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Peter Denz and Richard Dreyfuss at the 1996 Academy Awards

The Academy Award , the official name Academy Award of Merit ( English for "Merit Award of the Academy"), better known by its nickname Oscar , is the most famous film award in the film industry. It is awarded annually by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) for the best films of the previous year. Because of the admission procedure, US productions usually dominate the winning lists. The last award so far took place on February 9, 2020 in Los Angeles .

The award was launched on February 12, 1929 by then President of MGM Studios , Louis B. Mayer , eight years after receiving the Photoplay Award , which is considered to be the first film award in the world. The Oscar is currently awarded in over 30 different categories in a joint ceremony; the winners receive a statuette depicting a knight with a sword on a roll of film.


By the late 1920s, the US film industry was in crisis. New inventions - the radio, for example - meant that the cinemas had fewer visitors. The situation became increasingly difficult for the owners of the large studios. The formation of trade unions also in the film industry meant that they had to pay the workers in their studios appropriately, which was unusual until then. In the context of demonstrations, more wages and the introduction of regulated working conditions were called for. Another difficulty for the studios was the censorship .

The head of the then very successful and influential Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer-Studios (MGM), Louis B. Mayer, met with two good friends to deal with the problem. Together with Conrad Nagel and Fred Niblo , he devised an institution that would embody the art of filmmaking and guarantee centralized control of the interests of filmmakers - an academy seemed to meet these requirements.

On January 11, 1927, a gala dinner was held at which 33 influential and well-known film greats met to found the "Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences". Among them were celebrities like Douglas Fairbanks , Mary Pickford , Cecil B. DeMille , the Warner Brothers and others. The Academy's first official banquet took place on May 11, 1927.

In the first academy statutes it was laid down which tasks the academy had to take care of. The introduction of the price was decided in early 1928 and supplemented. The Academy Award was presented for the first time on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel on Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood . There are no photos, films or sound recordings of this event. The award ceremony took place in front of 270 event guests. The Oscar winners were announced in the press three months earlier. As early as the next year, the Academy kept the results secret and usually gave the newspapers a list for publication shortly before midnight on the day before the award ceremony.

The first actress to receive the Academy Award of Merit was American actress Janet Gaynor . The first actor to receive the Academy Award of Merit was the German actor Emil Jannings . He received it in the “Best Actor” category for his performance in the film Der Weg allen Fleisches (1927; directed by Victor Fleming ); no more copies of the film can be found. The award also went to Jannings' film His Last Command (1928; directed by Josef von Sternberg ), made a year later . The award was handed over to him early in 1929 because he was on his way back to Germany; there are no pictures of the ceremony. With this award for best leading actor, Jannings is the only German actor to date to have won in this category. The Düsseldorf-born actress Luise Rainer even won the award for best leading actress twice (1936, 1937). In 1961, Maximilian Schell was the first Austrian (of Swiss origin) to win this category for The Judgment of Nuremberg .

From the mid-1930s, when interest in the event had also increased outside of the film industry, the list of winners was given to the press before it was awarded. But after the Los Angeles Times in 1940 ignored the blocking period and had printed the winners before the start of the award ceremony, the previous press release was abolished in 1941; the names of the award winners have since been kept sealed in sealed envelopes. The winners are only known to the notaries commissioned by the auditing firm Price Waterhouse (since 1998 PricewaterhouseCoopers ) until they are announced at the event .

Subsequent public interest increased continuously. The third Academy Awards lasted seven minutes and 38 seconds and was the first to be recorded on film; the award was first televised in 1953. Today more than 5500 members of the academy vote in the individual categories; the award is broadcast worldwide and is watched by around 800 million people annually.

