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.
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.
- First award ceremony: 1929
- Genre: Film
- Fun fact: Legend has it that the trophy earned its official nickname because Academy librarian Margaret Herrick said it resembled her Uncle Oscar.
- Most memorable moments: A streaker ran across the stage during the 1974 televised show; fugitive Roman Polanski won Best Director for The Pianist in 2003; La La Land was mistakenly named the Best Picture winner at the 2017 ceremony.
Visit the Oscars website.