Oscar Statuette

The Oscar has been the major symbol of motion picture excellence for nearly 90 years. Originally called "The Academy Award Of Merit," the famous little golden guy was first handed out at a small 15 minute banquet in 1929. Now, 87 years later, it has become a major event for the entire world to watch on television.

  • The Oscar statuette, designed by MGM's chief art director Cedric Gibbons, depicts a knight holding a crusader's sword, standing on a reel of film with five spokes, signifying the original branches of the Academy: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians.
  • Oscar's height: 13 1/2 inches
  • Oscar's weight: 8 1/2 pounds
  • Number of Oscars presented at Academy Awards shows or to winners absent from show to date: 2,947
  • Number of eligible categories in 1927: 13
  • Number of eligible categories in 2015: 24
  • How many people it takes to make a statuette: 12
  • How long it takes to make a statuette: 20 hours
  • Number of Oscars manufactured each year: 50-60
  • How many Oscars have been refused: 3 - Dudley Nichols for writing The Informer, Marlon Brando (accepted his first one for On The Waterfront, but rejected his second Oscar, for The Godfather), and George C. Scott (for Patton). Woody Allen was never on hand to pick up his awards (Best Original Screenplay and Best Director for Annie Hall; Best Original Screenplay for Hannah and Her Sisters; Best Original Screenplay for Midnight in Paris), but he never publicly refused them. Rumor has it he never picked them up either.
  • According to legend, secretary Margret Herrick remarked that the statue looked like her Uncle Oscar, giving the statue it's nickname. The Academy began officially using the nickname in 1934.
  • Since 1949, each Oscar has been individually numbered, starting with number 501.
  • Approximately 50 Oscars are made each year in Chicago by the manufacturer, R.S. Owens. If they don't meet strict quality control standards, the statuettes are immediately cut in half and melted down.
  • The Academy agressively protects the image of it's award; all nominees are made to sign a form agreeing that, should they win, they are not to sell or auction their statuette without first offering to sell it back to the Academy, for $1. Despite this, several Oscars have ended up in auctions over the years. Over the last two decades, director Stephen Spielberg has twice purchased Oscars at auctions and donated them back to the Academy (first Clark Gable's Oscar, then later Bette Davis's).