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Oscars '98

Oscar Bits

March 22, 1998|Susan King

REAL BABES

At 27, Matt Damon, nominated for "Good Will Hunting," has the opportunity to become the youngest best actor winner. But he's not the youngest best actor nominee. Jackie Cooper was all of 10 when he was nominated for best actor of 1930-31 for "Skippy," and Mickey Rooney was 19 when he was nominated for best actor for 1939's "Babes in Arms."

LONG TIME WAITING

Julie Christie, nominated for best actress for "Afterglow," won that honor 32 years ago for "Darling." But she doesn't threaten the record for the longest interval between acting wins. Helen Hayes won best actress for 1931-32's "The Sin of Madelon Claudet" and won best supporting actress for 1970's "'Airport."

SPEECHLESS

James Cameron's script for "Titanic" failed to get an Oscar nomination. Among the other best picture nominees of recent years not to garner a screenplay nomination are 1992's "A Few Good Men"; 1991's "Beauty and the Beast"; 1990's "The Godfather, Part III"; 1988's "Mississippi Burning" and "Working Girl"; 1986's "The Mission"; 1983's "The Right Stuff" ; 1981's "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and 1980's "Tess."

Even 1980 best film nominee "Raging Bull," considered by most critics to be the best film of its decade, failed to get a screenplay nomination.

MOST, LEAST

"Titanic" is the first film since 1950's "All About Eve" to be nominated for 14 Oscars. The 1932-33 best picture winner "Grand Hotel" is the only best picture winner to win with only one nomination.

THE POST-"GRADUATE"

Best actor nominee Dustin Hoffman ("Wag the Dog") received his first nomination in this category 30 years ago for "The Graduate." He lost the award to Rod Steiger ("In the Heat of the Night"). Other nominees that year were Warren Beatty for "Bonnie & Clyde," Paul Newman for "Cool Hand Luke" and Spencer Tracy for "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."

MR. MUSIC

John Williams scores his 36th Oscar nomination with his original score of "Amistad." He's won the award five times. The only other composer to earn more nominations was the late Alfred Newman, with 45. Walt Disney holds the record for the most nominations--64.

THE BIG WINNERS

20 YEARS AGO:

Best Film: "Annie Hall."

Best Actor: Richard Dreyfuss, "The Goodbye Girl."

Best Actress: Diane Keaton, "Annie Hall."

Best Supporting Actor: Jason Robards, "Julia."

Best Supporting Actress: Vanessa Redgrave, "Julia."

Best Director: Woody Allen.

60 YEARS AGO:

Best Film: "The Life of Emile Zola."

Best Actress: Luise Rainer, "The Good Earth."

Best Actor: Spencer Tracy, "Captains Courageous."

Best Supporting Actor: Joseph Schildkraut, "The Life of Emile Zola."

Best Supporting Actress: Alice Brady, "In Old Chicago."

Best Director: Leo McCarey, "The Awful Truth."

CANVASSING THE CROWD

In their respective films, best actress nominees Kate Winslet ("Titanic") and Helen Hunt ("As Good as It Gets") pose in the nude for artists.

Greg Kinnear is nominated for best supporting actor as an artist in "As Good as It Gets."

Other actors who have either been nominated for or won an Oscar for playing an artist include Jose Ferrer, a best actor nominee as Toulouse-Lautrec for 1952's "Moulin Rouge"; Kirk Douglas, nominated for best actor as Vincent van Gogh in 1956's "Lust for Life"; and Anthony Quinn, who won for best supporting actor as Paul Cezanne in "Lust for Life."

GOLDEN ERA

"Titanic" best supporting actress nominee Gloria Stuart, 87, starred in a 1934 best picture nominee, "Here Comes the Navy." The best picture winner that year was the comedy "It Happened One Night." Stuart also appeared in "Gold Diggers of 1935," which features the Oscar-winning best song "Lullabye of Broadway."

SHOW MEN

This year's honorary award recipient Stanley Donen directed the 1954 best picture nominee "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."

Academy Awards producer Gil Cates directed Melvyn Douglas to a best actor nomination and Gene Hackman to a supporting nomination in 1970's "I Never Sang for My Father."

WARNERS' BIG ONE

"L.A. Confidential" represents the 56th best picture nomination for Warner Bros. During the last 70 years, Warners has won best picture five times: 1937's "The Life of Emile Zola," 1943's "Casablanca," 1964's "My Fair Lady," 1989's "Driving Miss Daisy" and 1992's "Unforgiven."

WHAT AN OMEN!

Jerry Goldsmith not only composed the theme this year for the Oscars, but he is also nominated for his score for "L.A. Confidential." His first nomination came 35 years ago for "Freud." He lost out to Maurice Jarre's score for "Lawrence of Arabia." Goldsmith won his first Oscar for his score for 1976's "The Omen."

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE

Anthony Hopkins is nominated for best supporting actor as John Quincy Adams in "Amistad." This is the second time Hopkins has received a nomination for playing an American president. He was nominated for best actor for 1995's "Nixon."

BIGGER THINGS

Several of this year's nominees have TV backgrounds. Best actress nominee Helen Hunt is currently in her sixth season on NBC's "Mad About You."

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