Academy Awards

Academy Awards statues before for the Governors Awards and the 82nd Academy Awards at a secret location on October 19, 2009, in Los Angeles County, California

Oscar statues | Kristian Dowling/Getty Images

Academy Awards are given yearly to recognize excellence in the movie industry. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences presents the honors, also called the Oscars.

The Academy’s nearly 10,000 members vote for the winners in 24 categories. The so-called Big Five categories are Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. All winners receive a golden Oscar statuette — a knight standing on a film reel while holding a crusader’s sword.

A televised ceremony airs nationwide. NBC broadcast the show from 1953 to 1960 and again from 1971 to 1975. ABC has aired the ceremony all other years.

The Academy Awards are one of four major entertainment honors in the United States. The others are the Emmy Awards, Grammys, and Tonys. People who have won all four are called “EGOTs,” an acronym representing each award. As of 2021, 16 actors, composers, directors, and producers have reached EGOT status.

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Visit the Oscars website.

Read more about the Academy Awards, including winners, nominees, and memorable moments: