The Oscars: Facts and Milestones


Official Name: Academy Award® of Merit

Height: 13 and 1/2inches

Weight: 3.85kgs

Total Number of Awards Presented: 2,701

First Recipient: Emil Jannings was named best actor for his performances in 'The Last Command' and 'The Way of All Flesh' in 1929

Design: A knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film. The film reel features five spokes, signifying the five original branches of the Academy (actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers)

Designer: Cedric Gibbons, chief art director at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Sculptor: Los Angeles artist George Stanley

Manufacturer: RS Owens & Company in Chicago

Manufacturing Time: 3 to 4 weeks for 50 statuettes excerpted from:

1st Awards: The Academy presented two special awards at the very first ceremony in 1929 - one to Warner Bros for producing the first talking picture, 'The Jazz Singer' and one to Charles Chaplin for producing, directing, writing and starring in 'The Circus'.

7th Awards: Film editing, music scoring and song were added to the categories. Also that year, the Academy called in the services of Price Waterhouse to tabulate the ballots and ensure the secrecy of the results. The firm, now called Price Waterhouse Coopers, continues to tabulate the voting to this day.

9th Awards: In 1936, the categories of supporting actor and supporting actress Academy Awards were added in.
12th Awards: In 1939, the first Academy Award for special effects was presented.

14th Awards: In 1941, a documentary category appeared on the ballot for the first time.
20th Awards: The first special award to honour a foreign language motion picture was given in 1947 to the Italian film 'Shoe-Shine'.
21st Awards: Costume design was added to the ballots in 1948.
25th Awards: In 1952, the Oscar presentation was televised for the first time. The NBC-TV and radio telecast the ceremony.
36th Awards: In 1963, the special effects award was divided into sound effects and special visual effects.
38th Awards: The Oscar ceremony in 1966 was the first to be televised in colour.
54th Awards: In 1981 an award was instituted for make-up.
74th Awards: The animated feature film award category was added, with 'Shrek' winning for 2001. 

Only thrice in its more than 80-year history has Academy Awards ceremony failed to take place as scheduled. The first time was in 1938, when massive flooding in Los Angeles delayed the ceremony by one week. In 1968, the ceremony was postponed from April 8 to April 10, out of respect for Dr Martin Luther King Jr, who had been assassinated a few days earlier, and whose funeral was held on April 9. In 1981, the awards were once postponed by a day, because of the assassination attempt on ex-US President Ronald Reagan.