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A Star Is Born

Written by: BlueDog89


One of the brightest stars to appear on the Hollywood scene in 1929 was a golden knight gripping his mighty sword while standing atop a reel of film with five spokes. His greatest role has been to honor outstanding achievements in filmmaking. His name is Oscar®.

For one of the most recognized trophies the world over, the statuette’s dimensions are not nearly as imposing as the overwhelming emotions experienced by the individuals honored by a nomination or receiving the award itself. Oscar® is a mere 13 ½” and weighing 8 ½ lbs., standing regally atop a base of a film reel. The five spokes displayed on the black base represent the original branches of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences®: Actors, Writers, Directors, Producers, and Technicians.

Cedric Gibbons and Dolores del Rio

Cedric Gibbons and Dolores del Rio

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer’s chief art director Cedric Gibbons was responsible for the design of the trophy. Gibbons’ wife, actress Delores del Rio, introduced him to Mexican film director Emilio “El Indio” Fernandez to pose for the original sketches. Sculptor George Stanley, renowned for designing the Muse Fountain at the Hollywood Bowl, sculpted Gibbons’ sketches and Sachin Smith cast the statuette in 92.5% tin and 7.5% copper and then gold-plated it. The only addition to Oscar since its original design was a minor streamlining of the base.

The original award presented at early ceremonies was gold-plated solid bronze. The statuette’s material changed over the years, such as during World War II, when there was a metal shortage, and the Oscars® were made of painted plaster. Once the war was over, wartime recipients were allowed to redeem their plaster figurines for gold-plated metal figures. Today Oscar® is constructed of gold-plated britannium on a black metal base rendered in an Art Deco style.

The Academy® initially named the statuette the Academy Award of Merit®, however Oscar® is what it’s most known for. Many rumors surround how the nickname of Oscar came about. One of the most well known is that of Bette Davis saying that the award resembled her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. Davis supposedly mentioned the term Oscar® when she received her Best Actress award for Dangerous in 1935. Walt Disney was rumored to use the moniker in 1932, and Time magazine made mention of Oscar® in 1934. The Authorized Version from the Academy® is based on a popular story about an Academy® librarian who remarked that the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar. The Academy® officially adopted the nickname in 1939. However the name came about, it stuck. And many people today often refer to the award ceremony as The Oscars®.

From left to right: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, and Charles Chaplin, around the time they founded United Artists in 1919

From left to right: Douglas Fairbanks Sr., D.W. Griffith, Mary Pickford, and Charles Chaplin, around the time they founded United Artists in 1919

The first Academy Awards®, hosted by actor Douglas Fairbanks Sr. and screenwriter/director from the silent film era William C. DeMille, were presented on May 16, 1929, at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, and lasted a mere 15 minutes. This was the only Academy Award® ceremony not to be broadcast either on radio or television. This was also the first and only year that the Academy® recognized two best pictures and the only time that winners were recognized for more than one movie. It was also the only time a silent movie reached best picture status.

Wings, Best Picture winner 1927

Wings, Best Picture winner 1927

Films that had been released between August 1, 1927 and July 31, 1928 were eligible for awards. Unlike later ceremonies, awards could be granted to an actor or director for multiple works within a year. The movie Wings, which starred the popular silent film star Clara Bow, won Best Picture, while Emil Jannings won Best Actor for two separate roles and Janet Gaynor won Best Actress for three separate roles. There were two Best Director Awards, Lewis Milestone won for Best Comedy and Frank Borzage won for Best Dramatic Picture.

Two special awards were also presented that night. One to Warner Brothers for producing The Jazz Singer and one to Charlie Chaplin for writing, acting, directing and producing The Circus.

Yet today, no matter what you call the glam evening of a 1,000 stars or the gleaming knight holding a crusader’s sword, it all represents the best in Motion Picture achievement. Only now The Oscars® come complete with bright lights, designer dresses, and the all-important red carpet.

It may be a little different from what the early founders of the Academy® had in mind; but we wouldn’t have it any other way.

