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23 Bizarre And Shocking Celebrity Facts About The Oscars That Are Just Really, Really Cool

Only one person has ever been able to legally sell their Oscar at an auction, and that's Harold Russell, who sold his Best Supporting Actor award for $60,500 in 1993.

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1. Eva Marie Saint is currently the oldest living Oscar winner, at 98 years old. She's actually older than the Oscars themselves, which started five years after she was born.

Eva accepting her Oscar in 1955 and presenting in 2018

2. The shortest performance to ever win an acting Oscar was given by Beatrice Straight. She was on screen for only 5 minutes and 2 seconds in Network in 1976.

Beatrice in Network vs. her accepting her Oscar

3. A total of 11 children have been nominated for competitive acting awards before their 12th birthday. Two of them (Tatum O'Neal and Anna Paquin) even won.

Tatum and Anna accepting their Oscars
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Here's the full breakdown of child nominees:

Haley and Quvenzhané at the Oscars

4. Only one person has ever won two Oscars for the same performance, and that's Harold Russell, a nonprofessional actor who lost both hands in World War II.

A side-by-side of Homer waving goodbye in "The Best Years of Our Lives" and Harold Russell accepting his Oscar

The Academy's board of directors didn't actually think Russell would win in his category, so at the last minute (literally the night before!), they created a special Oscar on his behalf.

Harold Russell being interviewed on PBS's "Over Easy" in 1982

5. Only one person has ever been able to legally sell their Oscar at an auction, and that's also Harold Russell.

Harold holding both Oscars at the ceremony

The then-president of The Academy, Karl Malden, tried to convince Russell not to sell his Oscar, even offering him a "$20,000 interest-free loan" to return it. Despite objection, Russell sold it to a then-anonymous buyer for $60,500.

Harold and Farrah Fawcett, among others, at the Oscars in the '70s

6. The only person to ever win an Oscar for playing a real-life Oscar winner is Cate Blanchett, who portrayed Katharine Hepburn in The Aviator in 2004.

Cate in "The Aviator" next to Kate in "The Philadelphia Story"

FYI: Renée Zellweger obviously won her second Oscar for playing Judy Garland in the 2019 biopic Judy, but Garland (an Honorary Oscar winner) never won a ~competitive~ Oscar, so technically, Zellweger's win doesn't count toward that particular stat.

A side-by-side of Renée in "Judy" vs. Judy Garland on "The Andy Williams Show" in 1965

7. And the only actor to win for playing a fictional Oscar nominee is Maggie Smith. She won Best Supporting Actress in 1979 for her role as Diana Barrie in California Suite.

Maggie Smith in "California Suite" vs. her accepting her Oscar in 1979

8. Kate Hepburn holds the record for the most acting Oscar wins. All four were for Best Actress, and she received 12 Best Actress nominations in total.

Kate on stage at the 1974 Oscars

9. Walt Disney has won the most Oscars of any person, with 22 total awards. He also holds the record for the most Oscars won in a single night, with four.

Disney accepting his Oscar in 1955

And here are all of Walt Disney's nominations and wins from 1954, if you're curious.

A breakdown of Disney's 1954 Oscar nominations and wins

10. In three separate instances, two different actors have won Oscars for playing the same character. The most recent example of this is Rita Moreno and Ariana DeBose, who both played Anita in their respective West Side Story movies.

Rita Morteno in the 1961 and 2021 "West Side Story" movies, plus Ariana DeBose in the 2021 movie

11. The first time two actors won for playing the same character was when Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro received Oscars for playing Vito Corleone in The Godfather and The Godfather Part II.

Brando and De Niro in the first and second movies

12. And the only other time this has happened was when Heath Ledger and Joaquin Phoenix both won for playing the Joker at the 2009 and 2020 ceremonies.

Heath and Joaquin in their Joker clown makeup in each movie

13. Since the Academy Awards began in 1929, only 16 Oscars have been given out posthumously. Of those 16, only two were in the acting categories: Heath Ledger and Peter Finch.

Heath and Peter Finch in their respective movies

14. Midnight Cowboy is the only X-rated movie to win Best Picture. The 1969 movie won three Oscars in total, from seven nominations.

Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight almost getting hit by a cab in the movie

15. Hattie McDaniel was the first Black person to be nominated for an Oscar, and she won Best Supporting Actress in 1940 for her work in Gone with the Wind.

Hattie accepting her Oscar

16. Three actors have straight-up refused to accept their Oscars — the most famous being Marlon Brando in 1973 after winning Best Actor for The Godfather.

Sacheen refusing the Oscar on stage

17. A few years prior to Brando's refusal, George C. Scott declined his Best Actor win for Patton (1970) because he "did not feel himself to be in any competition with other actors."

George C. Scott in "Patton," plus Frank McCarthy accepting his Oscar

18. And the first person to refuse their Oscar was Dudley Nichols. He declined his then-titled Best Writing, Screenplay award for The Informer in 1936 due to a union boycott.

Dudley Nichols at a dinner with Olivia De Havilland and Henry Wallace

19. The shortest Oscars speech ever was by Patty Duke, who simply said "thank you" upon winning Best Supporting Actress in 1963.

Patty in "The Miracle Worker" vs. her accepting her Oscar

20. Edith Head is the most-awarded and most-nominated woman in Oscars history, with 8 wins from 35 nominations. She's so iconic that Pixar literally used her as inspiration when creating the character Edna Mode in The Incredibles.

Edith Head with seven of her Oscars

21. No one has ever won the Best Actor Oscar for their debut performance, but four have won it for Best Actress.

Marlee Matlin accepting her Oscar

22. No film has won Oscars in all four acting categories, but three have won "The Big 5," aka Best Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, and Actress.

Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher in the movie, plus Michael Douglas accepting the Oscar

23. And finally, there have been six ties on Oscar night, two of which occurred in the acting categories (the most famous being between Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand in 1969).

Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tying at the Oscars in 1969
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