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No one in Hollywood is more famous than one poised, golden man. Standing 13.5 inches tall and weighing 8.5 pounds, he has attended every Academy Awards show in history—but has never spent a dime on a tuxedo. While everyone hopes to steal a kiss from him, only a select few actually get to touch him at all.
Yep, we’re talking about Hollywood’s famous golden Oscar statue. Since 1929, this trophy has earned a reputation as the most coveted award in the movie-making business. But it hasn’t always looked the way it does today.
The original design for the statuette, sketched by MGM art director Cedric Gibbons, featured a knight holding a sword and standing on a reel of film. They chose the figure of a knight to represent a “crusader” for the industry. (Here are more things you didn’t know about the Academy Awards.)
But there was more to the first statuette than meets the eye. The spokes on the film reel, for example, symbolized the five branches of the Academy: actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. Meanwhile, the sword served to protect the industry’s welfare and advancement.
The Gibbons’s design got a facelift later on, though. When L.A.-based sculptor George Stanley created the three-dimensional version of the famed statue, he removed the reel of film. The sword, however, remains to this day.
That’s not the only part of this famous awards show that might surprise you. Brush up on your Oscar night trivia with more weird things no one tells you about the Oscars.