Loads of Interesting Random Facts About the Academy Awards aka Oscars

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Here are a bunch of random facts about the Academy Awards. Some are quite surprising. which one shocked you the most?

Top winner & nominee for Visual Effects

Won: Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes BackE.T. the Extra-TerrestrialStar Wars: Episode VI – Return of the JediIndiana Jones and the Temple of DoomInnerspaceThe AbyssTerminator 2: Judgment DayJurassic Park


Kathleen Kennedy has been nominated as producer 8 times, but never won


BEST PICTURE NOMINEES DIRECTED BY WOMEN

Out of 11, only 3 were nominated for directing and only 1 won

  • Zero Dark Thirty [Kathryn Bigelow was NOT nominated for directing]
  • The Kids Are All Right [Lisa Cholodenko was NOT nominated for directing]
  • Winter’s Bone [Debra Granik was NOT nominated for directing]
  • The Hurt Locker [Kathryn Bigleow won for directing]
  • An Education [Lone Scherfig was NOT nominated for directing]
  • Little Miss Sunshine [Valerie Faris (and Jonathan Dayton) were NOT nominated for directing]
  • Lost in Translation [Sofia Coppola was nominated for directing]
  • The Piano [Jane Campion was nominated for directing]
  • The Prince of Tides [Barbra Streisand was NOT nominated for directing]
  • Awakenings [Penny Marshall was NOT nominated for directing]
  • Children of a Lesser God [Randa Haines was NOT nominated for directing]

Top 3 winners & nominees of Best Makeup

  • Rick Baker – 7 wins, 11 nominations
  • Greg Cannom – 3 wins, 9 nominations
  • Ve Neill – 3 wins, 8 nominations

Top winner & nominee of Best Song

  • Sammy Cahn – 4 wins, 26 nominations

Top 2 winners & nominees of Best Score

  • Alfred Newman – 9 wins, 41 nominations
  • John Williams – 5 wins, 44 nominations

THE ONLY SEQUELS TO WIN BEST PICTURE

  • The Godfather Part II (1974)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

THE ONLY X-RATED FILM TO WIN BEST PICTURE

  • Midnight Cowboy (1969)
[The film was subsequently edited and given an R rating in 1971.]

THE ONLY FILMS TO WIN THREE ACADEMY AWARDS FOR ACTING

  • A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
  • Network (1976)
[To date, no film has won all four of the Academy Awards for acting.]

THE ONLY PERFORMERS TO WIN CONSECUTIVE ACADEMY AWARDS

  • Luise Rainer, 1936 and 1937
  • Spencer Tracy, 1937 and 1938
  • Katharine Hepburn, 1967 and 1968
  • Jason Robards, 1976 and 1977
  • Tom Hanks, 1993 and 1994

Top winner & nominee for Writing

  • Woody Allen – 3 wins, 16 nominations

THE ONLY PERSON TO WIN AN OSCAR FOR PLAYING A MEMBER OF THE OPPOSITE SEX

Linda Hunt, 1983, Best Supporting Actress for The Year of Living Dangerously.


THE ONLY THREE-GENERATION OSCAR-WINNING FAMILIES

  • The Hustons. Walter Huston won Best Supporting Actor in 1948; son John Huston won Best Director and Best Screenplay in 1948; and granddaughter Anjelica Huston won Best Supporting Actress in 1985.
  • The Coppolas. Carmine Coppola won for Original Dramatic Score in 1974; son Francis Ford Coppola’s first win was for Original Screenplay in 1970; and granddaughter Sofia Coppola won for Original Screenplay in 2003.

THE ONLY BROTHER AND SISTER TO WIN ACTING OSCARS

  • Lionel Barrymore, 1930/31
  • Ethel Barrymore, 1944

THE ONLY SISTERS TO WIN ACTING OSCARS

  • Joan Fontaine, 1941
  • Olivia de Havilland, 1946 and 1949

THE ONLY BROTHERS NOMINATED FOR ACTING OSCARS

  • River Phoenix, 1988
  • Joaquin Phoenix, 2000, 2005 and 2012

THE ONLY MARRIED COUPLES TO WIN ACTING OSCARS

  • Laurence Olivier (1948) and Vivien Leigh (1951).
    [They were not yet married when Leigh won her first Oscar in 1939.]
  • Paul Newman (1986) and Joanne Woodward (1957).
    [They were married in 1958, prior to Woodward receiving 1957’s Best Actress award.]

The only Oscar winner with parents who both received Oscars

Liza Minnelli. Her mother Judy Garland received an Honorary miniature Oscar in 1939; father Vincente Minnelli won Best Director in 1958; Liza Minnelli won Best Actress in 1972.


The most Oscar-nominated Family

The Newmans, with 88 nominations and counting. Brothers Alfred Newman (43 nominations), Emil Newman (1), and Lionel Newman (11); second generation, Randy Newman (20), David Newman (1), and Thomas Newman (12).


3 films that won Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor and Writing

  • 1934 – It Happened One Night
  • 1975 – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • 1991 – The Silence of the Lambs

5 films nominated in over 4 categories, winning ALL

  • 11) The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)
  • 9) Gigi (1958)
  • 9) The Last Emperor (1987)
  • 5) It Happened One Night (1934)
  • 4) The Matrix (1999)

5 films nominated over in over 10 categories, winning NONE

  • 11) The Turning Point (1977)
  • 11) The Color Purple (1985)
  • 10) Gangs of New York (2002)
  • 10) True Grit (2010)
  • 10) American Hustle (2013)

3 films winning 11 awards

  • Ben-Hur, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, 1959 (12 nominations)
  • Titanic, 20th Century Fox and Paramount, 1997 (14 nominations)
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, New Line, 2003 (11 nominations)

France, Italy and Spain are the 3 most nominated and awarded countries in the Foreign Language Award

  • France – nominated 36 times, awarded 11
  • Italy – nominated 28 times, awarded 9
  • Spain – nominated 29 times, awarded 4

Top 10 Youngest Winners

  • Best Actress 21-26
  • Best Actor 29-34
  • Best Supporting Actress 10-27
  • Best Supporting Actor 20-35

These actors have been nominated at least 5 times, but never won

  • GLENN CLOSE (3 actress; 3 supporting)
  • AMY ADAMS (1 actress; 4 supporting)

Films winning both Best Actress and Best Actor

  • 1997 – Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt — As Good As It Gets
  • 1991 – Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster — The Silence of the Lambs
  • 1981 – Henry Fonda, Katharine Hepburn — On Golden Pond
  • 1978 – Jon Voight, Jane Fonda — Coming Home
  • 1976 – Faye Dunaway — Network
  • 1975 – Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher — One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  • 1934 – Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert — It Happened One Night

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa