http://oscars.org is a great source for the history of the Academy Awards.

Some facts and figures :

1929; The first Oscars were given at a banquet at the Roosevelt hotel in Los Angeles, with 270 attendees. Recipients were announced three months earlier.

The next year the results were kept secret but an advance list was given to newspapers for publication after 11pm on the evening of the awards. This continued until 1940 when the L.A.Times published the winners in its evening edition – readily available to arriving guests.

The sealed envelope system came in after that!


1935:  Oscars for Film Editing, Music Scoring and Best Song  were inaugurated.

1937: For the first time, there was a Best Supporting Performance Oscar. (Walter Brennan and Gale Sondergaard).




Luise Rainer

Luise Rainer

LUISE RAINER was the first to win two Oscars (THE GOOD EARTH,THE GREAT ZIEGFELD).



Walter Brennan,Gary Cooper

Walter Brennan,Gary Cooper

WALTER BRENNAN  was the first (and only) performer to win three Oscars for acting in the Supporting category – COME AND GET IT (1936), KENTUCKY (1938) and THE WESTERNER (1940 )


1939; The first Oscar for Special effects was given for THE RAINS CAME.



1944; Winners in the Best Supporting actor/actress category were given full size statuettes instead of plaques.

1944: For the first time, the Oscar Ceremony is held at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.


1947: The general public were allowed to buy tickets for the Academy awards.



Robert Montgomery

Robert Montgomery

In 1949, ROBERT MONTGOMERY  was Master of Ceremonies, and the  Costume Design Oscar was introduced. (winners were JOAN OF ARC and HAMLET).


1953: TV cameras covered the event and had the largest single audience in TV’s 5 year commercial history.


Frank Sinatra,Donna Reed

Frank Sinatra,Donna Reed

FROM HERE TO ETERNITY,in 1954, was the first film to tie with GONE WITH THE WIND for a record 8 Oscars.





In 1955, Garbo was given an Honorary Award for her “unforgettable screen performances”.



Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

The 1956 Oscars was GRACE KELLY’s last public appearance before her marriage to Prince Rainier. (Her Oscar was for THE COUNTRY GIRL in 1955.)


1961; WENDELL COREY was Academy President till 1963.



1969: The first worldwide TV broadcast.




2 responses »

  1. Thanks for reminding me that I should have said that the special juvenile Oscars began in 1935 with Shirley Temple. Other recipients ( all under 18) in the classic era included Deanna and Mickey Rooney in1938; Judy Garland in 1939; Margaret O’Brien in 1944.Also, Claude Jarman Jr, Peggy Ann Garner and Bobby Driscoll.
    Hayley Mills was 12 when she reviewed the last one for Pollyanna in 1961.

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