Why Are The Academy Awards Called Oscars?

The Academy Awards are the most prolific awards ceremony in cinema. The 95th Academy Awards will be presented on March 12, 2023

Why Oscars?

The Academy Awards, also known as the Oscars, are one of the most prestigious award ceremonies for recognising cinema across the globe. However, the origin of the name "Oscar" for the trophies is still disputed. 

Theory #1

One popular theory is that the Academy executive director, Margaret Herrick, named the award after her cousin Oscar Pierce, who was affectionately called "Uncle Oscar".

Theory #2

Another theory is that the award was named after renowned actor Bette Davis' first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. This theory is mentioned in a biography of Davis.

Theory #3

Columnist Sidney Skolsky claimed that Academy employees had already been calling the statuette "Oscar" before Herrick's naming in 1931.

Theory #4

There is evidence that the name "Oscar" may have come from Eleanore Lilleberg, a secretary who was in charge of handling the awards. Her brother Einar had referenced a Norwegian army veteran named Oscar who was known for standing straight and tall.

When Did Oscars Become Official?

Despite the different theories about the nickname's origin, the Academy officially adopted the name Oscars for the trophies in 1939.

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