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NYC Oscar® Party to Shine at GILT at the New York Palace Hotel

Posted by: Audiegrl

On Oscar Sunday, March 7, 2010, New York-area members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will celebrate the 82nd Academy Awards® at GILT at The New York Palace hotel.

Since 1990, the Academy has hosted a New York Oscar celebration for its East Coast members, many of whom are previous Academy Award® winners and nominees.

We’re delighted to be holding this year’s Oscar Night® party at this historic venue,” noted Bud Rosenthal, chairman of the Academy’s New York Events Committee. “The blending of old and new is a perfect expression of the tradition and innovation that we celebrate with the year’s films. And our celebration will only be enhanced by the artistry of GILT’s culinary team.”

The evening’s festivities will begin with a reception in the GILT Bar, renowned for its selection of signature cocktails. Following the reception, the invited guests will adjourn to the restaurant for a multi-course Oscar-themed dinner and live viewing of the 82nd Academy Awards telecast. Executive Chef Justin Bogle and Executive Pastry Chef David Carmichael will create a special menu for the occasion.

The New York Palace hotel incorporates the landmark Villard Mansion, which features elegant cathedral ceilings, gilded walls, carved moldings, and mosaic tile floors. GILT opened in 2006 and has since earned international acclaim. In 2009 the restaurant received two Michelin stars under Executive Chef Bogle, who at 28 was the youngest New York City chef to ever earn this distinction.

Highlights From the 2009 Celebration

Academy members got a chance to eat, drink and be merry while taking in the live telecast on February 22, 2009 at The Carlyle. Award-winning actress Elaine Stritch welcomed two 8-foot golden statues as part of the advance preparation for the Academy’s official New York Oscar Night Party. Guests included Geoffrey Rush, Patricia Neal, Rip Torn, Shirley Knight, Denis O’Hare, Burt Young, Celia Weston, Sylvia Miles, Amy Wright, Elaine Stritch, Tovah Feldshuh, Lisa Eichhorn, Tina Louise, Cynthia Wade, David Rasche, Sid Ramin, Nathaniel Kahn, Richard Barclay, Jimmy Picker, Robert Richter and Ken Ascher.

Please click on the images to enlarge.

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Michelle Obama Wax Figure Unveiled on The Wendy Williams Show

Posted by: Audiegrl

ChicagoNow~“How you doin,” Williams uttered her trademark into a new wax figure of the first lady. Viewers of “The Wendy Williams Show” got the first look at the figure, which will debut at Madame Tussauds New York on Tuesday as part of its Black History Month events.

The Obama figure is dressed in a replica of her inauguration gown, Williams showed. She then rattled off some fun facts about the statue, including that its hair is human and individually inserted into the scalp. The hair is washed regularly.

The statues are almost true-to-size. “They take three to six months to create,” she said. “They make them all about 2 percent bigger than the actual bodies of the people that they do because wax shrinks.”

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Hope for Haiti Now: A Global Benefit for Earthquake Relief” Video highlights

Thanks to everyone who joined us for a night of great music and a show of support for the people of Haiti

Posted by: Audiegrl

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President Obama Signs Legislation

President Obama Signs Legislation Providing Immediate Tax Deductions for Haiti Charitable Contributions January 22, 2010.

President Obama Is Making It Easier for Americans to Support Haiti
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In the days since the earthquake in Haiti, Americans have shown their generosity with millions of dollars in donations. Tonight, President Obama signed a bill into law that makes it easier to give. This legislation will allow taxpayers to receive the tax benefit from donations made to the Haiti effort in this tax season, rather than having to wait until they file their 2010 tax returns next year. Specifically, cash donations to charities for the Haitian relief effort given after January 11 and before March 1 of this year may be treated as if the contribution was made on December 31 of last year so that the contribution can be deducted from 2009 income. This measure applies to monetary donations, not goods or services.


Clinton Bush Haiti Relief FundUNICEFAmerican Red Cross

WFP:  World Food ProgrammePartners In Health Oxfam America
Yéle Haiti

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