With the Oscars around the corner and the competition fierce, one can't help but think of its long and varied history. The 86th Annual Academy Awards will surely add to the brilliant legacy of Hollywood's biggest award ceremony. Here's a look at some of the things you should know about the past years.
1. Famously, Meryl Streep has received the most Best Actress nominations with 18 to date, but Katharine Hepburn holds the record for the most wins with four. She racked up her impressive number of golden statuettes for 'On Golden Pond', 'The Lion In Winter', 'Guess Who's Coming To Dinner' and 'Morning Glory'.
2. The most successful films in Oscar history are 'Ben-Hur', 'Titanic' and 'The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King'. Each of the films garnered 11 wins each – although 'Return Of The King' was the only one of those to take home every award for which it was nominated.
3. The most nominated films are 'Titanic' and 'All About Eve' with 14 each.
4. The youngest Best Actor winner is Adrien Brody, 29, for 'The Pianist'. The oldest is 76 year-old Henry Fonda for 'On Golden Pond'.
5. Until Heath Ledger's 'The Dark Knight' win, Peter Finch was the only actor to be awarded an Academy Award posthumously.
6. The youngest Oscar winner was 10-year-old Tatum O'Neal who won Best Supporting Actress for 'Paper Moon' in 1973.
7. 82 year-old Christopher Plummer is the oldest person to win an Oscar.
8. The only sequel win Best Picture is The Godfather: Part II.
9. Kathleen Kennedy's has received seven Best Picture nominations with 'ET', 'The Color Purple', 'The Sixth Sense', Seabiscuit', 'Munich', 'War Horse' and 'The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button'. She has lost out all seven times.
10. 'Midnight Cowboy' is the only X-rated film to win Best Picture, although 'A Clockwork Orange' also received a nomination but did not win.
11. The Directors Guild Awards are a strong indicator on who will win Best Film at the Oscars. In the DGA's 63-year history, the winner in the category has gone on to win the Oscar 50 times.
12. The most nominated writers are Woody Allen, with 16 screenplay nods and three wins, and Billy Wilder, with 12 nods and three wins.
13. The most nominated character is Henry VIII. Three actors (Charles Laughton, Robert Shaw and Richard Burton) have earned nods for playing the king.
14. Marlon Brando and Robert De Niro are the only two actors to win an Oscar for playing the same character. Both actors played Vito Corleone in 'The Godfather' and 'The Godfather II' respectively
15. To qualify for Best Picture, a film needs to be at least 40 minutes long, have shown at an LA cinema for at least a week in the previous year and have a projection resolution of 2048 x 1080 pixels.
16. Six Oscars-winners have also won Razzies - which are awards given for the worst performances in movies. They are Laurence Olivier, Roberto Benigni, Liza Minnelli, Sandra Bullock, Charlton Heston, Halle Berry and Faye Dunaway.
17. Peter O'Toole holds the record of being nominated eight times for an Oscar and never winning one.
18. West Side Story director-cum-choreographer Jerome Robbins won Best Director for the only film he ever made.
19. To win a Best Picture, Oscar history dictates that you should make a weighty drama or solemn biopic, rather than a comedy, sci-fi or horror. The later genres barely ever win Oscars.
20. 'Beauty And The Beast (1991)', 'Up (2010)' and 'Toy Story 3 (2011)' are the only three animated films to be nominated in the Best Picture category.
21. With his third win for portraying Abraham Lincoln, Daniel Day Lewis is the only male actor in history to win three Oscars in the lead actor category.
22. Tom Hanks has only been nominated as Best Actor. He has barely played, nor has he been nominated for his supporting roles.
23. Hilary Swank, of course, won an Oscar for playing a transgender character in Boys Don't Cry (1999). Jared Leto has been nominated for the Best Supporting Actor Award for a similar role this year.
24. The Artist is only the second silent film to collect an Oscar for Best Film. Howard Hughes' airborne spectacular Wings was the first in 1929.
25. Laurence Olivier and Roberto Benigni are the only people to have won Best Actor in a film they directed: Benigni for 'Life Is Beautiful' in (1997) and Olivier for 'Hamlet' in (1948).
26. Liza Minnelli is the only Oscar winner whose parents (Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli) also both won Academy Awards.
27. Hollywood's horror and suspense legend Alfred Hitchcock never won an Oscar until he was awarded an honorary one in 1968. He was nominated five times – for 'Rebecca', 'Lifeboat', 'Spellbound', 'Rear Window' and 'Psycho'
28. Walt Disney holds the record for the most wins in Academy Award history. He won 22 awards from 59 nominations. His earliest win came for the first full Technicolored animation, 'Flowers And Trees'.
29. The most unusual recipient of an honorary Oscar was the British Ministry of Propaganda for its bomber flim 'Target For Tonight' in 1941.
30. The Best Director Oscar has been shared twice. Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins won for 'West Side Story' in 1961, the Coen brothers shared the spoils for 'No Country For Old Men' in 2008.
31. The first black actress to win an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel for 'Gone With The Wind' in 1940. Sidney Poitier became the first black actor to win an Oscar when he collected for 'Lilies Of The Field' in 1963.
32. The Kodak Theatre is the tenth venue to have hosted the Academy Awards. Oscar's other homes have included the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Grauman's Chinese Theatre, the Ambassador Hotel and the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.
33. The first colour telecast of the Academy Awards took place in 1966, a year after American network television's transition to colour.
34. Seat-fillers at the Kodak Theatre are paid $125 for their nights' work.
35. The country with the most Best Foreign Film Oscars is Italy. Its ten winners include 'Nights Of Cabiria', 'Amarcord and 8½', 'Cinema Paradiso' and 'Life Is Beautiful'.