9 Things You Might Not Know About Scotland and the Oscars
It’s that time of year again Glasgow, when Hollywood and its shiny incumbents flock to the Dolby Theatre in LA, and act even shinier and Hollywooder (yeah we’ve made it a word) than usual.
But did you know that Scotland has ties that stem all the way back to the very creation of the Oscars in 1929?
Here are 9 things you might not know about Scotland’s connection to the Oscars…
1. Humble Beginnings
Frank Lloyd, born 1886 and originally from Cambuslang, is respected as Scotland’s first Hollywood superstar and Oscar winner. Lloyd was a Director, Scriptwriter and Producer and during his time won two Oscars for The Divine Lady and Cavalcade, but more importantly, in 1927, Lloyd was a founding member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Following its foundation, two years later, the Academy created the Oscars.
Who can forget Mel Gibson’s epic love letter to William Wallace and Scotland’s heroic battle against oppression and the ‘Longshanks’, certainly not the Oscars, because they rewarded the movie with 5 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director. It was also claimed that thanks to the movie, tourism in Scotland increased in the first year of release by as much as £15 million pounds.
The funny thing is, a substantial part of the movie was filmed in Ireland because of tax benefits and the medieval and Anglo Irish sites available to Mel Gibson at the time of filming.
3. Malcolm F****** Tucker wins an Oscar
The twelfth reincarnation of ‘The Doctor’ and everybody’s favourite angry Spin Doctor Peter Capaldi, is a proud owner of a prestigious gold statuette. All thanks to his short film ‘Franz Kafka, It’s a Wonderful Life’.
In 1995, the future Timelord, wrote and directed a short film about a man being constantly interrupted as he attempts to write the novel of which he is positive will become his masterpiece. Capaldi in the short film’s creation pays loving homage to the all time classic ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’.
It was entered into the ‘Best Live Action Short Film’ Category and remarkably it won. Meaning Capaldi now lives his life, one Oscar wealthier.
4. That’s The Chicago Way
James Bond 007 himself, Mr Sean Connery has surprisingly only been nominated once throughout his lengthy career. (Surely ‘Dragonheart’, ‘The Rock’ or Highlander, should have seen him nominated in every category). He only needed one nomination however, as he walked away with Best Supporting Actor for his role in ‘The Untouchables’.
5. The Last King of Scotland
Glaswegian film maker, Kevin Macdonald’s back catalogue includes two Oscar winning films. ‘One Day in September’, won the Oscar for Best Documentary, and Forest Whitaker won Best Actor for his performance as Idi Amin in ‘The Last King of Scotland’.
6. Hollywood via Helensburgh
Deborah Kerr born 1921 in Helensburgh, was a Scottish Hollywood star of the silver screen. Nominated six times for a Best Actress award, Kerr found herself with the unfortunate moniker of being known as the actress with the most nominations but no award. Her career peak spanned three decades from the 40’s to the 60’s, but she continued acting until the mid 1980’s.
She was given an honourary Oscar in 1994 for recognition as “an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career, has always stood for perfection”. She died an Oscar winner in 2007.
7. Annie Lennox and Lord of the Rings
Icon of the music industry, Aberdeen born Annie Lennox tasted Oscar success, thanks to the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Technically it was thanks to the third installment of the hugely successful Middle Earth set movies.
Lennox was one of three songwriters credited for creating ‘The Return of the King’s’ title track ‘Into The West’. Winning ‘Best Original Song’, she even sang the winning track live at the Oscars in 2004.
8. Scotland’s Forgotten Oscar Winner
Scottish born Norman McLaren who studied at Glasgow School of Art, in 1952, won an Oscar for his documentary ‘Neighbours’.
Commonly known as the ‘Father of Documentaries’, McLaren went on to become one of the world’s leading animators but even after his Oscar success, and all the acclaim that followed, remained almost anonymous in Scotland.
9. Ex Dundee Utd Player Wins An Oscar
Future Oscar winner, Neil Paterson became the first amateur player to captain a professional club during his time at Dundee Utd. Amazingly, following his playing career, Paterson went on to become an award winning novelist and screenwriter, forging a successful career on both sides of the Atlantic.
In 1960 Paterson, living in Crieff, was woken out his bed at 6 in the morning to be informed he had won the Best Screenplay Oscar for Room at the Top. A modest man, it’s rumoured Paterson simply smiled and went back to sleep.
So there you have it, what are your thoughts? What juicy info did we miss out? Let us know in the comments below.