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Why Academy Awards called Oscars?

There is no definitive explanation as to how Oscar became MGM art director the popular name for an Academy Award. 


In 1928 a founder member of the Academy MGM art director, Cedric Gibbon created the design for the curious 33 cm high gold-plated statuette. The following year the Academy commissioned the Los Angeles sculptor, George Stanley to produce the 3D version - and in 1930 Irishman Gibbon stepped up to collect the first of 11 he would win for production design.


'Oscar' is a knight holding a crusader's sword while standing on a reel of film.
The art-deco influenced statuette was not called Oscar, nor was there any obvious reason why it should have been. But in 1934 the term was first publicly used by a Hollywood columnist describing Katharine Hepburn's first Best Actress victory. By 1939 the word Oscar was universally known.

Uncle Oscar?

Bette Davies collects Oscar for Jezebel (1938)
One theory is that the name came from an early Academy director, Margaret Herrick, in 1931. According to this legend, Herrick thought that the statue looked like her Uncle Oscar. 


Another suggestion is that Bette Davies named her award after her husband. That sounds plausible - but happened in 1936.

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