There is no more important award show in Hollywood than the Academy Awards.
The Academy Awards are more colloquially known as the Oscars and winning one of these statuettes is typically the professional highlight of a movie star’s career. The first Oscars were awarded in 1929, and we are closing in on a century of Academy Awards.
This is the longest-running awards show televised live. The 1953 Academy Awards were the first to be broadcast on television, and that started a tradition that continues to the current day. Families and friends gather around to watch the biggest night in Hollywood with a spectacle that can last upwards of four hours.
In recent years, we have seen the showrunners make a real effort to shorten the broadcast. They have limited the amount of time for acceptance speeches and cut other superfluous items out of the show. However, the pomp and circumstance does drag out quite often.
One of the most memorable parts of the broadcast is the In Memoriam portion. Although this was only introduced in the 1990s, it has become a staple of the show. People in the film industry that have passed away in the last year are honored and highlighted in this segment, and there is typically buzz about who will be the last person shown.
Bob Hope hosted the Oscars a whopping 19 times, and that feat will probably never be topped. Billy Crystal hosted this awards ceremony nine times and Johnny Carson hosted it five times, but no one else has hosted the Academy Awards more than four times. Jimmy Kimmel was the most recent host and took center stage in 2017 and 2018, but the 2019 and 2020 Oscars didn’t have a host.
There are dozens of awards handed out at the Oscars, but there are six awards that are in a class of their own. These are considered the major Oscars, and a win in one of these categories is a career-defining accolade.
Any film that wins Best Picture is sure to see a surge in popularity. We don’t see a lot of blockbusters winning this award, so that means a huge boost for the lower profile films that usually claim this honor. Parasite became the first foreign language film to win Best Picture in 2020, opening the doors of Korean cinema to many Americans.
John Ford has more Best Director wins than any other director with four to his credit. He won for The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley, and The Quiet Man as his excellence spanned three decades. William Wyler has a record 12 nominations, but Martin Scorsese isn’t too far behind with nine nominations (and just one win).
The three greatest actresses in Hollywood history are Katharine Hepburn, Meryl Streep, and Bette Davis. Hepburn has more Oscars than any other actress with four to her credit, while Streep’s 17 nominations are the most of any person in any category. Streep has only won two Oscars, and those wins are almost three decades apart.
Best Supporting Actress
Only two actresses have won Best Supporting Actress multiple times. Dianne Wiest and Shelley Winters both won this award twice. Thelma Ritter leads the way in terms of nominations with six, but Amy Adams has made a run for that honor and currently has five nominations to her credit.
Daniel Day-Lewis is heralded as the greatest actor of his generation, and he became the first person to win Best Actor three times when he claimed his third Oscar for his performance in Lincoln. Day-Lewis has not starred in a lot of films, but he also has six nominations, highlighting his excellence. Laurence Olivier and Spencer Tracy have each been nominated a record nine times.
Best Supporting Actor
There have been eight actors that have won Best Supporting Actor multiple times. Walter Brennan is the only actor to have won this honor three times though, while everyone else only won it twice. Mahershala Ali has a very good chance of surpassing Brennan though after winning this award twice in three years with his performances in Moonlight and Green Book.