nominations.

Most decorated:

Only three films have earned Oscars for Best Picture, Directing, Actor, Actress and Writing. It Happened One Night (1934); One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

Oscar's Oscar:

The only Oscar to win an award was Oscar Hammerstein II (for 'Best Song' in 1941, 1945).

Musical gold:

Composer John Williams has a record 45 nominations for his work on such classic films as Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977) and Schindler's List (1993).

Host with the most:

Bob Hope was the most frequent anchorman, having hosted the Academy Awards a record 19 times.


Hattie McDaniel was the first black actor to win an Oscar, for her supporting performance in 1939’s Gone with the Wind.

Youngest star:

In 2002 Adrien Brody, at 29 years and 343 days, became the youngest Best Actor winner for The Pianist.

Youngest nominee:

Keisha Castle-Hughes, at 13, for Whale Rider in 2003.

Longest intermission:

Henry Fonda had the longest interval between Oscar nominations for acting - with 41 years between his Best Actor nomination for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and his Actor in a Leading Role nomination (and win) for On Golden Pond (1981).

Guide to form:

In 2003, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King took Oscars in all 11 categories it was nominated for: Picture, Director, Adapted Screenplay, Original Score, Original Song, Sound Mixing, Art Direction, Makeup, Costume Design, Film Editing and Visual Effects.

Silence is golden:

If The silent film The Artist wins Oscars, there will have to be words with the acceptance speeches. in 1942, actress Greer Garson broke the record for the longest acceptance speech. Her address went on for well over an hour.