Why are the “Oscars” called Oscar?

The first Academy Awards Ceremony was given on May 16, 1929, but the nickname “Oscar” for the gold statue was first used in 1934, though even today no one seems to know why, or even who the “Oscar” was that the statue commemorates.

There are many theories why the Oscar is called “Oscar”, but with little real evidence. It’s a “puzzle wrapped in an enigma”. No one can definitely prove the Oscar commemorates any one specific individual named “Oscar”; though many have tired.

A biography of Bette Davis claims that she named the Oscar after her first husband, band leader Harmon Oscar Nelson. An early mention of “the Oscar” dates back to a Time magazine article about the 6th Academy Awards in 1934, and another to Bette Davis’s accepting the award in 1936. In 1932 Walt Disney was quoted as thanking the Academy for his “Oscar”, but we don’t know why.

Perhaps, the most plausible theory is that it was the Academy’s Executive Secretary, Margaret Herrick, who said the statuette reminded her of her “Uncle Oscar”. Columnist Sidney Skolsky was present during Herrick’s naming and seized the name wrote in his byline” that “Employees have affectionately dubbed their famous statuette ‘Oscar'”.

Another “Oscar” legend states that a Norwegian-American secretary to Louis B. Mayer saw the first statuette and said It looked like the Norwegian King Oscar II. At the end of the day she suppodedly said “What should we do with Oscar, put him in the vault?”

A more recent explanation comes from a Peruvian-born Hollywood resident named “Oscar” who claims that HE is the original” Oscar” that the award was named for. For what reason is not clear.
Regardless, the trophy was officially dubbed “Oscar” in 1939 by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and, as the saying goes: “The rest is history”.

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