Special Report

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

Source: Kristian Dowling / Getty Images

11. Oscar for sale-not

Oscar winners are technically allowed to sell their trophies — with only one catch. They must first offer it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for just $1, per academy rules.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

12. In glorious technicolor

The first color film to win best picture was “Gone With the Wind” in 1940. At 234 minutes, it’s also the longest film to win the much coveted award.

Source: Courtesy of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

13. Pathfinder

Hattie McDaniel, the daughter of freed slaves, won the Oscar in 1940 for best supporting actress, the first Academy Award won by an African-American actor.

Source: Hulton Archive / Getty Images

14. Breaking news

The Oscar winners’ names used to be given to the press ahead of the ceremony, with the understanding that they wouldn’t publish the winners until after the ceremony. This changed in 1940, when the “Los Angeles Times” published the winners in its evening edition — before the ceremony had even begun.

Source: Courtesy of 20th Century Fox

15. Scott’s principled rejection

In 1971, George C. Scott refused to accept his award for best actor in “Patton.” The actor cited his disagreement with the academy’s voting process and the reduction of acting to a competition.

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