23 Bizarre And Shocking Celebrity Facts About The Oscars That Are Just Really, Really Cool

1.Eva Marie Saint is currently the oldest living Oscar winner, at 98 years old. She's actually older than the Oscars themselves, which started five years after she was born.

Eva accepting her Oscar in 1955 and presenting in 2018

Eva Marie Saint was born in 1924, and the first Academy Awards ceremony wasn't held until May of 1929. She won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Edie Doyle in On the Waterfront (1954).

Oscars / ABC / youtube.com / youtube.com

2.The shortest performance to ever win an acting Oscar was given by Beatrice Straight. She was on screen for only 5 minutes and 2 seconds in Network in 1976.

Beatrice in Network vs. her accepting her Oscar

She won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar, beating out Jane Alexander (All the President's Men), Jodie Foster (Taxi Driver), Lee Grant (Voyage of the Damned), and Piper Laurie (Carrie).


3.A total of 11 children have been nominated for competitive acting awards before their 12th birthday. Two of them (Tatum O'Neal and Anna Paquin) even won.

Tatum and Anna accepting their Oscars

Here's the full breakdown of child nominees:

Haley and Quvenzhané at the Oscars

Justin Henry was 8 years and 276 days old when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).

Jackie Cooper was 9 years and 20 days old when he was nominated for Best Actor for Skippy (1931).

Tatum O'Neal was 10 years and 106 days old when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Paper Moon (1973), which she then won.

Mary Badham was 10 years and 141 days old when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for To Kill a Mockingbird (1962).

Quvenzhané Wallis was 9 years and 135 days old when she was nominated for Best Actress for Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012).

Quinn Cummings was 10 years and 192 days old when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Goodbye Girl (1977).

Abigail Breslin was 10 years and 284 days old when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Little Miss Sunshine (2006).

Patty McCormack was 11 years and 181 days old when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Bad Seed (1956).

Anna Paquin was 11 years and 200 days old when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for The Piano (1993), which she then won.

Haley Joel Osment was 11 years and 311 days old when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for The Sixth Sense (1999).

And Brandon deWilde was 11 years and 312 days old when he was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Shane (1953).

Oscars / ABC / youtube.com / youtube.com

4.Only one person has ever won two Oscars for the same performance, and that's Harold Russell, a nonprofessional actor who lost both hands in World War II.

A side-by-side of Homer waving goodbye in "The Best Years of Our Lives" and Harold Russell accepting his Oscar

Russell was also the first male Canadian to win in any acting category. He won Best Supporting Actor for his performance as a wounded soldier returning from war in the 1946 drama The Best Years of Our Lives, which ultimately won Best Picture.

Samuel Goldwyn Productions / Warner Bros. Pictures / youtube.com / The Academy / ABC / youtube.com

The Academy's board of directors didn't actually think Russell would win in his category, so at the last minute (literally the night before!), they created a special Oscar on his behalf.

Harold Russell being interviewed on PBS's "Over Easy" in 1982

The Academy wanted to honor him in some way, so they presented him with a special Honorary Oscar for "bringing hope and courage to his fellow veterans through his appearance in The Best Years of Our Lives." That night, Russell also beat out four acting legends — Charles Coburn (The Green Years), Claude Rains (Notorious), Clifton Webb (The Razor's Edge), and William Demarest (The Jolson Story) — and took home his Best Supporting Actor Oscar.

PBS / youtube.com

5.Only one person has ever been able to legally sell their Oscar at an auction, and that's also Harold Russell.

Harold holding both Oscars at the ceremony

In 1993, Russell decided to sell his competitive Oscar to help pay for his wife's medical bills. The Academy added a rule in 1950 that said no future winners could sell their Oscar statue "without first offering to sell it to the Academy for the sum of $1," but these rules didn't apply to Russell because he won the award three years prior.

Bettmann / Bettmann Archive

The then-president of The Academy, Karl Malden, tried to convince Russell not to sell his Oscar, even offering him a "$20,000 interest-free loan" to return it. Despite objection, Russell sold it to a then-anonymous buyer for $60,500.

Harold and Farrah Fawcett, among others, at the Oscars in the '70s
Abc Photo Archives / Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

6.The only person to ever win an Oscar for playing a real-life Oscar winner is Cate Blanchett, who portrayed Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator in 2004.

Cate in "The Aviator" next to Kate in "The Philadelphia Story"

This was Cate Blanchett's first Oscar, which she won in the Best Supporting Actress category. She's been nominated for eight acting Oscars in the last 25 years.

Miramax Films / MGM

FYI: Renée Zellweger obviously won her second Oscar for playing Judy Garland in the 2019 biopic Judy, but Garland (an Honorary Oscar winner) never won a ~competitive~ Oscar, so technically, Zellweger's win doesn't count toward that particular stat.

