On February 27, 1935, Paducah’s own, Irvin S. Cobb, hosted the 7th Annual Academy Awards!
Besides Cobb’s likely witty and rip-roaring emceeing, three significant “firsts” happened at the 7th Annual Academy Awards.
Frank Capra’s romantic comedy “It Happened One Night” was the first film to win Oscars in all five major categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay. This feat was only repeated by “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” (1976) and “Silence of the Lambs” (1992).
Second, because of a huge public outcry over the failure to nominate Bette Davis for “Of Human Bondage” and Myrna Loy for “The Thin Man,” the Academy allowed write-in candidates. This was the first of only two years this has ever happened. Both women were subsequently nominated, yet neither of them won. The Best Actress award went to Claudette Colbert for “It Happened One Night.”
Finally, the Academy presented its very first Juvenile Award to six year old Shirley Temple. By 1935, Temple already had 28 feature-length and short films under her belt. She is still the youngest Oscar winner to date.
BONUS TRIVIA!! – Irvin Cobb, of course, isn’t the only connection to the Academy Awards. Did you know that the Academy’s informal theme song, “Hooray for Hollywood,” references Paducah? The third verse of the song reads:
That phoney, super coney Hollywood
They come from Chillicothes and Padukahs
With their bazookas to get their names up in lights
All armed with photos from local rotos
With their hair in ribbons and legs in tights
Hooray for Hollywood
To learn more about Paducah’s connections to silver screen, visit us at the Local and Family and History Department at the McCracken County Public Library.