After the announcement of the Oscar nominations in 2016 , the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences faced increasing criticism - as in the previous year, all nominations in the actor categories had received white actors, even though dark-skinned actors like Idris Elba ( Beasts of No Nation ) , Michael B. Jordan ( Creed - Rocky's Legacy ), and Will Smith ( Shattering Truth ) . Smith's wife, actress Jada Pinkett Smith and honorary award winner Spike Lee then publicly criticized this lack of ethnic diversity and announced that they would not appear at the Academy Awards. The Academy's board of directors under African-American President Cheryl Boone Isaacs then voted for new rules to double the number of women and ethnic minorities by 2020. In April 2016, the admission of 236 new members was announced, including scientists and artists. On June 29, 2016, a further 683 personalities were invited as new members. These included 46 percent women and 41 percent members of ethnic minorities. The new members include directors such as Ryan Coogler , Deepa Mehta and Abbas Kiarostami , but also the actors Emma Watson , Michael B. Jordan, Oscar Isaac , Regina King , Anthony Anderson , Adam Beach , Kate Beckinsale , Chadwick Boseman , John Boyega , Carmen Ejogo , Idris Elba, America Ferrera , Greta Gerwig , Carla Gugino , Luis Guzmán , Tom Hiddleston , Patti LuPone , Rachel McAdams , Nate Parker , Anika Noni Rose and Marlon Wayans . The singer Mary J. Blige also received an invitation.

Most recently, a total of 774 new members were appointed at the end of June 2017, more than ever before. According to the AMPAS, 39 percent of them were women. This increased the proportion of women to 28 percent and the proportion of non-white members to 13 percent. The new academy members include Adam Driver and Gal Gadot , among others , Lucas Hedges , Barry Jenkins , Ruth Negga and Justin Timberlake , who were nominated in 2017 . The Germans Fatih Akin and Daniel Brühl , the Austrians Jessica Hausner and Monika Willi and the Swiss Claude Barras , Giacun Caduff , Corinna Glaus , Max Karli , Michel Merkt and Timo von Gunten were also included . At the beginning of May 2018, the Board of Directors of the Academy decided to exclude Roman Polański and Bill Cosby as members due to allegations of sexual abuse. In October 2017, the academy had already excluded Harvey Weinstein for the same reason.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic , the Academy of Motion decided in 2020 for the first time and, according to its own representation, to allow films for the nomination that were only shown on streaming platforms.

Special incidents

At the Academy Awards in 1938 , the statuette for the best supporting actress was stolen from the stage in front of everyone. The award winner Alice Brady broke her foot and was therefore unable to attend the award ceremony. The award was received by a fraudster who went undetected and was never investigated. Brady was later presented with a copy of the award.

Several artists refused to accept the Oscars. Dudley Nichols was the first to reject his award for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Traitor at the 1936 Academy Awards because he was in a dispute with the film academy. In 1971 the actor George C. Scott refused to accept the award for the leading role in Patton - Rebel in Uniform and protested against the increasing "meat inspection" in the film industry. Marlon Brando refused to accept the award for the lead role in The Godfather in 1973 , in solidarity with the Native American movement, and instead sent Things Littlefeather to the event. In the speech prepared by Brando, Littlefeather drew attention to the suppression of civil rights of the Native Americans and especially to the protest actions of the American Indian Movement at Wounded Knee . Littlefeather could only make an improvised statement due to the limited speaking time; she only read the entire text backstage in front of the journalists present there.

At the 1962 Oscars , New York taxi driver Stan Berman managed to sneak onto the stage and present a self-made "Oscar" for presenter Bob Hope . Berman mentioned a reference to the year 1938, in which Hope had his first role in a feature film ( The Big Broadcast of 1938 ) .

At the 1986 Academy Awards , actress Sarah Cunningham died of an asthma attack while on the show in the lobby.

Due to the great response to the Oscars, the event was occasionally also a platform for high-profile appearances with political concerns. At the 1974 Academy Awards , the speedster Robert Opel ran naked across the stage, showing the peace sign , when David Niven was giving a speech for actress Elizabeth Taylor . Michael Moore used his acceptance speech for his Oscar for Bowling for Columbine 2003 to sharply attack US President George W. Bush for the US-British war against Saddam Hussein's Iraqi regime ("Shame on you, Mr. Bush!").

That same year, the rapper Eminem stayed away from the show because he refused to perform a "defused" version of his winning song " Lose Yourself " from the movie 8 Mile .

There was a bit of a scandal at the 2010 Academy Awards when Music by Prudence was named best documentary short film. Just as director Roger Ross Williams was about to give his acceptance speech, Elinor Burkett stormed onto the stage and interrupted the speech. The original idea for the film came from her, but due to differences, she had been released from her role in the project the year before.

