Special Report

Why the ‘Oscars’ and Other Little Known Fun Facts About the Academy Awards

Source: Carlo Allegri / Getty Images

1. Why is it called ‘Oscar?’

According to the academy, one of the most popular explanations for the name “Oscar” dates back to at least 1934. Prior to her position as executive director, then-academy librarian Margaret Herrick remarked upon first seeing the statue that it resembled her Uncle Oscar. It wasn’t until five years later that the academy adopted the nickname.

The trophy’s official name, however, is the Academy Award of Merit.

Source: Mike Windle / Getty Images

2. Hidden in plain view

Kate Winslet claims to keep her Oscar in her bathroom, where her guests are sure to encounter it. Winslet won the best actress award in 2009 for her role in “The Reader.”

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

3. What about Brando?

Marlon Brando, on the other hand, claimed to have lost — or never received — his two Oscars for best actor, which he was awarded for his work in “On the Waterfront” and “The Godfather.”

Source: Courtesy of United Artists

4. Breaking boundaries

1969’s “Midnight Cowboy,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight, is the only X-rated film to ever win best picture.

Source: Courtesy of Paramount Pictures

5. A shooting star

Actor John Cazale appeared in only five feature films before passing away at age 42 from lung cancer. Each of the movies he appeared in — “The Godfather” (1972), “The Conversation” (1974), “The Godfather: Part II” (1974), “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975), and “The Deer Hunter” (1978) — was nominated for an Oscar.