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Comment 22 FEBRUARY 2013

HELLO! Online's ten fun facts about the Oscars

This Sunday will see the brightest stars of the movie industry flock to LA's Dolby Theatre for the 85th Academy Awards. The Oscars ceremony undoubtedly marks Hollywood's biggest night of the year. But it hasn't always been this way. HELLO! Online looks back at the Oscars over the ages.

1. The first Academy Awards were presented on May 16 1929 to an audience of about 270 people. The ceremony lasted around 20 minutes and a guest ticket cost $5.

2. Since the first ceremony, 2,809 Oscars have been handed out. The coveted gold-plated statuette is 34 cm tall and weighs nearly 4 kg. It depicts an Art Deco style knight standing on a film reel.



3. They weren't always called Oscars and while the origins of the moniker are hazy, one of Hollywood's favourite theories is that upon seeing the trophy for the first time, Academy librarian Margaret Herrick remarked that it resembled her uncle Oscar. The name "Oscar" was first officially used by the Academy in 1939.

4. Technically Oscar winners don’t own their statues. If they want to sell their award, they must offer it to the Academy first for $1. The rule has been in effect since 1950 so only older statues appear on the market. Michael Jackson paid over a million dollars for David Selznick’s 1939 Best Picture Oscar for Gone With The Wind in 1999.

5. Walt Disney is the most decorated individual nominee. He won 22 competitive awards from 59 nominations.


6. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the most decorated film of all time winning 11 awards in 2003.

7. Only three films have ever managed to scoop the 'big five' – that is the Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress and Writing. They were It Happened One Night (1934), One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

8. The youngest ever Oscar winner was child prodigy Tatum O'Neal who won Best Supporting Actress at the age of ten for her performance as Addie Loggins in Paper Moon (1973).


9. She could be beaten this year by the youngest ever nominee, nine-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis, who is nominated for Best Actress for her role in Beasts of the Southern Wild. Hot on her heels is the oldest ever Best Actress nominee Emmanuelle Riva who turns 86 on the day of the ceremony. Nominated for her role in Amour, if the French actress triumphs she will be the oldest person ever to win an Oscar.


10. Alfred Hitchcock and William Holden made the shortest speeches ever with just two words -"Thank you". These days a 45-second limit is imposed on speeches. During Gwyneth Paltrow's famously emotional acceptance speech for Best Actress in Shakespeare in Love, she repeated the words "Thank you" 23 times.

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