At the 2017 Academy Awards , Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway presented the winner in the Best Picture category . After Beatty's hesitation, Dunaway mistakenly awarded the award to the musical La La Land ; in fact, the drama Moonlight had won the Oscar. Beatty had previously been mistakenly given the envelope with the winner of the Best Actress category , Emma Stone in La La Land . This was only corrected after the acceptance speeches by La La Land producers Jordan Horowitz , Marc Platt and Fred Berger . The following year , Beatty and Dunaway again announced the Oscar winner for Best Picture , this time without a single mistake.

The name

In the first years of the award, the trophy was referred to exclusively as the Academy Award of Merit . It is no longer possible to determine with any certainty who was the godfather for the name Oscar . What is certain is that the more succinct new name has been widely used since the mid-1930s. Four people are repeatedly named as "godparents":

  • The former executive secretary of the academy, Margaret Herrick, is said to have said when looking at the statue: "He looks like my uncle Oscar!" In the annals of the academy she is often named as the official namesake.
  • Bette Davis is said to have repeatedly emphasized that the statue reminds her of her first husband Harmon Oscar Nelson Jr. (1907–1975).
  • Film columnist Sidney Skolsky claimed to have been the namesake.
  • When the academy was considering a name for the trophy, a man suggested calling it "Oscar". Walt Disney noticed this and believed that this was now the official name of the trophy. He is said to have thanked him for his "Oscar" at the 1934 award.

Although it has been emphasized again and again that Oscar is not the official name, this name has also been trademarked since 1979.

The trophy

Horst Burbulla with an Oscar

The coveted film award is 34 cm tall and is made of solid Britannia metal that weighs 3.9 kg. It is covered with a thin 24-carat gold skin. Only in times of war was gold not used.

The material value of a statue is about 300 US dollars . The Academy has had the Oscars produced by the RS Owen Company in Chicago since 1983 . The name of the winner, the corresponding Oscar category and the title of the film are engraved in the base of the statue after the award ceremony.

The design for the statuette comes from the art director of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), Cedric Gibbons . The founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences commissioned Conrad Nagel to design the film prize. With a budget of $ 500, Nagel was concerned about the look and the nature of the price. A simple document was found to be insufficient. The idea came up to symbolize the price with a statuette. Nagel commissioned Gibbons to create a design for a statuette that would give the film prize a worthy form. Gibbons then designed the now famous figure of a golden swordtail on a roll of film.

Since 1950, winners have had to pledge that neither they nor their heirs will sell the Oscars without first offering them to the Academy for one US dollar. If a winner refuses, the Academy will keep the trophy. The attempted sale of Michael Todd's Oscar by his grandson was stopped by the Academy in 1989 after a lawsuit. However, several Oscars awarded prior to the introduction of the provision were sold in auctions for six-figure sums. In December 2011, Orson Welles ' Oscar for Citizen Kane (1941) was put up for auction by his heirs. The heirs had already wanted to sell it in 2003, which had led to a legal battle with the Academy. The heirs won the process because Welles had not signed a declaration to this effect in 1941. On December 20, 2011, the Oscar was sold to an anonymous bidder for $ 861,542.


Over the years, the Academy Awards have been presented in different locations:

The 25th to 29th awards took place not only in Los Angeles , but also in New York :

  • NBC International Theater (1953)
  • NBC Century Theater (1954-1957)

The live television broadcast of the Oscar nominations takes place from the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in the main building of AMPAS, which was built in 1975.


The Academy draws up new rules for each Oscar ceremony and reserves the right to introduce new categories or to abolish existing ones.

