17 Things You (Probably) Didn’t Know About the Oscars

Before you fill out your Oscar ballots, before you start judging the red carpet fashions, and before you ultimately settle in to watch the 87th Annual Academy Awards this Sunday, you’ll want to impress your friends with your vast knowledge of Oscar’s long and illustrious history. Ok, fine, they might not care who hosted the show the most number of times or who was the youngest winner ever. But you can still read up on these interesting Oscar facts. Do it for you.

1. The first Academy Awards ceremony was held in 1929 – and the actual awards presentation lasted all of 5 minutes!


The night was mainly about eating and dancing. Plus, each winner had already been named about three months prior.

2. The movie Wings was the first Best Picture winner. 


It was released in 1927 and contained the first on-screen kiss between two men.

3. Meryl Streep has had the most nominations of anyone – a whopping 19. (She’s only won three times.)


4. Halle Berry was the first African-American woman to win Best Actress. 


She won for her role in Monster’s Ball, and was inexplicably mauled by Adrian Brody.

5. There are only three films in history that have won the top five major awards, for Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, and Screenplay: It Happened One Night, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and The Silence of the Lambs


6. Tatum O’Neal is the youngest ever Oscar winner. 


She nabbed a Best Supporting Actress statuette at age 10 for her role in Paper Moon.

7. Christopher Plummer became the oldest ever Oscar winner when he won the Best Supporting Actor trophy for Beginners in 2010 at the age of 82.


8. The phrase “And the winner is…” was abandoned by the Oscars in 1989 and replaced with “And the Oscar goes to…” Less harsh for the losers, maybe.


9. Sorry, Billy Crystal. Bob Hope still holds the record for most frequent Oscar host. He hosted the show 19 times!


10. The Oscar statue weighs 8 and a half pounds. 


So when the winners say, “This thing is heavy!” it’s actually kinda true.

11. The 31st Academy Awards in 1959 was the shortest Oscar telecast, clocking in at 1 hour and 40 minutes.


We doubt we’ll see a broadcast that short again.

12. Ellen’s Oscar selfie is the most retweeted tweet ever. 


It currently has almost 3.4 million RTs.

13. In 1969, Midnight Cowboy became the only X-Rated film to win the Best Picture Oscar.


14. The statuette was actually named The Academy Award of Merit.


The most popular theory is that it got the name “Oscar” because it looked exactly like an Academy librarian’s Uncle Oscar. She apparently noticed the resemblance in 1931 and the name caught on by 1934.

15. Katharine Hepburn won 4 awards – the most of anyone in an acting category.


Her wins were all for Best Actress.

16. Peter O’Toole has the most nominations (8) without a competitive win. 


He got an honorary Oscar in 2003. There’s hope for you, Leonardo DiCaprio!

17. Believe it or not, the first woman to win Best Director was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2009.


She beat her ex-husband, James Cameron, for the award.

Did YOU know all of these Oscar facts? Did anything surprise you? Tell us on Twitter!