Yes, Oscar Can Have Ties

The sound editing split was not the first time this has happened.

Mario Anzuoni / Reuters

Barbra Streisand, victim of a past Oscar tie.

A slight gasp went out in the Dolby Theater when it was announced that the results in the vote for Best Sound Editing had ended in a tie, the audience thinking at first that it was presenter Mark Wahlberg and “Ted” doing a bit of shtick. “It’s no joke,” Wahlberg apologetically explained as he announced the co-winners.

Indeed, it wasn’t. Unlike other awards shows, the Academy has no tie-breaking procedures if the votes for first place are sliced right down the middle. With 6,000 members, the chances of that happening are very rare, but happen it does. Exactly five times previously in Oscar history, the winners have had to split their prizes with their opponents.

Most famously, in 1968 Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand faced the indignity of having to share that year’s Best Actress trophy. The four other incidents were:

• 1931: Best Actor. Frederich March and Wallace Beery
• 1949: Best Documentary Short Subject. A Chance to Live and So Much for So Little.
• 1986: Best Documentary Feature. Artie Shaw: Time is All You Got and Down and Out in America
• 1994: Short Film. Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life and Trevor

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