Regular award

Academy Awards are given each year in the following 24 regular categories:

category Original name (s) Period of award
Best movie Best picture since 1929
Best director Best Director, Achievement in Directing since 1929
Best Actor Best Actor in a Leading Role since 1929
Best main actress Best Actress in a Leading Role since 1929
Best supporting actor Best Actor in a Supporting Role since 1937
The best supporting actress Best Actress in a Supporting Role since 1937
Best original script Best Writing, Original Screenplay
Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen
since 1941
Best adapted script Best Writing, Adaptation
Best Writing, Screenplay
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published
Best Adapted Screenplay
since 1929
Best camera Best Cinematography
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White / Color
since 1929
Best production design Best Art Direction
Best Art Direction - Interior Decoration, Black-and-White / Color
Best Art Direction - Set Decoration, Black-and-White / Color
Best Art Direction - Set Decoration
since 1929
Best costume design Best costume design since 1949
Best tone Best Sound, Recording
Best Sound
Best Sound Mixing
since 1930
Best cut Best film editing since 1935
Best sound editing Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing
Best Sound Editing
since 1964
Best visual effects Best Effects, Visual Effects
Best Visual Effects
since 1940
Best make-up and best hairstyles Makeup and Hairstyling
Best Makeup
since 1982
Best song Best Music, Original Song since 1935
Best film score Best Music, Score
Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture / Scoring of a Musical Picture
Best Music, Score - Substantially Original / Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment
Best Music, Original Dramatic Score / Scoring Original Song Score and / or Adaptation
Best Music , Original Score
since 1935
Best animated feature film Best animated feature since 2002
Best animated short film Best Short Subject, Cartoons
Best Short Subject, Animated
since 1932
Best short film Best Short Subject, Comedy / Novelty
Best Short Subject, Two-reel / One-reel
Best Short Subject, Live Action Subjects
Best Short Subject, Live Action
since 1932
Best documentary Best Documentary, Features since 1942
Best documentary short film Best Documentary, Short Subjects since 1943
Best international film Best International Feature Film (until 2019: Best Foreign Language Film) since 1947

Former categories

Categories that are no longer part of the Academy Awards program:

category Original name (s) Period of award
Best assistant director Best Assistant Director 1934 - 1938
Best original story Best Writing, Original Story
Best Writing, Motion Picture Story
1929- 1957
Best dance director Best Dance Direction 1936 -1938
Best subtitles Best Title Writing 1929

Special awards

These prizes are not awarded every year or only as required:

Surname Original designation awarded for Period of award
Honorary Oscar Honorary Award Lifetime work or services for the Academy since 1929
"Irving G. Thalberg" Prize The Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Film producers since 1938
"Jean Hersholt" Prize Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award humanitarian services in the field of filmmaking since 1957
Special Oscar Special Achievement Award extraordinary services for a single film that fall out of the above categories since 1973
Miniature Oscar (youth award) Juvenile Award Child actor 1935- 1961
Student price Student Academy Award since 1973

Awards for science and technology

Some of these prizes are not awarded every year or only as required:

Surname Original designation awarded for Period of award
Gordon E. Sawyer Award Gordon E. Sawyer Award scientific or technical achievements in filmmaking since 1982
John A. Bonner Medal John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation in recognition of exceptional performance and commitment to maintaining the academy's high standards since 1978
Academy Award of Merit Academy Award of Merit (Class I) since 1931
Science and development award Scientific and Engineering Award (Class II) since 1931
Technical Merit Award Technical Achievement Award (Class III) since 1931

The procedure

Pre-selection - determination of the nominees

Any feature film that was shown in the Los Angeles County area for the first time for at least seven days in a paid movie theater between January 1 and December 31 of any year is eligible for the Oscars for the following year. The term “feature film” is defined as a film that

  • has a length of at least 40 minutes and
  • was shown as a 35 or 70 mm copy or as a 24 or 48 fps digital cinema format (with a minimum resolution of 1280 × 720 pixels).

It does not matter whether the film is of US or foreign origin, so that foreign films outside the category can also qualify for the best foreign language film. At the end of each year, the academy compiles a list of eligible films.

In the pre-selection phase, the academy members choose their ten personal favorites in the “Best Film” category; all members are entitled to vote. In addition, each member suggests five films or people from his academy branch for nomination, i. H. Directors choose directors, actors choose actors, etc. The ten films with the most votes for the best film or the five proposals with the most votes in each individual category are then officially announced by the Academy as nominees.

Special rules for nominations

For the categories animated feature film, documentary film, short film, foreign language film, make-up, sound editing and visual effects, there are special pre-selection juries within the academy that decide on the nomination.

