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

Features
by Oliver Lyttelton
February 20, 2013 11:02 AM
24 Comments
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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.

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.

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.

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24 Comments

  • megjfreedman | April 14, 2013 11:57 PMReply

    #4: George Clooney was third. Laurence Olivier and Michael Douglas did it before him.

  • Joey | February 22, 2013 2:12 PMReply

    Jennifer Hudson won her Oscar for her film debut.

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:40 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:39 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • parker | February 21, 2013 8:37 PMReply

    50. Add David Niven in 1959

  • John Moran | February 21, 2013 3:24 AMReply

    Audrey Hepburn's role in Roman Holiday was her first lead performance. She previously appeared in smaller roles, including as a waitress serving Alec Guinness in the classic Ealing Comedy The Lavender Hill Mob. So, her win was not for a debut.

  • Tyson | February 20, 2013 7:52 PMReply

    #49 Hasn't Meryl Streep appeared in three best picture winners? The Deer Hunter, Kramer vs. Kramer, and Out of Africa?

  • Brandt Hardin | February 20, 2013 5:42 PMReply

    Such lackluster choices are very unbecoming of such a tremendous year for cinema. Where are the nominations for movies like The Grey, Jesus Henry Christ and Killing them Softly? Read about the Top 10 Movies of 2012 with reviews and other honorable mentions at http://dregstudiosart.blogspot.com/2013/01/top-10-movie-picks-of-2012.html

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:43 PMReply

    this just doesnt make sense to me:
    "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."

  • mike_m | February 20, 2013 1:47 PM

    re-read it and got it now, this was before the rule change.

  • David | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    "38. Amy Adams has four Best Supporting Actress nominations, and no wins, a record in the category." - But Thelma Ritter was nominated 6 times in this category, without a win.

  • Danielle | February 20, 2013 1:18 PMReply

    If you like movie trivia, check out this Blubbr's awesome Oscars video trivia contest. Tons of Fun 2013 Oscar trivia games!

  • cirkusfolk | February 20, 2013 12:48 PMReply

    Good list.

  • anna | February 20, 2013 12:36 PMReply

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


    lol, good one.

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:35 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Patrick | February 21, 2013 2:34 AM

    Queen Latifah anyone (unless they're taking account her real name Dana Owens)?

  • Rob | February 20, 2013 10:58 PM

    Also Mo'Nique, just a few years ago.

  • Paul | February 20, 2013 12:40 PM

    I assume they mean first name? Anthony Quinn won two Best Supporting Oscars and was nominated twice for Best Actor.

  • eduardo | February 20, 2013 12:18 PMReply

    about #46: The dark knight rises became the 3rd movie from the Batman franchises (live-action, of course) that didn't receive an oscar nomination, the other 2 are the 60's version and Batman & Robin

  • spassky | February 20, 2013 11:58 AMReply

    "13. If Ang Lee win Best Director on Sunday, he'll become the second non-caucasian to win in the category. The first... was also Ang Lee, for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006."

    This makes me sad.

  • Chris | February 20, 2013 11:52 AMReply

    You've got the Newman/Deakins numbers reversed. Newman has 11 nomination and Deakins has 10.

  • Michael | February 20, 2013 11:15 AMReply

    29. Barry Fitzgerald won Best Supporting Actor for Going My Way. Bing Crosby won Best Actor for the same film.

  • MAL | February 20, 2013 11:13 AMReply

    In Item 25, it was Robert Duvall (not Robert De Niro) in Tender Mercies -- and he was the winner that year.

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