The 91st Academy Awards are almost here. The show's had it's fair share of controversy this year, with the Academy receiving backlash for its decisions to add a "popular film" category and leave some awards out of the live broadcast.
After Kevin Hart stepped down as host due to controversy over homophobic tweets he had posted in the past, the Academy decided to forgo a host this year.
Despite the bumps along the way, many are looking forward to seeing who will take home the top honors Sunday night. Until then, brush up on your Oscars knowledge and impress your friends at the next viewing party with these fun facts:
The statuette's "real name" isn't Oscar
The Oscar statuette's official name is the Academy Award of Merit. The solid bronze statuette of a knight holding a crusader's sword and standing on top of a reel of film is 13.5 inches tall and weighs 8.5 pounds. The origins of its nickname are unclear, but according to the Academy Awards site, the popular story is that Margaret Herrick, the Academy librarian and eventual executive director, said the statuette looked like her uncle Oscar. The nickname was officially adopted in 1939, but it was widely referred to as an Oscar long before.
Not having a host is rare, but the Oscars have been there before
Although the Academy's announcement that this year's ceremony would not have a host might be shocking, it isn't the first time its happened. The last time the Oscars had no host was in 1989, at the 61st Annual Academy Awards. The show started with an 11 minute performance by Rob Lowe and an actress playing Snow White, and it was so bad that several members of the entertainment industry wrote a letter to the Academy condemning the performance.
There used to be a separate award for children
The Academy Awards sporadically gave out an honor called the "Academy Juvenile Award." It was reserved for performers under the age of 18, and the honorary award was used to recognize "outstanding contributions to screen entertainment" by child actors. The category was designed so that children wouldn't be pitted against adults for the highly competitive Best Actor/Actress categories, and winners received a half-size statuette. Shirley Temple became the youngest person to win the award at age 6. Not counting the Juvenile Award, Tatum O'Neal is the youngest Oscar winner in history. She won Best Supporting Actress at age 10 for her role in "Paper Moon." The award was discontinued in 1963, and children and adults have been nominated on equal footing ever since.
Winners have rejected their awards
The Academy Award is considered one of the most prestigious in the film industry, but not every winner has accepted the honor. In 1973, Marlon Brando boycotted the Oscars to protest Hollywood's depiction of Native Americans. He was a shoe-in for best actor for his role in "The Godfather," and when he won, Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather read his speech in his place. She would not accept the statuette, and the presenter was left holding on to it.
One person has won the Oscar without even being nominated
Hal Mohr won the Oscar for Cinematography in 1935 for his work in "A Midsummer Night's Dream," but he wasn't even nominated. It was the second of only two years that the Academy allowed write-in votes, and Mohr beat his colleagues Gregg Toland for "Les Miserables," Victor Milner for "The Crusades" and Ray June for "Barbary Coast." It was the only time a write-in nominee won any category, and the practice was abolished the next year.