Who Won The First Academy Awards Ever Presented?

The first Academy Awards ever presented, happened on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles, California.

Above all, the first Academy Awards winner was Emil Jannings. As a result of his fine acting, Jannings won the Oscar for the best actor in movies “The Last Command” and “The Way of All Flesh”.

people standing on the street and celebrating
Photo showing Emil Jannings, the first-ever academy awards winner
By Bundesarchiv, Bild 102-07770 / CC-BY-SA 3.0, CC BY-SA 3.0 de.

Given that Emil Jannings had to leave to Europe before the ceremony, the Academy agreed to give him the award before the event.

Notably, tickets for the first Oscars cost $5 (equivalent $73.46 in 2019). In conclusion, 270 people attended the first-ever Academy Awards and the whole ceremony lasted only 15 minutes.

Awards were presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and hosted by the president of the Academy – Douglas Fairbanks.

Ultimately, the Academy rewarded films for outstanding performances in the period from August 1, 1927 – August 1, 1928.

Altogether, Academy Awards were given in fourteen categories including two honorary awards.

Who Were The Winners Of The First Academy Awards Ever

Best ActorEmil Jannings – The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh
Best ActressJanet Gaynor – 7th Heaven, Street Angel, and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
Best Director,
Comedy Picture
Lewis Milestone – Two Arabian Knights
Best Director,
Dramatic Picture
Frank Borzage – 7th Heaven
Outstanding
Picture
Wings – Lucien Hubbard for Paramount Pictures
Best Unique and
Artistic Picture
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – William Fox for 
Fox Film Corporation
Best Original
Story
Underworld – Ben Hecht
Best Adaptation7th Heaven – Benjamin Glazer, based on the play by
Austin Strong
Best Art
Direction
The Dove and Tempest – William Cameron Menzies
Best
Cinematography
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans – Charles Rosher 
and Karl Struss
Best Engineering EffectsWings – Roy Pomeroy
Best Title
Writing
(No specific film) – Joseph W. Farnham
Honorary
Awards
Charlie Chaplin – for The Circus
Warner Brothers Production – for The Jazz Singer

Who Started The Academy Awards?

The person who founded the Academy Awards is Louis B. Mayer. Similarly, Louis B. Mayer established the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) on May 11, 1927. His motivation was to advance the motion picture industry.

After that, this is how Louis B. Mayer explained why he founded the Academy Awards:

“I found that the best way to handle (filmmakers) was to hang medals all over them. […] If I got them cups and awards they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted. That’s why the Academy Award was created.”

Source: Eyman, Scott (2005). Lion of Hollywood: The Life and Legend of Louis B. Mayer. Simon & Schuster.

Most Interesting Facts About Oscar Statue

The Oscar statue is created by the model of Mexican actor Emilio “El Indio” Fernández.

The designer of the Oscar sculpture was Cedric Gibbons, however, the sculptor was George Stanley.

To point out, Stanley is also known as the creator of the Muse Fountain at the Hollywood Bowl.

What Is The Oscar Statue Made From?

The Oscar statue is made of gold-plated bronze on a black metal base and weights 3,8kg.

Due to a metal shortage in World War II, Oscars were made of painted cement (plaster).

Giant Oscar statue - annual academy awards
81st Academy Awards Presentations, Dolby Theatre, Hollywood, 2009
By BDS2006 (talk) – I created this work entirely by myself., CC BY-SA 3.0.

What Is The Official Name Of Academy Awards Award?

The official name of Oscar statue is “Academy Award of Merit”. Therefore, the name “Oscar” is a result of Margaret Herrick’s (director of AMPAS from 1945 to 1975) uncle.

Consequently, when Margaret Herrick first saw the Oscar sculpture in 1931, she said that it looked exactly like her uncle Oscar. Therefore, the Academy Award is named Oscar.

How Much Money Is The Oscar Statue Worth?

Surprisingly, the Oscar statue is worth only 1$. Because of the rule that any resale of a statue must be first offered to the Academy for $1, an Oscar is technically worth one dollar.

However, before the rule was introduced, Michael Jackson bought the 1940 Best Picture Oscar for “Gone with the Wind” for $1.54 million.

In order to prevent any chance of identifying the winner before the ceremony, the nameplates of every nominee are engraved before the event. Additionally, each of them, except the winners’, is recycled.

To emphasize that the Oscar Award is the highest achievement in the film making industry and the biggest moment for any film participant’s career, here are a few questions to test your Academy award knowledge.

Who Has Won The Most Academy Awards Ever?

The person who won the most Academy Awards ever is Walt Disney. Furthermore, Disney is the absolute king of the “Best Animated Short Film” category.

To be more precise, Walt Disney was nominated for the Oscars 59 times. Above all, Walt Disney won a total of 26 Oscars during his career, four of which were honorary.

people standing in front of a theater
31st Academy Awards Presentations, Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, 1959
By Los Angeles Times, Public Domain.

Who Has Won The Most Oscars In One Night?

Currently, the bar is set to 11 Oscar awards won in one night and is shared by three movies:

  • Ben-Hur (1959),
  • Titanic (1997),
  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003).

Why Did Marlon Brando Reject Oscar For “The Godfather”?

On March 5, 1973, Marlon Brando refused the best actor Academy Award for his magnificent performance of Vito Corleone in “The Godfather.”

In addition, Brando sent young Indian women Sacheen Littlefeather in his place. In her speech she said;

“I’m representing Marlon Brando this evening and he has asked me to tell you […] he very regretfully cannot accept this very generous award. And the reasons for this being are the treatment of American Indians today by the film industry.”

Marlon Brando on why he chose not to personally accept the Academy Award

What Was The First Movie In Color To Win An Oscar?

Notably, the first colour motion picture to receive the Best Picture Award was “Gone with the Wind” in 1939.

For instance, “Gone with the Wind” won 10 awards from 15 nominations. Moreover, Vivien Leigh (Scarlett) and Clark Gable (Rhett) played the main roles in “Gone with the Wind”.

Furthermore, check out who was the first superhero ever.