A side-by-side of Renée in "Judy" vs. Judy Garland on "The Andy Williams Show" in 1965

In 1940, Garland received a special Juvenile Oscar (i.e. a child-size Oscar statuette) to celebrate her "outstanding performance as a screen juvenile" for her work during the previous year. She also earned two nominations throughout her career, one for 1954's A Star Is Born and the other for 1961's Judgment at Nuremberg.

20th Century Fox / NBC / youtube.com

7.And the only actor to win for playing a fictional Oscar nominee is Maggie Smith. She won Best Supporting Actress in 1979 for her role as Diana Barrie in California Suite.

Maggie Smith in "California Suite" vs. her accepting her Oscar in 1979

Dame Maggie Smith beat out Dyan Cannon (Heaven Can Wait), Maureen Stapleton (Interiors), Meryl Streep (The Deer Hunter), and Penelope Milford (Coming Home) for this Best Supporting Actress award. It was her second Oscar, having already won Best Actress in 1970 for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Columbia Pictures / ABC / Oscars / youtube.com

8.Kate Hepburn holds the record for the most acting Oscar wins. All four were for Best Actress, and she received 12 Best Actress nominations in total.

Kate on stage at the 1974 Oscars

Hepburn only made one appearance at the Academy Awards in her entire career, and it was in 1974 to present Lawrence Weingarten with the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award. Upon approaching the stage, she joked, "I am very happy that I didn't hear anyone call out 'it's about time!'"

Her four Best Actress wins were for Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

ABC / youtube.com

9.Walt Disney has won the most Oscars of any person, with 22 total awards. He also holds the record for the most Oscars won in a single night, with four.

Disney accepting his Oscar in 1955

Disney received a record-breaking 59 Oscar nominations in his lifetime. His first was in 1932 and his last was in 1969. In 1954, he received six nominations and won four of them.

Oscars / youtube.com

And here are all of Walt Disney's nominations and wins from 1954, if you're curious.

A breakdown of Disney's 1954 Oscar nominations and wins

Disney also received three Honorary Oscars in total. His first was in 1932 "for the creation of Mickey Mouse;" his second was in 1939 to recognize Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as "a significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field," and his third was in 1942 to celebrate his "outstanding contribution to the advancement of the use of sound in motion pictures through the production of Fantasia."

IMDb / imdb.com

10.In three separate instances, two different actors have won Oscars for playing the same character. The most recent example of this is Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, who both played Anita in their respective West Side Story movies.

Rita Morteno in the 1961 and 2021 "West Side Story" movies, plus Ariana DeBose in the 2021 movie

Rita Moreno won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Anita in 1961's West Side Story. Sixty years later, Ariana DeBose won the same award for playing Anita in Steven Spielberg's 2021 remake.

United Artists / Amblin Entertainment

11.The first time two actors won for playing the same character was when Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro received Oscars for playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

Brando and De Niro in the first and second movies

Marlon Brando won (and then refused) his Best Actor Oscar for playing Vito Corleone in 1972's The Godfather. Two years later, Robert De Niro won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for playing a younger version of the same character in the sequel.

Paramount Pictures

12.And the only other time this has happened was when Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix both won for playing the Joker at the 2009 and 2020 ceremonies.

Heath and Joaquin in their Joker clown makeup in each movie

Heath Ledger posthumously won Best Supporting Actor as the Joker for 2008's The Dark Knight. Joaquin Phoenix then won the Best Actor Oscar over a decade later for Joker.

Warner Bros. Pictures

13.Since the Academy Awards began in 1929, only 16 Oscars have been given out posthumously. Of those 16, only two were in the acting categories: Heath Ledger and Peter Finch.

Heath and Peter Finch in their respective movies

Ledger died when he was 28 in January of 2008, 13 months before winning for The Dark Knight. Peter Finch died when he was 60 in January of 1977, two months before winning his Best Actor Oscar for Network.

Warner Bros. Pictures / United Artists

14.Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated movie to win Best Picture. The 1969 movie won three Oscars in total, from seven nominations.

Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight almost getting hit by a cab in the movie

It won Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Dustin Hoffman (leading), Jon Voight (leading), and Sylvia Miles (supporting) were all nominated for acting, and the film also earned a Best Editing nod.

United Artists

15.Hattie McDaniel was the first Black person to be nominated for an Oscar, and she won Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her work in Gone with the Wind.

Hattie accepting her Oscar

The 12th Academy Awards were held in the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, which wasn't officially integrated until 1959. They had a strict "no Black people" policy, so Gone with the Wind's producer had to call in a special favor just so McDaniel could enter the building. Even so, the hotel still made her sit in the back. That meant there were two Gone with the Wind tables at the ceremony that year: one in the front for the rest of the cast, featuring Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable, and one in the very back for McDaniel, an escort, and her assistant.

Oscars / youtube.com

16.Three actors have straight-up refused to accept their Oscars — the most famous being Marlon Brando in 1973 after winning Best Actor for The Godfather.

