Once again, as the Academy Awards are less than a week away, Oscar fever is reaching a frenzy. This time, we turn our attention to the statuettes themselves. Who was Oscar? Why is he naked and holding a sword?
Pop culture radio website Studio 360 recently unearthed the story of the man on which the award is based. His name was Emilio Fernández, and he was a notable Mexican actor whose tumultuous life led him from rebellion during the Mexican Revolution to directing the Cannes-winning María Candelaria. His close work with film star Delores del Río put him in contact with Cedric Gibbons, the artist who designed the Oscar. Fernández modeled for the award, and after the design was sculpted by George Stanley, Fernández’s contribution was largely forgotten.
This doesn’t explain the name Oscar or the sword-wielding nudity, but it is a fascinating story that’s well worth a listen. We look forward to watching the Fernándezes this Sunday!