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Empire & Sky Movies present coverage of the Academy Awards
100 Oscars Facts You Need To Know
Academy Award factoids to dazzle and impress friends and admirers!

Wondering which character is the most Oscar-nominated? Or who the youngest and oldest Oscar winners are? These answers – and 97 more – are handily assembled here in our collection of Oscar facts, figures and fun (fun not guaranteed). We’ve trawled through 84 years of Oscar history to assemble the most fascinating / weird / outrageous pieces of trivia to emerge from the biggest film awards on Earth...


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The most successful films in Oscar history are Ben-Hur, Titanic and Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. Each took home 11 gongs – although Return Of The King was the only one of those to take home every award for which it was nominated.

Gone With The Wind is the longest Best Picture winner, clocking in at languorous 234 minutes. You could watch the shortest winner, Marty, two and a half times before Scarlett hangs up her ball gown.

This year's longest nominees are War Horse (146 mins) and The Help (140 mins). The shortest is Midnight In Paris at a whizzy 94 minutes.

The most nominated films are Titanic and All About Eve with 14 each.

The 'unluckiest' movies since the first Oscars back in 1929 are ballet melodrama The Turning Point (1978) and Spielberg's The Color Purple (1986). Each received 11 nods but won nothing.

If you're looking for the most thespian-friendly Oscars films, look no further than Network (1976) and A Streetcar Named Desire (1951). Each won three Oscars in the actors categories.

Famously, Meryl Streep has accrued the most Best Actress nominations with 14 to date, but Katharine Hepburn holds the record for the most wins with four. On Golden Pond, The Lion In Winter, Guess Who's Coming To Dinner and Morning Glory were her award-winning films.

In recent years the Best Actress award has skewed heavily towards real-life characters: seven of the last 11 winners have been based on real people, including Erin Brockovich, June Carter, Elizabeth II and Virginia Woolf.

Until Heath Ledger's Dark Knight win, Peter Finch was the only actor to be awarded an Academy Award posthumously.

James Dean, Spencer Tracy and Massimo Troisi had also received posthumous Best Actor nominations but didn't win.

The youngest Best Actor winner is Adrien Brody, 29, for The Pianist. The oldest is 76 year-old Henry Fonda for On Golden Pond.

The youngest Oscar winner was Tatum O'Neal, only ten when she won Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon in 1973.

The unluckiest actresses in Oscar history are Deborah Kerr, who was nominated six times for Best Actress, and Thelma Ritter, with six Supporting nods, neither of whom won a bean. Glenn Close is on her sixth nomination this year.

Should he win for Beginners, 82 year-old Christopher Plummer would be the oldest person to win an Oscar.

Maggie Smith is the only person to win an Oscar for playing an Oscar loser, Diana Barrie, in 1978's California Suite. It was the other way around for Judy Garland, meanwhile. She missed out on a Best Actress award for playing Oscar-winner Vicki Lester in A Star Is Born (1954).

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Have Your Say
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Your Comments

1 Fact #18
Posted on Tuesday February 28, 2012, 12:34 by sparkyjcs
Surely Return of the King is a SEQUEL to The Two Towers and Fellowship of the Ring. Didn't that win Best Picture also? Read More

2 #19
Posted on Saturday February 25, 2012, 22:07 by oceandwellers
Are you not forgetting One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest? Read More

3 number 51
Posted on Saturday February 25, 2012, 11:51 by Dropje
I count seven names, not six. Read More

4 meryl
Posted on Saturday February 25, 2012, 08:06 by nz_louise
meryl has 17 nominations to date not 14 Read More

5 No. 43 and 44
Posted on Friday February 24, 2012, 18:37 by hcasner
Raymond Massey was nominated for Abe Lincoln in Illinois; and Barry Fitzgerald was nominated for the same role twice, the same in different categories, but the same role. Read More

6 @ #31
Posted on Friday February 24, 2012, 18:02 by wordscrawl
wings wasn't produced by howard Hughes. that was Hells Angels (1930) i was super excited to read this list, but this is like the 4th wrong fact I've found so far. boo Read More

7 40?
Posted on Thursday February 23, 2012, 22:30 by Pixaroholic
John Williams has 47, not 40, nominations, right?? Read More

8 Spielberg
Posted on Thursday February 23, 2012, 19:19 by sonofliberty1
72 - Spielberg collected his first Oscar in 1987 when he won the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award and then again in 1994 for Schindler's List Read More

9 FACT 101
Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2012, 22:59 by sjessep
Most nominations before winning: Randy Newman won with his 16th nomination before winning for Monsters Inc. He's since won again with Toy Story 3, his 20th nomination. Read More

10 Christopher Plummer
Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2012, 20:31 by Evil_Bob
I suppose you're right Christopher Plummer would be the oldest person to win an Oscar if he wins this year. Although I'm not exactly sure why you're ignoring Max von Sydow who's nominated this year in the same category and is about 8 months older than Plummer. Oh and Return of the King is a sequel. I'm not going with Scream 2's definition of a sequel nor should a respected film magazine. (although arguably Silence of the Lambs is also a sequel) Read More

11 And Godfather II is also technically part-prequel...
Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2012, 19:14 by Porter LOTR: The Return of the King is the only outright sequel winner! God I hate pub quizzes! Read More

12 how can Godfather Part II be the only best picture winning sequel...
Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2012, 19:12 by Porter
...surely LOTR: The Return of the King is a sequel too? And don't give me any of that "it's the concluding part of the same story" horseshit. It's a damn sequel!!! Read More

Posted on Wednesday February 22, 2012, 17:15 by tonyjoedeeks
Judy Garland never won a competative Oscar- she received a special award for The Wizard of Oz.. An Academy gift, not a competative win.. Read More

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