Different qualification rules apply to the best foreign-language film: Any film that premiered in its respective country from October 1, two years before the award ceremony to September 30 of the year before the award ceremony, is permitted. Each country may only suggest one film to the Academy for nomination. After the highly acclaimed Romanian drama was not nominated for 4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days , the academy announced a change to its selection guidelines on June 19, 2008: Only six of the nine foreign productions to be nominated will be determined by a volunteer committee of AMPAS members, who only must see a minimum of the submitted contributions; three nominations are selected by a twenty-person committee for foreign language films, the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee .

Different qualification rules also apply to the documentary film Oscars: Here the film must have been shown either in Los Angeles County or in the New York borough of Manhattan between September 1, two years before the award ceremony and August 31 of the year before the award ceremony. In addition, the film must have been shown publicly in four other cities for at least two days.

There are also different qualification rules for the short film Oscars: Here, any film is permitted that is screened for at least three days in Los Angeles County from October 1, two years before the award ceremony to September 30 of the year before the award ceremony or was awarded at a film festival specified in the rules.

After a production had submitted three of the five nominated pieces of music at the awards ceremony in 2007 and 2008 in the Best Film Song category , a maximum of two pieces from a film have been nominated since 2009 (this limit does not apply to the preselection; the academy members who are eligible for preselection can therefore continue to have more than suggest two pieces of music from a single film).

The categories “Animated Feature Film” and “Make-up” are optional. If, at the discretion of the Academy, too few films are eligible for an Oscar in a year, the Academy can skip the pre-selection process and nominate individual films directly, award a special Oscar for a film directly, or waive the award at all this year.

If an actor is voted one of the five nominees for two or more films in the same category (for example, "Best Actor"), he will only be nominated for the film that has received the most votes. The same applies if the academy members who are eligible to vote do not agree on whether the role in question is a leading or supporting role and an actor would be nominated for the same film as best leading and best supporting actor. In both cases, the sixth-placed winner moves up as the nominee. However, it is possible that an actor is nominated for different films in different categories in the same year.

Election of the award winners from the nominees

In the second electoral phase, the members of the academy now have the opportunity to watch all nominated films free of charge in the academy's own film theater . In addition, special DVDs will be sent with the films. This practice is viewed critically by the academy, however, as copies of these DVDs appeared in Internet exchange sites in 2003 .

All members in all categories are entitled to vote when selecting the winners from among the nominees.

The voting slips, which must be received by the Academy at least one week before the award ceremony, are counted by three sworn notaries from the auditing company PricewaterhouseCoopers . The Oscar is awarded to the nominee who has received the most votes. In the event that two nominees receive the same number of votes, the Oscar will be awarded to both.

Special rules for the award

  • In the production design category , in addition to the production designer , the set decorator and the film architect (art director) are nominated and awarded.
  • The main creative person in charge will be awarded for the best animated feature film. In most cases this is the director (and a maximum of a second director), but it can also be a producer.
  • In the documentary and short film categories, a maximum of two Oscars are awarded, including in each case to the director and one other creative (in most cases the producer).
  • The Oscar for the best foreign language film goes to the film itself, not to the producer and not to the director. The latter only accepts the Oscar as a representative.
  • The Oscar for the best film goes to the producers of the film, with a maximum of three producers being nominated and awarded. If more producers are named in the credits, the production company has to name three producers or the academy determines three producers.
  • A maximum of two honorary awards will be given by the Board of Governors without prior nomination . Since there are more than two different honorary award categories, not all honorary awards are awarded every year.
  • The Oscars for technical merit are also awarded without prior nomination by special selection committees. This award always takes place in the run-up to the actual Oscars.


At the end of 2017, A Silent Voice was one of five anime films released by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts alongside In this Corner of the World , Sword Art Online - The Movie: Ordinal Scale , Mary and the Witch's Flower and Ancien and the Magical Kingdom and Sciences were shortlisted for a Best Animated Feature nomination at the Oscars of 2018 . A total of 26 films were proposed for this category.

