Biographic by Steve McGarry for February 24, 2013
Biographic Steve McGarry OSCAR! The first Academy Awards were presented at a private brunch held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in 1929. The first Academy Award winner in history was Emil Jannings, who received his best actor award prior to the event to allow him to return to Europe. The origin of the nickname bestowed upon the iconic gold-plated statuettes is disputed, but Walt Disney is quoted as thanking the academy for his "Oscar" in 1932. The nickname was officially adopted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in 1939. The Academy Awards are moviedom's most prestigious accolades, and the annual televised ceremony is now broadcast live to more than 100 countries around the world. Four actors have each received three Academy Awards - Ingrid Bergman, Jack Nicholson, Meryl Streep and Walter Brennan - but the record is held by Katharine Hepburn, who won the best actress award four times. John Ford is the most successful director, with his four awards. With a tally of 22 Oscars, Walt Disney holds the record as the person with most awards. The awards have seen many notable firsts, including actress Jeanne Eagels receiving the first posthumous nomination for acting in 1929. Peter Finch, for "Network," was the first to win a posthumous award for acting. With her best supporting actress award for 1939's "Gone with the Wind," Hattie McDaniel was the first black actress to win for acting. Sidney Poitier and Halle Berry were the first African-Americans to win for best actor and best actress, respectively. Three films have garnered 11 Academy Awards each - 1959's "Ben-Hur," 1997's "Titanic," and 2003's "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (Which won in every category in which it was nominated.) "Titanic" also matched the record of 14 nominations set by the 1950 movie "All About Eve." This year's best actress slate pits 85-year-old Emmanuelle Riva against 9-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis - the category's oldest-ever nominee in contention with the category's youngest.