Sacheen refusing the Oscar on stage

When Brando won Best Actor for The Godfather, he had Sacheen Littlefeather — who identified herself as the then-president of the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee — attend the ceremony on his behalf. Upon approaching the stage, she said that Brando "very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award, and the reasons for this are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry and on television in movie reruns, and also with recent happenings at Wounded Knee."

Oscars / youtube.com

17.A few years prior to Brando's refusal, George C. Scott declined his Best Actor win for Patton (1970) because he "did not feel himself to be in any competition with other actors."

George C. Scott in "Patton," plus Frank McCarthy accepting his Oscar

The movie's producer, Frank McCarthy, accepted the award for Scott but then returned it to the Academy the following day. Scott received three other nominations in total, but the only other one he refused was his Best Supporting Actor nod for The Hustler (1961). Scott later revealed his true hatred for the Oscars, saying, "The whole thing is a goddamn meat parade. I don't want any part of it."

20th Century Fox / Oscars / youtube.com

18.And the first person to refuse their Oscar was Dudley Nichols. He declined his then-titled Best Writing, Screenplay award for The Informer in 1936 due to a union boycott.

Dudley Nichols at a dinner with Olivia De Havilland and Henry Wallace

Nichols refused his Oscar in 1936 because, at the time, the Academy had failed to acknowledge the Screen Writers Guild. The exact wording for his refusal is "because of the antagonism between several industry guilds and the Academy over union matters." Nichols was a founder of the Screen Writers Guild, and he also served as president in 1937 and 1938.

Keystone / Getty Images

19.The shortest Oscars speech ever was by Patty Duke, who simply said "thank you" upon winning Best Supporting Actress in 1963.

Patty in "The Miracle Worker" vs. her accepting her Oscar

Patty Duke won for her role as Helen Keller in The Miracle Worker. She was 16 at the time, becoming the then-youngest competitive Oscar winner in history.

Another notably short Oscar speech is from Joe Pesci, who simply uttered five words after winning Best Supporting Actor for Goodfellas in 1991, saying, "It’s my privilege. Thank you."

And Fred Zinnemann only said four words ("Thank you very much.") upon winning Best Picture for A Man for All Seasons in 1967, but that's only because he had accepted the award for Best Director a few minutes prior and spoke then.

United Artists / Oscars / youtube.com

20.Edith Head is the most-awarded and most-nominated woman in Oscars history, with 8 wins from 35 nominations. She's so iconic that Pixar literally used her as inspiration when creating the character Edna Mode in The Incredibles.

Edith Head with seven of her Oscars

Edith Head received those 35 nominations in just 29 years, from 1949 through 1978. All of her nominations were in the Best Costume Design categories, which were initially separated by black-and-white and color films. The Academy then combined the categories into a general Best Costume Design award in 1967.

Some of the films Head won for include All About Eve, The Sting, Sabrina, and Roman Holiday.

Oscars / youtube.com

21.No one has ever won the Best Actor Oscar for their debut performance, but four have won it for Best Actress.

Marlee Matlin accepting her Oscar

Here they are, in order: Shirley Booth for Come Back, Little Sheba (1952); Julie Andrews for Mary Poppins (1964; Barbra Streisand for Funny Girl (1968); and Marlee Matlin for Children of a Lesser God (1986).

Oscars / ABC / youtube.com

22.No film has won Oscars in all four acting categories, but three have won "The Big 5," aka Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress.

Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher in the movie, plus Michael Douglas accepting the Oscar

The first film to win The Big 5 was Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934). Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable took home their first and only Oscars in the acting categories.

The second film to sweep these major categories was One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Michael Douglas won his first Oscar as one of the film's producers, and Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher both won as actors.

And The Silence of the Lambs is the most recent film to achieve this honor, having won five of its seven nominations in 1992, including wins for Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins as actors.

United Artists / Oscars / ABC / youtube.com

23.And finally, there have been six ties on Oscar night, two of which occurred in the acting categories (the most famous being between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand in 1969).

Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tying at the Oscars in 1969

1. In 1932, there was a tie for Best Actor between Wallace Beery (The Champ) and Fredric March (Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde).

2. In 1949, there was a tie for Best Documentary Short between A Chance to Live and So Much for So Little.

3. In 1968, there was a tie for Best Actress between Katharine Hepburn (The Lion in Winter) and Barbra Streisand (Funny Girl).

4. In 1986, there was a tie for Best Documentary between Artie Shaw: Time Is All You've Got and Down and Out in America.

5. In 1994, there was a tie for Best Short Film (Live Action) between Franz Kafka's It's a Wonderful Life and Trevor

6. And in 2012, there was a tie for Best Sound Editing between Paul N. J. Ottosson (Zero Dark Thirty) and Per Hallberg and Karen Baker Landers (Skyfall).

Oscars / ABC / youtube.com