Sunday 24 February 2013

And the Oscar Goes To...

Long before the statuette was called Oscar, the first Academy Award was handed out at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood in 1929.  Two hundred and seventy people paid $5 each to dine at banquet tables and then applaud the winners.  Douglas Fairbanks was the host of the ceremony which lasted a mere 15 minutes in which 15 statuettes were handed out.  The event was not telecast on television nor on radio.  There wasn't even a red carpet.  Emil Jannings received the Best Actor award for "The Last Command" and "The Way of All Flesh".  Janet Gaynor received the Best Actress award for "Seventh Heaven", "Street Angel" and "Sunrise:  A song of Two Humans".  The Best Film award went to "Wings".  Warner Brothers received an award for the first talking film, "The Jazz Singer".  Some historians estimate as many as three quarters of Americans watched a movie, at 25 cents a crack, each week.

The 1st Academy Awards held in the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.

Photo courtesy

Some say that the award was named after actress Bette Davis' first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson.  Others say it was named after the executive secretary Margaret Herrick's Uncle Oscar.  Walt Disney thanked the Academy for his Oscar as early as 1932.  However, the statuette was not officially called an Oscar until 1939.

Image courtesy

Best actors of note are :  Jimmy Stewart for Mr. Smith Goes to Washington in 1939; Charlton Heston for Ben Hur in 1951 and Gregory Peck for To Kill a Mockingbird in 1962.  Best actresses of note are:
Vivien Leigh for Gone with the Wind in 1939; Ingrid Bergman for Gaslight in 1944 ; and Grace Kelly for Country Girl in 1954.  Best films of note are:  Gone with the Wind in 1939; Casablanca in 1943; An American in Paris in 1951.

"An American in Paris" courtesy

This year, hundreds of actors and actresses graced the red carpet outside the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.  Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor award for Lincoln (yeah!); Jennifer Lawrence won the best actress award for Silver Linings Playbook ; and Argo won the Best Film award.  Over 42 million viewers watched on TV.  To date, over 2800 statuettes have been handed out...until next year.

Image courtesy

No comments:

Post a Comment