Getting to know you Oscar

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popcorn clipart It is Hollywood's big night; the 86th annual Academy Awards presentation, and it will be seen live by a global audience that CNN estimates at somewhere in the neighborhood of 400 million. Everyone loves the movies.  How about a little prep for this evening's big event? Here are some facts and a few questions that will make you rather Oscar savvy when the red carpet rolls out and the curtain goes up in Los Angeles.

Hosts with the most

Ellen DeGeneres is this year's host, it is her second time around. Who hosted the annual affair the most times?

That is Bob Hope who took center stage 18 times. Billy Crystal is second with eight. Johnny Carson was host five times with Jack Lemmon and Whoopie Goldberg taking their turn four times each and David Niven was host three times (the most memorable in 1974 when a streaker ran across the stage.)

The long and short of it

This evening's show will be more than three hours long, but the longest was the 2001 broadcast which ran four hours 18 minutes.  The very first Academy Awards ceremony was May 16, 1929 and it lasted just 15 minutes. There were only three awards that year: Best artistic quality of production, Best title writing (silent films) and best comedy direction.

The longest film to ever win the Oscar is "Gone With the Wind" at 238 minutes.

Most nominations

Meryl Streep has been nominated more than any other actor with 16 and counting (Jack Nicholson has 12 nods). William Wyler was nominated for best director 12 times, but it is composer John Williams who holds the most nominations for his musical scores. He has been nominated 49 times including this year for "The Book Thief."

Young and old

Shirley Temple was the youngest actor to receive the Oscar in 1934, but it was a non-competitive Oscar. Here is a little list of the youngsters and the veterans who have made us all love the movies.

The youngest actor nominated: 10-year-old Jackie Cooper for his role as "Skippy" in 1931.

The youngest winner: 29-year old Adrian Brody in 2002 for his role in "The Pianist."

The oldest nominee: 79-year-old Richard Farnsworth for his 1999 role in "The Straight Story."

The oldest winner: 76-year-old Henry Fonda for his 1981 role in "On Golden Pond."

The youngest actress nominated: 13-year-old Keisha-Castle Hughes in 2003 for "Whale Rider."

The youngest winner: 21-year-old Marlee Matlin in 1986 for "Children of a Lesser God." 

The oldest nominated and winner is  81-year-old Jessica Tandy in "Driving Miss Daisy."

The youngest nominee for best director: 24-year-old John Singleton in 1991 for the film "Boyz N the Hood."

The youngest winner: 32-year-old William Friedkin in 1971 for "The French Connection."

The oldest nominee: 79-year-old John Huston in 1985 for "Prizzi's Honor."

The oldest winner: 74-year-old Clint Eastwood in 2004 for "Million Dollar Baby."

Did you know?

It was not until 1985 that all of the nominees for best actor and actress in a starring and supporting role along with the director were all Americans.

There was once a tie for best actress. In 1968 Barbara Streisand (for her role in "Funny Girl") and Katherine Hepburn (for her role in "A Lion in Winter") shared the Oscar honors with each taking home a statue.

As the envelope was opened the presenter would always say; "And the winner is..." that was until 1989 when it was changed to "And the Oscar goes to..." It was decided they are all winners if nominated.

No one will ever again present the award in a category they are nominated in because in 1931 Norma Shearer was nominated for the best actress for her role in "The Divorcee" and she was also the presenter. Upon opening the envelope she said, "And the winner is ...me."  

One actor was nominated twice posthumously for his acting: It was the legendary James Dean who died Sept. 5, 1955 when the filming of "Giant" had just wrapped up. He was nominated in 1956 for "East of Eden" and again in 1957 for "Giant."

Only three films have won the top five major awards for best picture, actor, actress, director, and screenplay. Try and guess before you peak.

"It Happened One Night," "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "The Silence of the Lambs."

It's in the bag

Every year the big names invited to the Academy Awards get the coveted swag bag with all sorts of over the top freebies.  Distinctive Assets, the firm that puts the bags together reported to Business Insider that companies were lining up to have their products included in the bag that is worth in excess of $80,000 this year. The priciest item on the list - a $16,000 voucher from Chicago surgeon William Yates for hair restoration.  Some of the other items that will be in the bag for the A listers are: $2,560 home spa system, $280 portable camera from Narrative Clip, $23 worth of reusable dry-cleaning bags from Green Garmento, $39 in weight-loss gummies, protein bars and shakes from Hydroxycut, $290 Swiss-made watch, $500 lifetime membership to a meditation gym, $2,000 for a five-night stay at the Koloa Landing Resort in Hawaii, $4,900 home water filtration system, $15,000 walking trip in Japan, $9,000 trip to Las Vegas, $6,850 train trip in the Canadian Rockies, $120 mace pepper gun in pink camouflage, $280 package of organic maple syrup, $35 six-pack of Dosha Pops herbal tea lollipops and the list of cool stuff goes on and on. 

Lights, camera, action!

Make some popcorn and pull up a chair; it just might be a long night but have fun. They will start on the red carpet early, but the broadcast of the show begins at 8:30 p.m. on ABC.


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