Despite the success and mostly positive press and visitor votes, neither A Silent Voice nor any of the four other Japanese animated films were nominated for an Oscar. This met with sharp criticism from the anime fan community. In particular, the nomination of the animated film The Boss Baby met with little understanding, even among non-anime fans. Four more Japanese animated films have made it since Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki , who won the Oscar in 2003 , Howl's Moving Castle in 2006 , The Legend of Princess Kaguya eight years later , How the Wind Rises in 2015 and Memories to Marnie the following year - all from Studio Ghibli - for receiving an Academy Award nomination. A total of only six Japanese animated films have been nominated since the first award in this category, with The Red Tortoise nominated in 2017 being an international co-production from Belgium , France and Japan . One possible reason is a rule change that came into force in 2018, which states that every member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is entitled to vote if they have viewed at least two-thirds of all proposed films. In addition, there is a suspicion that the members could be influenced by the preferences of their children. But Disney's influence is also mentioned as a possible reason.

An article by the Special Broadcasting Service said that the historical background of the award could also be the reason for the lack of interest in animated films at the Oscars. With regard to anime films, reference is also made to a cultural clash between Japanese and American animated films. Demographics also play a role in the selection of nominations: According to a survey by the Los Angeles Times in 2014, 94 percent of the approximately 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were white, 76 percent male and a large proportion at least 63 Year old. Since anime is mostly consumed by a younger audience, it is believed that Japanese animated films will not be well received by older Academy members, no matter how successful the film has been.


The most successful films

For a long time, the film Gone with the Wind from 1939 was the numerically most successful film in Oscar history with ten Oscars; he was only replaced by Ben Hur in 1960 with eleven trophies. With Ben Hur, in turn, Titanic was only able to catch up with eleven awards in 1998 . It was only six years before the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King , another film with eleven Oscars, joined this ranks. The latter was also one of the few films that won all of the nominated categories. Overall, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is the most successful film series with 17 awards and 30 nominations.

The five categories of best film , best director , best leading actor , best leading actress and the script categories ( best original script or best script based on a template ) are considered the most important Oscar categories and are also referred to as the Big Five . So far, only three films have received awards in each of these categories: It Happened in One Night (1934), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and The Silence of the Lambs (1991).

All About Eva (1950), Titanic (1997) and La La Land (2017) share the nomination record with 14 nominations, followed by Gone with the Wind , Doomed For All Eternity , Mary Poppins , Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? , Forrest Gump , Shakespeare in Love , The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring , Chicago , The Strange Fall of Benjamin Button and Shape of Water with 13 nominations each.

The most successful filmmakers

The American Katharine Hepburn (1907–2003), who was honored four times as best leading actress between 1934 and 1982, has been honored most frequently with actor awards . Her compatriot Meryl Streep has the most nominations for an actor (21). Jack Nicholson , Daniel Day-Lewis and Walter Brennan (1894–1974) each won three Academy Awards for men . Nicholson also holds the nomination record for male actors (12 nominations).

The most frequently honored person is Walt Disney (1901–1966) with 26 Oscars (including 4 honorary ones) and 37 other nominations. He also won the most Oscars in one year with 4 awards in 1954. The most frequently awarded woman is the costume designer Edith Head (1897–1981) with 8 Oscars and 27 other nominations. The most frequently honored filmmakers who are still alive are the composer Alan Menken (8 regular prizes, especially for Aladdin and Pocahontas ) and Dennis Muren , who is known for his visual effects and the like. a. for Star Wars Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back , ET - The Extra-Terrestrial and Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom received a total of 8 Oscars (including 3 special prizes; 15 nominations).

With seven awards and 13 nominations, the cartoon characters Tom and Jerry are the most frequently awarded animated film stars in the history of the Oscars (see: Oscar / Best Animated Short Film ). The two actresses Greer Garson (1904–1996) and Bette Davis (1908–1989), who have been nominated for an Oscar for five consecutive years, were also quite successful .

Age records

Most consecutive wins

The biggest "losers"

  • Most nominations for a film without winning a prize
  • Most nominations for Best Foreign Language Film (by country of origin)
  • Most nominations for one person at all
  • Most nominations for an actress
    • Glenn Close (* 1947) nominated a total of 7 times for an actor's award.
  • Most nominations for an actor
    • Peter O'Toole (1932–2013) at the age of 8 (received an honorary Oscar for his life's work in 2003 )
  • Most nominations for a director
  • Most nominations for a screenwriter
    • Federico Fellini at the age of 6 (in addition to the honorary Oscar in 1993 for his life's work, his films were awarded the prize for the best foreign language film 4 times)
  • Most nominations for a film composer
  • Most nominations for a cameraman


In the early years, the award ceremony was often moderated by the respective president of the academy. At the end of the 1950s there was for the first time a whole squad of equal moderators for an award ceremony. This was taken up again in the 1970s.

