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Oscar Trivia: 50 Fun Facts To Prepare You For The 85th Academy Awards

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | www.oliverlyttelton.com February 20, 2013 at 11:02AM

If there's anything we love, it's pointless trivia. And with Oscar night on the way (and, if you're anything like us, an Oscar viewing party), if there's one thing that it's important for you to have, it's a fistful of Academy Award-related trivia for you to bore impress your friends with on Sunday night.
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Reds

26. "Silver Linings Playbook" is the first film since "Reds" in 1981 to get nominations in each of the four acting categories. But only Maureen Stapleton took home a trophy that year.

27. Only two films have won three acting Oscars -- "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Network." None have won all four.

28. Before Hugh Jackman, only one Best Actor nominee in the last thirty years had been nominated for starring in a musical -- Johnny Depp in "Sweeney Todd" (the last before that was Roy Scheider in "All That Jazz"). And no actor has won for a musical since Rex Harrison for "My Fair Lady" in 1964.

29. Only one actor has even been nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, for the same performance -- Barry Fitzgerald, for "Going My Way" in 1944 (he won Best Supporting Actor, while Bing Crosby took Best Actor for the same film). Two actors -- Al Pacino and Jamie Foxx -- have picked up nominations in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in the same year, but for different performances. Both won Best Actor.

30. None of the Best Actress nominees have won an Oscar before, the only category this year in which that's the case.

Quvenzhane Wallis

31. If Quvenzhane Wallis takes the prize, she'd become only the sixth person to win for their first screen performance. Shirley Booth in 1952's "Come Back, Little Sheba," Audrey Hepburn in 1953's "Roman Holiday," Julie Andrews in 1964's "Mary Poppins," Barbra Streisand in 1968's "Funny Girl" and Marlee Matlin in 1986's "Children Of A Lesser God" have all done it previously.

32. Similarly, if her director Benh Zeitlin were to win, he'd become only the seventh debut director to take the prize for a feature debut after Delbert Mann for "Marty" in 1955, Jerome Robbins for "West Side Story" in 1961, Robert Redford for "Ordinary People" in 1980, James L. Brooks for "Terms of Endearment" in 1983, Kevin Costner for "Dances With Wolves" in 1990, and Sam Mendes for "American Beauty" in 1999.

33. Quvenzhane Wallis is the first acting nominee to have a Q in her name.

34. At 9, she's also the youngest ever nominee for Best Actress

35. At 85 years old, Emmanuelle Riva is the oldest ever Best Actress nominee.

Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in Haneke's Amour

36. Riva's birthday is on February 24th, which means she'll be celebrating her 86th at the Oscars.

37. Thus, Riva will be exactly a year older than the Oscars, and one of a handful of recent acting nominees older than the insitution itself. The last five were Hal Holbrook (“Into The Wild”) and Ruby Dee (“American Gangster”), 82 and 83, respectively, at the 80th ceremony in 2008; Paul Newman (“Road to Perdition”), 78 at the 75th ceremony in 2003; Richard Farnsworth (“The Straight Story”), 79 at the 72nd ceremony in 2000; and Gloria Stuart (“Titanic”), 87 at the 70th ceremony in 1998.

38. Amy Adams has four Best Supporting Actress nominations and no wins. She comes second to Thelma Ritter who had six nominations in the same category without a win.

39. Jessica Chastain is the only acting nominee this year to have also been nominated for a performance last year (though Clooney had acting and screenplay nominations last year, and Best Picture this year). She's got a way to go before catching up with the record shared by Bette Davis and Greer Garson; they each managed five nominations in a row, from 1938 to 1942 for the former, and 1941 to 1945 for the latter.

40. John Williams' nomination for his "Lincoln" score was his 48th; the most for a living person.

This article is related to: Features, Oscars, Academy Awards, Awards


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