April 13, 2024

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Academy Awards: Why Is It Called The Oscars And Who Is Oscar?

The Academy Awards are considered to be among the most prestigious and famous of film awards. It is popularly known as the “Oscars,” but what is the origin of the iconic nickname? 

As the world talks about the actors and filmmakers who took home awards during Sunday’s 94th Academy Awards ceremony, let’s look at the various theories surrounding the origins of the statuette’s nickname, Oscar.

There are three popular potential backstories behind who exactly christened the golden statuette, but the most popular version given by Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) officials is one that goes back to the 1930s, according to Parade.

According to the outlet, Margaret Herrick, who served as librarian at the AMPAS from 1936 to 1943, remarked that the golden figure resembled her Uncle Oscar the first time she saw it.

Another theory suggested that actress Bette Davis, who briefly served as the first woman president of the Academy, had a hand in naming the statuette.

Davis, the recipient of two Oscars, was said to have nicknamed the statuette after her first husband, Harmon Oscar Nelson, because the figure’s golden rear resembled her ex-partner’s behind.

Hollywood columnist Sidney Skolsky also claimed he was the one who named the statuette Oscar after he got tired of writing about “the gold statue of the academy” in his column. 

The Academy adopted the “Oscar” moniker in 1939, but the statuette’s full name remains the “Academy Award of Merit.”

The Academy has handed out more than 3,000 of its prized statuettes since the first Oscars ceremony in 1929.