Oscar turns 90 this year, but somehow, that golden guy is still in peak physique! As we count down the days to the 2018 Academy Awards, there’s no better time to get up to speed on Oscar trivia (just do your party guests a favor and wait until the ad breaks to regale them with this history)!
Where are Oscars made?
Until 2016, the statuettes were made by a Chicago-based manufacturer called R.S. Owens; now they’re crafted by Polich Tallix Inc. of Rock Tavern, NY. The 12-step process takes around 16 weeks and involves almost all of the company's 80-plus employees. They also make name tags for all of the nominees so that the trophies can be personalized on the spot. "It's a big project for us, and it's fun and exciting,” general manager Adam Demchak told CNBC. “The Oscars bring us a lot of attention and press.”
Who’s won the most Oscars?
The late, great Katherine Hepburn still holds the record as the actor with the most Oscars — she has four to her name, all of which are for Best Actress — though Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, and Daniel Day-Lewis are right behind her with three each. (In other categories, famed animator Walt Disney has the record with 22 Oscars.)
As for movies with the most statuettes, it’s a three-way tie between 1959’s Ben-Hur, 1997’s Titanic, and 2003’s The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, who each have 11 trophies apiece. Check out even more record-holders here!
Are Academy Awards and Oscars the same thing?
Yes! “The Oscars” used to be a nickname for the Academy Awards, but it became the preferred name for the show in 2013.
“We’re rebranding it,” Oscars co-producer Neil Meron informed The Wrap at the time. “We're not calling it ‘The 85th Annual Academy Awards,’ which keeps it mired somewhat in a musty way. It’s called ‘The Oscars.’”
How did Oscars get its name?
Depends who you ask! The usual story is that an Academy Award librarian (and future Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences) named Margaret Herrick said the statuette looked like her uncle Oscar upon seeing it for the first time in 1931. However, in his 1975 memoir, Don’t Get Me Wrong, I Love Hollywood, entertainment columnist Sidney Skolsky claimed to have come up with the nickname as a way to undercut the “snobbery” of the recipients. “I’d show them, acting so high and mighty about their prize,” he wrote. “I’d give it a name. A name that would erase their phony dignity.”
Then there’s the theory that actress Bette Davis named the award after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson, because the backside reminded her of his. Saucy!
Who are the Academy Awards voters?
There were more than 6,200 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 2016, around the same time the #OscarsSoWhite meme called out a lack of diversity in the voting pool (a 2013 study by The Los Angeles Times found that Oscar voters averaged 63 years old, 76 percent of them were men, and 94 percent were white). That same year, the Academy invited a record number of individuals to become members, 41 percent of whom were people of color and 46 percent of whom were women.
What time do the Oscars start?
That’s an easy one! The 2018 Oscars — the 90th Annual Academy Awards, if you’re counting — will be televised live on Sunday, March 4, at 8 p.m. EST on ABC.