21 Need-to-Know Facts About the Academy Awards

Awards season is heating up - make sure you've got this knowledge under your belt.
Wednesday 23 January 2019
The Oscars always promise to be a night of glitz and glam. Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP

By now, you’ll have most likely seen the list of nominations for the upcoming Academy Awards set to take place on 24 February. And you’ll no doubt already have your favourites, nevermind that most of the nominations look strikingly similar to the Golden Globe nominations.

With that in mind, we’ve rounded up some interesting facts from Academy Award history. Needless to say, you’ll be a force to be reckoned with at trivia night.

1. PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) has tallied the ballots since 1934.

2. Newspaper headlines announced the winners before the ceremony until 1941, when the sealed envelope system was put in place.

3. Prior to a PwC envelope mixup in 2017, when an error was made during the award announcement for Best Picture, only two partners from the firm knew the results until the envelopes were opened.

After 2017, new procedures were adopted, which include adding a third balloting partner to also memorise the list of winners. The third partner sits with Oscar producers in the control room while the other two balloting partners are posted on opposite sides of the stage. Additionally, the PwC partners are prohibited from using mobile phones and social media backstage during the show.

4. The mixup was for the Best Picture category, when La La Land was incorrectly announced as the winner instead of Moonlight.

5. Following the moment when La La Land was mistakenly announced as best picture, Moonlight became the first film with an all-black cast to win the Academy Award for Best Picture.

6. The most nominated films are All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land, which all have 14 nominations.

7. Tickets for the very first Academy Awards cost US$5.

8. The very first winner for Best Picture went to Wings, which was a silent film.

9. Walt Disney is the most honoured person in Oscar history, receiving 59 nominations and 26 competitive awards throughout his career.

10. Composer John Williams is the most nominated living person – 51 nominations (including 5 wins).

11. Meryl Streep is the most nominated performer in Academy history with 21 nominations.

12. Jack Nicholson is the most nominated male performer in Academy history with 12 nominations.

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Thornton Wilder (@thorntonnwilder) on

13. Katharine Hepburn had the most Oscar wins for a performer, with four.

14. Daniel Day-Lewis is the only person to have three Best Actor Oscars.

15. Tatum O’Neal is the youngest person to ever win an Oscar at 10 years, 148 days old.

16. Mahershala Ali was the first Muslim actor to win best supporting actor.

17. The awards were first televised in colour in 1966.

18. The Best Animated Feature Film category was added in 2001.

19. Only three films have won Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Writing: in 1934, It Happened One Night; in 1975, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest; and in 1991, The Silence of the Lambs.

20. No one film has ever taken home all six top prizes, Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress.

21. The awards have been rescheduled three times: in 1938, they were postponed for a week due to extensive flooding in Los Angeles; in 1968, they were moved forward by two days due to the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. (the original date fell on the same day as his funeral); in 1981 they were postponed by 24 hours due to the assassination attempt on then-President Ronald Reagan.

Source: CNN International

Related: The 14 Best Dressed Stars at The Golden Globes