It's almost here -- the 88th Academy Awards finally airs this Sunday, and we're counting down the minutes.

We've already given you our Oscar predictions, and now we're bringing you some of the best (and, um, craziest) facts about Hollywood's biggest awards show. From the first Best Actor winner, to the "one dollar" Oscar rule, here are 25 things you (probably) don't know about the Oscars.
1. The youngest Oscar winner was Tatum O'Neal (above), who won Best Supporting Actress for "Paper Moon" (1973) when she was only 10 years old. Shirley Temple won the short-lived Juvenile Award at 6 years old.

2. After winning Best Actress for "Cabaret" (1972), Liza Minnelli became (and still is) the only Oscar winner whose parents both earned Oscars. Her mother, Judy Garland, received an honorary award in 1939 and her father, Vincente Minnelli, won Best Director for "Gigi" (1958).

3. Nameplates for all potential winners are prepared ahead of time; in 2014, the Academy made 215 of them!

4. The first Academy Awards were presented in 1929 at a private dinner of about 270 people. It was first televised in 1953, and now the Oscars ceremony can be seen in more than 200 countries.

5. Only three women have received Best Director nominations, while Kathryn Bigelow is the lone winner for "The Hurt Locker" (2009). Interestingly, Bigelow beat out ex-husband James Cameron, who was nominated for the technological wonder "Avatar."

6. At 82, Christopher Plummer (above) became the oldest person to win an Academy Award. He received the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his work in "Beginners" (2010) opposite Ewan McGregor.

7. Peter Finch ("Network") and Heath Ledger ("The Dark Knight") are the only actors to be awarded an Academy Award posthumously. Ledger's Oscar -- and his entire fortune -- was gifted to his young daughter, Matilda.

8. With her nomination last year for "Into the Woods," Meryl Streep has been nominated a record 19 times. She has won three Best Actress Oscars -- the last for "The Iron Lady" (2011).

9. Katharine Hepburn won a record four Academy Awards -- all Best Actress Oscars -- the last for "On Golden Pond" (1981), which starred another Hollywood legend, Henry Fonda.

10. The first Oscars were held at the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Today, the ceremony takes place at the Dolby Theatre (around the corner from the Roosevelt), its tenth venue over the decades.
11. Jack Nicholson (above) is the most-nominated male actor, receiving 12 Oscar nominations beginning with 1969's "Easy Rider." His three wins tie him with Walter Brennan and Daniel Day-Lewis.

12. Oscar statuettes are technically property of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As a result, before an Academy Award winner or his estate can sell his Oscar, he must first offer to sell it to the Academy first for one dollar (yes, one dollar). This, of course, is to discourage winners from selling the award for financial gain. Oscars awarded before 1950, however, are not bound by this agreement. In 2011, Orson Welles' 1941 Oscar for "Citizen Kane" was sold at auction for over $800,000 in 2011!

13. Only three films have won all of the "Big Five" Academy Award categories: "It Happened One Night" (1934), "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975), and "The Silence of the Lambs" (1991). The "Big Five" categories are: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay (either adapted or original).

14. In 1940, the LA Times broke the Academy's embargo and published the names of all the Oscar winners prior to the ceremony. As a result, the Academy introduced the sealed envelope tradition that is present to this day.

15. The legendary Alfred Hitchcock was nominated five times for Best Director, but never took home the Oscar.
16. "Ben-Hur," "Titanic," and "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" (above) are the most successful films in Oscar history, each winning a shocking 11 Oscars. "Return of the King" is the only one to win every award for which it was nominated.

17. Composer John Williams is the most-nominated living person, having earned 49 Oscar nominations throughout his storied career, beginning with 1967's "Valley of the Dolls."

18. The longest Oscar acceptance speech ever given was five and half minutes by 1943 Best Actress winner Greer Garson ("Mrs. Miniver").

19. Oscar statuettes were made from painter plaster during World War II due to metal shortages. After the war ended, these Oscars were replaced with the traditional statues.

20. Bob Hope hosted the ceremony a whopping 19 times, making him the most frequent Oscar host.
21. With his Best Actor nomination for "American Sniper," Bradley Cooper (above) has now been nominated for an acting Oscar three years in a row. That's one shy of the record for most consecutive acting nods, held by the late Marlon Brando.

22. The first Best Actor awards were given to Emil Jannings for "The Last Command" and "The Way of All Flesh" (yes, both!).

23. At the 29th Academy Awards ceremony in 1957, the Best Foreign Language Film category was introduced. Previously, the best foreign language film was simply acknowledge with a Special Achievement Award.

24. In 1999, Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench were both nominated for playing Queen Elizabeth in "Elizabeth" and "Shakespeare in Love." Dench won Best Supporting Actress despite only appearing in the film for a total of eight minutes. Meanwhile, Blanchett lost the Best Actress Oscar to Gwyneth Paltrow -- also for "Shakespeare in Love."

25. Although "Boyhood" (2014) was filmed over 12 years, it only took a total of 39 days to film.

[Sources: Wikipedia, The Wrap, Empire, ET Online]

categories Movies, Oscars, Awards