January 27, 2020


Before the 92nd Academy Awards this Sunday, let’s look at a few of the records that have been set, met or have been broken over the last 92 years

Photos, courtesy: AMPAS
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The highest number of Oscars ever won by a motion picture is 11. Three films over the years have earned that distinction—Ben Hur (1959), Titanic (1997) and The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King. 

Titanic holds the record for the highest number of Oscar nominations and wins for a motion picture

Ben Hur (1959): Best motion picture, directing (William Wyler), actor (Charlton Heston), actor in a supporting role (Hugh Griffith), art direction—color, cinematography—color, costume design—color, film editing, music, sound, special effects
Titanic (1997): Best picture, directing, art direction, cinematography, costume design, film editing, music—score, music—song (‘My heart will go on’), sound, sound effects editing, visual effects
The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King (2003): Best picture, directing, art direction, costume design, film editing, make-up, music—score, music—song (‘Into the west’, sound editing, visual effects, writing—adapted screenplay 

The motion pictures with the highest number of Oscar nominations are La La Land (2016), Titanic (1997) and All About Eve (1950), with 14 nominations each.

The actors with the highest number of Oscars are Daniel Day-Lewis, Jack Nicholson and Walter Brennan—all with three each. Of them, Daniel Day-Lewis holds the record for having won the highest number of Oscars for leading roles. 

Daniel Day-Lewis with his Oscar for Lincoln

Daniel Day-Lewis: My Left Foot (1989), There Will Be Blood (2007), Lincoln (2012)
Jack Nicholson: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983) [supporting], As Good as It Gets (1997)
Walter Brennan: Come and Get It (1936), Kentucky (1938), The Westerner (1940) 

Katharine Hepburn and Cate Blanchett as Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator

The actress who holds the record of having won the highest number of Oscars is Katharine Hepburn, with 4 Oscars for leading roles—Morning Glory (1932/33), Guess Who's Coming To Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), On Golden Pond (1981).
Cate Blanchett won her first Oscar for playing Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator (2004).

Meryl Streep with her Oscar for The Iron Lady

The actress with the highest number of Oscar nominations is Meryl Streep, with 21 nominations—The Deer Hunter (1978) [supporting], Kramer Vs Kramer (1979) [supporting; won], The French Lieutenant’s Wife (1981), Sophie’s Choice (1982) [won], Silkwood (1983), Out Of Africa (1985), Ironweed (1987), A Cry In The Dark (1988), Postcards From The Edge (1990), The Bridges Of Madison County (1995), One True Thing (1998), Music Of The Heart (1999), Adaptation (2002) [supporting], The Devil Wears Prada (2006), Doubt (2008), Julie & Julia (2009), The Iron Lady (2011) [won], August Osage County (2013), Into The Woods (2014) [supporting], Florence Foster Jenkins (2016), The Post (2017). Four nominations have been for supporting roles. Streep has won three Oscars.

The oldest actor to have won an Oscar is Christopher Plummer, who won supporting actor Oscar for Beginners (2012), at age 82. 

Walt Disney holds the record of the individual to have won the highest number of Oscars, with 22 wins.

The director with the highest number of Oscars for directing is John Ford. He won four Oscars—The Informer (1935), The Grapes Of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941), The Quiet Man (1952).

Kathryn Bigelow with her Oscars for directing and Best Picture for The Hurt Locker

Only five women have ever earned Oscar nominations for directing—Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976), Jane Campion for The Piano (1993), Sofia Coppola for Lost in Translation (2003), Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker (2009), and Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird (2017). Bigelow became the first, and has since been the only woman to have won an Oscar for directing. The Hurt Locker also won the Oscar for Best Picture that year. Gerwig's film Little Women is nominated for six Oscars this year, including one for best picture.
Only four actors/actresses have won Oscars for leading roles in their debut films—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).

Parasite is the first film from South Korea to earn a nomination for best international feature film.

Parasite is only the sixth movie to be nominated for both, international feature as well as best picture.

Parasite could become the first ever foreign film to win the Oscar for best picture.

Cynthia Erivo is only the third person to be nominated for acting (in Harriet) and original song (‘Stand up’ from Harriet) together, the first two being Mary J. Blige (Mudbound, 2017) and Lady Gaga (A Star Is Born, 2018).

Lead actress nominee Cynthia Erivo is already an Emmy, Grammy and Tony winner, which means she is just one Oscar away from achieving the distinction of being an ‘EGOT’—one that only 15 people have earned to date.

Composer John Williams, who is nominated for his original score for Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, is the living person with the maximum Oscar nominations, next only to the late Walt Disney, who earned 59 Oscar nominations—the highest number achieved by any individual.

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