The countdown to the 95th Oscars is on and the Academy is looking back at some of the most iconic moments from every decade of the Academy Awards – the big wins, the most memorable speeches, and more defining moments from previous Oscars ceremonies. Beginning with the first Oscars way back in 1929 and continuing all the way up till the present day, you can follow along day-by-day on the Academy's Facebook page.
Nominations for the 95th Oscars will be announced on Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2023, while the ceremony itself will be held on Sunday, March 12, 2023, at the Dolby® Theatre at Ovation Hollywood, and will be televised live on ABC and in more than 200 territories worldwide.
Until then, let the countdown begin...
May 16, 1929: A look back at the very first Academy Awards, held in the Blossom Room of Hollywood's Roosevelt Hotel. This is the only known photo taken of that evening, which shows the 300 attendees in the Blossom Room, with Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Pickford at the dais.
The ceremony lasted for about fifteen minutes with Wings becoming the first film to win the Oscar for Best Picture (known at the time as the Outstanding Picture Award).
April 3, 1930: At the second annual Academy Awards, held on April 3, 1930, the film 'Broadway Melody,' a talking, singing, dancing musical from MGM won Best Picture, which officially marked the end of the silent film era.
Nov. 5, 1930: This acceptance speech footage from the 3rd Academy Awards, which was staged for newsreels, is the earliest known footage of Oscar winners.
Nov. 18, 1932: For the fifth Academy Awards, Walt Disney prepared a special cartoon segment, "Parade of the Award Nominees" which featured caricatures of the Acting nominees being escorted by Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse.
Feb. 27, 1935: The Academy Juvenile Award, also known as the Juvenile Oscar, was an honorary award to specifically recognize performers under the age of 18 for their "outstanding contributions to screen entertainment." The first recipient of this award was Shirley Temple at the seventh Oscars. The Juvenile Oscar would continue to be presented intermittently over the next 26 years to a total of 12 child actors, with the last recipient being Hayley Mills for her performance in 1960's Pollyanna.
March 4, 1937: The categories Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress were added at the ninth Academy Awards to entice the Screen Actors Guild. At the time, however, only 25 actors were Academy members. Acting nominees were also extended from three to five per category. Walter Brennan received the first Best Supporting Actor award, and Gale Sondergaard received the first Best Supporting Actress award.
Feb. 29, 1940: Hattie McDaniel made history at the 12th Oscars by becoming the first African American to be nominated and to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Gone With the Wind.
March 2, 1942: Casablanca, the 1942 American romantic drama directed by Michael Curtiz, and starring Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid wins Best Director, Best Picture and Writing at the 16th Academy Awards. The film also earned nominations for Lead Actor (Humphrey Bogart), Supporting Actor (Claude Rains), Cinematography (Black and White), Film Editing and Original Score.
March 2, 1946: Joan Crawford wins Best Actress for her performance in Mildred Pierce. Unable to attend the ceremony, she later receives the award while sitting in bed due to illness.
March 24, 1949: For the first time, the Academy gave awards for Costume Design; nominees were separately classified between color and black-and-white films.
March 21, 1951: José Ferrer won Best Actor (accepting from New York) for his performance as Cyrano de Bergerac in Cyrano de Bergerac, the American adventure comedy film based on the 1897 French Alexandrin verse drama Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. Ferrer became the first Puerto Rican actor to win an Oscar, and also the first Hispanic actor to win an Oscar. Watch the video above to hear his full acceptance speech.
March 20, 1952: A Streetcar Named Desire became the first film to win three awards for acting (Vivien Leigh for Best Actress, Karl Malden for Best Supporting Actor, and Kim Hunter for Best Supporting Actress). Marlon Brando did receive a nomination for Best Actor for his performance in the film, but the Best Actor Oscar went to Humphrey Bogart for The African Queen.
March 25, 1954: From Here to Eternity was the first film to tie the long-standing record of eight Academy Awards set by Gone with the Wind.
From Here to Eternity also won Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Frank Sinatra), Best Supporting Actress (Donna Reed), Black-and-White Cinematography (Burnett Guffey), Directing (Fred Zinnemann), Film Editing (William A. Lyon), Sound Recording (Columbia Studio Sound Department), and Writing – Screenplay (Daniel Taradash). An estimated 43 million television viewers watched the show that year.
March 21, 1956: James Wong Howe won for Black-and-White Cinematography, for The Rose Tattoo, becoming the first Asian American to win an Academy Award.
Stay tuned for more iconic moments from the 1960s to the present day.