8 Fascinating Oscar Facts About Italians and Italian Americans

Tonight is the 87th Academy Awards, so we are taking a look at the Italians and Italian Americans who have been recognized by the Oscars.

Here are 8 fun and fascinating facts:

Untitled design1. The first Academy Award for Best Director went to Italian-American Frank Borzage (pronounced Bor-ZAY-gee) for his film 7th Heaven. He would win the same award in 1931 for Bad Girl. Frank’s unique way of handling romance and drama in films was highly regarded in Hollywood. Much of his cinematic style is still used today, including his soft focus technique employed in his more romantic films.


2. Francis Ford Coppola has taken the Oscar home six times. Both his daughter Sofia and his nephew Nicolas Cage have taken home one Academy Award.

3. Frank Capra won Best Director three times, and his 1934 film It Happened One Night was the first to win all five major Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Screenplay.

4. Roberto Benigni became the first Italian actor to win Best Actor for Life Is Beautiful (La vita è bella) in 1998.

5. Quentin Tarantino has five nominations under his belt, and has been awarded the Oscar statue twice.

atlast!6. Sophia Loren won an Academy Award in 1961 for Two Women. This was the first time an Oscar for best acting went to a non-English speaking performance.

7. Martin Scorsese has been nominated 12 times, and won once for his film The Departed

8. Italy has won the most Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film with 14 wins, including most recently with La grande bellezza (The Great Beauty) in 2013.

Sources: New York Times, The Oscars

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