Academy Award Records

Year after year, many of us eagerly await an annual ritual: the presentation of the Academy Award statuettes. Since there will be 82 of them on March 7, 2010, some prize trivia is just as fascinating as the list of annual winners. Can I have a drum roll, please? Here are some Oscar records that are certainly noteworthy:

  1. Most nominations.

Two films share the honors of earning the most Oscar nominations: “All About Eve” (1950) and “Titanic” (1997). The former film’s nominations may have been 14, while the latter may have been 17. But interestingly, “Titanic” won a whopping 11 awards, while “All About Eve” took home only six statuettes.

  1. Most awards won.

If “more is better,” then three films in Oscar history are the “best.” “Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003), Titanic (1997), and “Ben Hur” (1952) have all won a whopping 11 Academy Awards. “Ben Hur” wins were perhaps the most impressive, as he won 11 of the 15 awards awarded that year. On the other hand, the other two films won 11 of the 17 possible Oscar awards. Next on the list of the most Oscars won is “West Side Story” (1961), which won 10 Academy Awards.

  1. Sweep of all the great Oscars.
    While one film wins the “Best Picture” award every year, this is just one of the five “big” Oscars. They are all five:


  • best photo
  • Dear Director
  • Best Screenplay
  • best actor
  • best actress


In Academy Awards history, only three films have won all five major Oscars: “It Happened One Night” (19345), “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975), and “Silence of the Lambs” (1991). Only three movies that have swept these categories show a rock-solid feat.

  1. Most nominations without a win.

While it’s an honor to be nominated for an Academy Award, it can be heartbreaking not to win again and again. “The Turning Point” (1977) and “The Color Purple” (1985) both earned a whopping 11 nominations, but without a single win. Four directors share the distinction with the most nominations for Best Director, unsuccessfully (5):

  • Robert Altman
  • Clarence Brown
  • Alfred Hitchcock
  • King Vidor


Although he received an honorary Academy Award in 2002, Peter O’Toole never won a “standard” Academy Award. He received a record of eight nominations. Meanwhile, Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter distinguish between earning the most nominations for actresses without winning one. They both received six nominations.

  1. Most acting awards.

While multiple actors have won a few Oscars, Katherine Hepburn has won four Academy Awards in her lifetime. Three actors are close behind, with wins: Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, and Jack Nicolson.

As you watch the next Academy Awards, keeping these records in mind will make watching the presentations much more interesting. The question is, will any of them be broken this year?