KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Hollywood's top prize has been won by Kansas City's top showbiz export. Check out Russ' look at the golden statues won by Walt Disney!
There’s no bigger name in the history of show business than Kansas City native, Walt Disney. His entertainment empire began at the Laugh-O-Grams Studios at 1127 East 31st Street.
As far as the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences is concerned, he’s the all-time champ, having won 32 Oscars, far more than other producer or artist. He was also nominated a record 55 times.
Disney received what is undoubtedly the most unique Oscar of all time. In recognition of its “significant screen innovation which has charmed millions and pioneered a great new entertainment field for the motion picture cartoon,” the Academy awarded Disney a special Oscar for “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.” It was one regular-sized Oscar flanked by seven miniature ones. It was presented by the biggest box office star of the day, Shirley Temple.
Although it was the highest grossing film of its time, the Academy decided not to have “Snow White” considered for Best Picture, opting for the special award instead.
While most of Disney’s Oscars have been awarded in competitive categories, he has also been awarded other honorary Oscars. One was for the creation of Mickey Mouse in 1932, and for the special achievement of “Fantasia” in 1942. That year, he also received the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, which periodically recognizes, “Creative producers, whose bodies of work reflect a consistently high quality of motion picture production.”
Many other artists and technicians associated with Disney have taken home the statuette, including fellow Kansas Citians, animators Ub Iwerks and Friz Freleng. In 1964, the composers Robert and Richard Sherman and actress Julie Andrews won Oscars for Disney’s “Mary Poppins,” as did the editing and special effects wizards. The list is a long one.
While he’s no longer with us, Disney’s legacy has only grown. The company he built has picked up an additional 47 Oscars since Disney’s death in 1966.
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