10 things you probably didn’t know about the Oscars
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It’s that time of the year, the 87th Academy Awards ceremony will take place at the Dolby Theatre this Sunday. Hollywood’s biggest stars will walk across 500 feet of red carpet in their designer suits and gowns to the industry’s biggest night, in hopes of winning an Oscar, perhaps the most recognized trophy in the world.
Marketplace host Kai Ryssdal spoke to Joseph Petree, the Design Director at R.S. Owens & Company, about manufacturing the golden statuette.
10 fun facts about the Oscars:
- The Oscar statuette was originally named the Academy Award of Merit. Although it is unclear where the nickname comes from, the most widely known myth is that the Academy’s librarian saw the statue and said it looked like her Uncle Oscar. The Academy officially adopted the nickname in 1939.
- The first Oscar was awarded in 1929 to Emil Jannings, named Best Actor for his performances in “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh.”
- About 270 people attended the first official Academy Awards at the Blossom Room of the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and tickets cost $5 each.
- An Oscar statuette stands 13½ inches tall and weighs in at 8½ pounds.
- The Oscar statuette was designed by Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and sculpted by Los Angeles artist George Stanley.
- The statuette is a figure of a knight holding a crusader’s sword standing on a reel of film with five spokes signifying the five original branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.
- The first televised Academy Awards show was on March 19, 1953.
- R. S. Owens & Company in Chicago has manufactured the Oscar statuette since 1983.
- Each Oscar takes about 8-10 hours to make. R.S. Owens & Company manufactures about 50-60 Oscar statuettes per year.
- The Oscar statuette has more real gold on it than any other trophy.
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