The great and good of Hollywood are once again prepping their finery in anticipation of the Oscars – with yet more of the coveted golden statuettes to be handed out on February 27.
But there’s still one question about those statues that keeps on cropping up time and time again – namely, just why are those little gold men known as ‘Oscars’ when in actual fact they’re Academy Awards?
Well, to be honest, there’s no definitive answer to this, as nobody really knows the true reason for the name.
But that hasn’t stopped the theories about the origins of Oscar from pouring forth. And it could be any one of these…
They were named after someone’s uncle
Possibly the most popular theory is the idea that the statue was so named because Academy librarian Margaret Herrick – later to become the Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – claimed that it ‘looked like her uncle Oscar’.
A journalist thought of it
It’s claimed that journalist Sidney Skolsky later wrote about Herrick’s remark in his New York Daily News column, although he later claimed that he actually first used it in a column where he was poking fun at the entire ceremony, taking his inspiration from a Vaudeville joke which used the name.
It was all Bette Davis’ fault
The legendary actress claimed she had coined the phrase ‘Oscar’ by naming the statue after her husband Harmon O Nelson Jr.
While some reports claim it was merely a tribute to his middle name, others suggest a cheekier reason for the nickname – namely that the statue’s rear reminded her of hubby when he emerged from the shower in the morning. Er, OK then.
Somebody else had the idea
Other early mentions of the name – making the whole thing even more confusing – came from a Time magazine article about the ceremony in 1934, while other stories cite Walt Disney thanking the Academy for his ‘Oscar’ in 1932. None of which makes it any clearer to us…
The Oscars take place on Sunday February 26, with coverage on Sky Cinema’s special Oscars channel from midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning.