With the Oscars just a couple of days away, all talk has turned to who will win the big awards. So study up on the Las Vegas betting odds for help with your ballot, and while you're at your viewing party, here are a few fun facts to spit out if you're trying to impress your friends with Oscar trivia.
|The Real Oscar|
The real Oscar was 5'11". In 1928, actor Emilio Fernández –- who was 5'11" -- posed as a nude model for the statue's creation. MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, one of the original Academy Award members, supervised the design of the award trophy by printing the design on a scroll. In need of a model for his statuette, Gibbons was introduced by his future wife Dolores del Río to Mexican film director Emilio "El Indio" Fernández. Reluctant at first, Fernández was finally convinced to pose nude to create what today is known as the "Oscar."
|Official Oscar Name|
The official name for the Oscar is the "Academy Award of Merit." But the statuette is better known by its nickname. As the story goes, Academy librarian Margaret Herrick remarked that the statuette resembled her Uncle Oscar, but the Academy didn't adopt the nickname officially until 1939 –- ten years after the first Oscar was ever awarded.
|Oscar Statuette's Height|
In Hollywood, the Oscar statuette stands 13½ inches tall and weighs in at a robust 8½ pounds -- which is about the size of a Barbie doll.
|Oscar Is Unbreakable|
Oscar is virtually unbreakable because he's made of solid metal. You might put a dent in him, but you won't break him.
|Oscar The Crusader|
Oscar is a knight standing on a reel of film gripping a crusader's sword. The five spokes of the film reel represent the five original branches of the Academy -- actors, directors, producers, technicians and writers.
|First Oscar Metals|
The statuettes presented at the initial ceremonies were gold-plated solid bronze. Within a few years the bronze was abandoned in favor of Britannia metal, a pewter-like alloy that is then plated in copper, nickel silver, and finally, 24-karat gold.
|WWII Oscar Metal Shortage|
Due to a metal shortage during World War II, Oscars were made of painted plaster for three years. Following the war, the Academy invited recipients to redeem the plaster figures for gold-plated metal ones.
|2000 Oscar Heist|
In 2000, only a few weeks before the Academy Awards, that year's shipment of 55 Oscars was stolen from the overland carrier's loading dock. They were recovered a week later, but not before some nerve-wracking days had passed. Since then, the Academy has had the statuettes delivered on a special United Air Lines flight and has kept one ceremony's-worth of statuettes on hand.
R.S. Owens makes the Oscar statuettes at their Chicago factory a year in advance. They make 50 to 60 statues to cover for any ties. The Oscars are flown with security guards to Los Angeles and stored in a secret Academy vault each February for the next year's awards.
R.S. Owens engraves plates for ALL nominees, so no one knows the winner, and the plates are engraved before voting even begins. The winner then has his/her plated mounted after the Academy Awards.
So the Oscars for 2014 have been hiding in Los Angeles since February 2013.
|Oscar in a Day|
From start to finish, it takes about a day to manufacture each statuette, though the process can be expedited if need be.
|Oscar Gets Love|
Oscar may just be the man most kissed by Hollywood beauties. He's been kissed by Angelina Jolie, Audrey Hepburn, Anne Hathaway, Grace Kelly, Penelope Cruz and Catherine Zeta Jones, among others.
|Powder Room Oscar|
A lot of the ladies -- Meryl Streep, Kate Winslet and Susan Sarandon -- actually keep Oscar in their bathroom.
|On Oscar For Me|
Some winners have refused to accept the Oscar. Among them, Marlon Brando for "The Godfather."
|Oscar's a Baller|
In 1999, Michael Jackson bought an Oscar for $1 million. After that, the Academy made winners sign a contract saying the trophy is property of the Academy and winners must offer to sell them back to the Academy for $1 before selling to anyone else.
The cost of making an Oscar is top secret. Rumor has it the shipment costs alone are approximately $20,000.
The Oscars were once escorted in an armored car.
When an Oscar is handed to a lucky winner, the presenter is not allowed to say, "And the winner is ..." They must say, "And the Oscar goes to ..."
Walt Disney has won (or received) the most Oscars: 26.