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Image / Editorial

5 Oscar Stories You May Not Know


By Bill O'Sullivan
19th Feb 2015
5 Oscar Stories You May Not Know

oscars logo

With the 87th Academy awards only days away. we decided to trawl through the archives and look for some of the lesser known Oscar stories. From numerous missing statues to seat fillers and over the top goodie bags, some of the behind the scenes stories are quite frankly unbelievable.

Preparations for the 72nd Academy Awards in 2000 were probably the most shambolic of all the ceremonies throughout the years. Two weeks before the closing date for voting, it was discovered that over 4,000 ballot sheets that had been destined for Academy members had gone missing. As a result, the deadline for voting had to be extended. If that wasn’t bad enough, on March 10th, a little over two weeks before the ceremony, 55 Oscar statuettes were stolen from a loading dock in California. 52 of them were found in the dumpster at a local supermarket by a man named Willie Fulgear who was awarded €50,000 and three tickets to the ceremony. In 2003, one of the other three statuettes was recovered during a drug bust in a mansion in Miami but the other two were never found.

oscar stories

2000 wasn’t the only time an Oscar statuette was found in the bin. In 2002, Whoopi Goldberg sent her statue which she won for Best Supporting Actress in Ghost back to the Academy for cleaning. They then sent it on to the company responsible for the production of the statuettes, RS. Owens Co. of Chicago. However, when the package arrived, it was empty. The statuette turned up in a trashcan at an airport in Ontario, California a few days later and was returned to Whoopi. It was never cleaned.

oscar stories

The most successful Irish person in the history of the Academy Awards is Cedric Gibbons who won eleven awards between 1930 and 1956 for Best Art/Set Direction for films including Pride and Prejudice, Little Women and Julius Caesar. A little known fact about Cedric Gibbons is that he’s also credited with the design of the iconic Oscar statuette. Other successful Irish Oscar winners include Daniel Day-Lewis who is the only actor to win three awards for Best Actor and George Bernard Shaw who to this day is the only person to win both an Oscar and a Nobel prize.

oscar stories

As we all know, actors and actresses don’t get paid enough for their skills. So when the Academy decided to discontinue the gift bag in 2006, there was outcry around the world on behalf of those poor Hollywood souls. It’s only right that they be lavished with free gifts to make up for their obvious lack of income. *cough*. This year, some companies have decided to sponsor this year’s gift bag which is rumoured to be worth an astonishing $125,000! The bag includes basic amenities such as a luxury train ride through the Canadian Rockies worth $14,500 and of course some absolute necessities including a $250 Haze vaporizer. Hopefully those in attendance can survive on these scraps!

oscar stories

We’ve all heard of seat fillers at award ceremonies right? But surely there’d be no need for one at the biggest awards ceremony around? Wrong. The Oscars are no different to any other ceremony in that there is always the need for a few carefully chosen random faces in the crowd. Although it’s not as glamorous as one would expect as Joshua Crouthamel details in this hilarious story about the time he mistook Elijah Wood for a seat-filler. If you’ve ever wanted to attend the Oscars, being a seat-filler is possibly your only chance, although Glen Hansard may beg to differ with that opinion.

oscar stories

Have you any Oscar stories that we may have missed?

@NiallMacSuain