BIRTH OF THE OSCARS; FIRST ACADEMY AWARDS LAST JUST 15 MINUTES!
Byline: ANDY RICHARDS Content Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
HE Oscars are the biggest, glitziest movie event of the year, but they were launched with much less razzmatazz.
The 1st Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), honoured the best films of 1927 and 1928 and took place on May 16, 1929 at a private dinner held at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California.
AMPAS president Douglas Fairbanks hosted the show. Tickets cost $5 (which would be $71 now considering inflation), 270 people attended the event and the presentation ceremony lasted 15 minutes. Awards were created by Louis B. Mayer, founder of Louis B. Mayer Pictures Corporation, now Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
It is the only Academy Awards ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television. The radio broadcast was introduced the following year in 1930.
During the ceremony, the AMPAS presented Academy Awards, now known as Oscars, in 12 categories. Winners were announced three months before the live event.
Unlike later ceremonies, an actor could be awarded for multiple works within a calendar year for the same category. Emil Jannings, for example, was given the Best Actor award for his work in both The Way of All Flesh and The Last Command. Also, Charlie Chaplin and Warner Brothers each received an Honorary Award.
Major winners at the ceremony included 7th Heaven and Sunrise, which each received three awards, and Wings, receiving two awards.
The origin of the name Oscar is disputed. One biography of Bette Davis, who was president of the Academy, claims she named the Oscar after first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson.
Another claimed origin is that Academy's Executive Secretary Margaret Herrick first saw the award in 1931 and made reference to the statuette's reminding her of her "Uncle Oscar" - a nickname for her cousin Oscar Pierce.
One of the earliest mentions of the term Oscar dates to a Time magazine article about the 1934 6th Academy Awards. Walt Disney also thanked the Academy for his Oscar as early as 1932. But the trophy officially received the name "Oscar" in 1939. The awards ceremony was first broadcast on radio in 1930 and televised for the first time in 1953.
Nowadays, the Oscars are a set of 24 awards for artistic and technical merit in the American film industry, to recognise excellence as assessed by the Academy's voting membership.
More than 3,000 have been awarded over the years and the event is now seen live in more than 200 countries.
The Academy Awards ceremony is the oldest worldwide entertainment awards ceremony. Its equivalents - the Emmy Awards for television, the Tony Awards for theatre, and the Grammy Awards for music - are modelled after it.
The first Academy Awards in 1928, where films Wings and Sunrise were both winners. Charlie Chaplin was honoured, while Bette Davis may have first coined the term Oscars. Below, some of the Oscar winners