1963: Oscar wild

April 8, 1963:

GOOD MORNING: The possibilities of tie votes in the Oscar Derby has the Academy alerted with sufficient statuettes tonight. (Last nose-to-nose win was in the ’31-’32 race between Wally Beery, “The Champ,” and Fredric March, “Jekyll.”). … With so many recent TV shows sounding a death knell for Hollywood, the Academy had been skedded to close with “High Hopes,” but “Hopes” was scratched at Saturday’s dress rehearsal … The Acad staff working over the weekend at Santa Monica (Civic) with the added threat of rain tonight predicted. In past years, the bay site has been worried by fog. In case anyone wonders, if the new Cinerama house going up on Sunset Blvd. is a potential Oscar site, the plans call for only 1,000 seats. One name suggested for the new theatre is Cinerama Center but a wag pointed out it would be called “Cin (Sin) Center.” … (2007 Update: The Academy’s Bruce Davis tells me Oscar-winning ties are indeed allowed in all categories. He also revealed that the ’31-’32 “tie” was not really a complete “tie” — but close enough, the members thought. Oscar show producer Laura Ziskin thought a tie would be “fantastic” — and would add to the excitement of a single winner. P.S. There was another tie — in the 1968 Oscars with Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand. Hepburn won for “Lion in Winter,” Streisand for “Funny Girl.” And yes, Laura, the reaction that night was indeed “fantastic.”)

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