Since the late 1970s, a moderator has usually been leading through the program. He is supported by numerous laudators . In the actor categories, these are usually the previous year's winners for the opposite sex.

The most frequent Oscar presenter to date is entertainer Bob Hope - he presented the event seventeen times. Billy Crystal was honored with the television award Emmy several times for his moderation in the 1990s . In 2012 he stepped in at short notice and moderated the Oscars. David Niven's moderation also became legendary. In the long history of the award there have only been two female presenters who were allowed to lead the show alone: Whoopi Goldberg (four times since 1994) and Ellen DeGeneres (2007 and 2014).

More lists


  • As a kind of counter-Oscar, the Golden Raspberry has been awarded as a negative prize on the evening before the Oscar ceremony since 1981 .
  • The decline in the careers of some actors after winning an Oscar is known as the "Oscar curse".


Web links

Wiktionary: Oscar  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Commons : Academy Awards  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. About the Academy Awards - Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences ( Memento from January 21, 2009 in the Internet Archive ) In: www.oscars.org
  2. History In: www.oscars.org
  3. a b Katja Nicodemus : Show running for the advertising effect. In: Calendar sheet (broadcast on DLF ). May 16, 2019, accessed May 29, 2019 .
  4. https://www.oscars.org/academy-story
  5. Andreas Borcholte: Oscar controversy about diversity: Academy comes under pressure. In: Spiegel Online . January 21, 2016, accessed April 12, 2020 .
  6. Lifetime voting rights reframed; new governor seats added and committees restructured: Goal to double number of diverse members by 2020 at oscars.org, January 22, 2016 (accessed January 23, 2016).
  7. American Academy of Arts and Sciences Elects 213 National and International Scholars, Artists, Philanthropists, and Business Leaders In: amacad.org, April 20, 2016.
  8. Oscar Academy nominates women, blacks and Latinos for the jury In: Süddeutsche Zeitung, June 30, 2016.
  9. Steve Pond: Academy Invites Michael B. Jordan, Oscar Isaac in Huge Diversity Push In: thewrap.com, June 29, 2016.
  10. Oscar Academy appoints 774 new members - Kultur - Süddeutsche.de. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  11. Two Austrians are new members of the Oscar Academy «DiePresse.com. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  12. Class of 2017. Accessed June 30, 2017.
  13. Oscar Academy excludes Bill Cosby and Roman Polanski. Retrieved May 4, 2018 .
  14. AWARDS RULES AND CAMPAIGN REGULATIONS APPROVED FOR 93RD OSCARS®. April 28, 2020, accessed on April 29, 2020 .
  15. Süddeutsche Zeitung: Streaming films will be admitted to the Oscars in 2021. Retrieved April 29, 2020 .
  16. Heritage Auction Galleries “Signature Music & Entertainment Memorabilia Auction” Catalog Available Online (October 2008) at originalprop.com, accessed January 15, 2014
  17. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,904789,00.html ( Memento from December 21, 2008 in the Internet Archive )
  18. ^ Text of the full speech at nytimes.com, accessed January 9, 2012
  19. Gatecrasher offers Bob Hope a homemade Academy Award - Oscar History at ontheredcarpet.com, accessed January 14, 2014
  20. Roger Ross Williams: a case study in choosing your collaborators wisely article on walletpop.com of March 8, 2010 (English)
  21. Offended Roger Ross Williams Explains Elinor Burkett's Oscar Interruption! ( Memento from December 26, 2014 in the Internet Archive ), article on gossip.whyfame.com from March 9, 2010 (English)
  22. Oscars 2018: Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway get a second chance after an Oscar breakdown, accessed on March 7, 2018
  23. Janet Flanner: Legendary Women and a Man. Munich 1993, p. 99
  24. http://waltdisney.org/blog/award-winning-walt
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