Oscar by the numbers
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1. Oscar odds: 282 features were eligible for best picture, compared with 265 a year ago.
2. Person who hosted the most Academy Awards shows: Bob Hope, with 19. Billy Crystal marked his ninth stint a year ago. By comparison, this will be No. 1 for Seth MacFarlane, also a nominee for original song from his comedy "Ted."
3. Triple plays: Sunday could be a night of three-peats for three performers.
Daniel Day-Lewis, front-runner in the best actor contest for "Lincoln," previously won for his starring roles in "My Left Foot" and "There Will Be Blood." Sally Field, a supporting actress nominee for "Lincoln," owns a pair of golden bookends for "Norma Rae" and "Places in the Heart."
Robert De Niro, in contention as the dad in "Silver Linings Playbook," won the supporting actor prize for "The Godfather Part II" and the leading actor honor for "Raging Bull."
If any of them pick up a third statuette, they will join Meryl Streep, Jack Nicholson, Walter Brennan and Ingrid Bergman in the exclusive club of actors with three Academy Awards. The late Katharine Hepburn is in a class by herself with four.
4. Statue stats: Statuette weighs 8.5 pounds and stands 13.5 inches tall with a diameter base of 5.25 inches. Since the first Academy Awards, 2,856 Oscars have been presented.
5. One for the record books: March 24, 2002, made Oscar history for all sorts of reasons. In a Hollywood first, voters gave the top prizes to two African-American actors, "Training Day" dynamo Denzel Washington and "Monster's Ball" beauty Halle Berry.
"A Beautiful Mind" was named best picture at the first show held at the Kodak Theatre, since renamed the Dolby Theatre. It was also the longest show in Academy history, clocking in at 4 hours and 23 minutes.
6. All over but the counting: The polls are now closed. Ballots from the 5,856 voting members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences were due back at 8 p.m. East Coast time on Tuesday.
7. Nothing like a dame: Dame Shirley Bassey will make her first appearance on the show, apparently as part of a tribute to the James Bond movie franchise, celebrating its 50th anniversary. She is known in the States for recording the theme songs for "Goldfinger," "Diamonds Are Forever" and "Moonraker."
Adele will perform the Oscar-nominated theme song from "Skyfall," the most recent Bond adventure. Written by Adele and Paul Epworth, it was the first Bond theme to debut in Billboard's Top 10 and the first to be nominated for an Oscar since "For Your Eyes Only" in 1981.
Norah Jones is expected to sing, as is Barbra Streisand, for the first time in 36 years.
8. Audience: The 2012 telecast drew an estimated 39.2 million American viewers with a 22.6 rating and 34 share. That means one of every three sets in use was tuned to the Oscar telecast. As usual, the show will be seen in more than 225 countries.
9. Bleacher creatures: 700 lucky fans will be seated on the bleachers on the 500-foot walkway leading into the Dolby Theatre at Hollywood and Highland Center.
In the old days, fans would camp out for days to secure space on the bleachers but, with increased security and the move to Hollywood, those spots are now awarded in a random drawing. Winners also get the chance to watch the show at a nearby theater and get a fan gift bag.
Some years, as many as 20,000 fans have tried to win a seat within shouting distance of Mr. Washington or George Clooney or Colin Firth.
10. Two of nine: That's how many of the best picture nominees are available on DVD. You can look for "Argo," new this week, and "Beasts of the Southern Wild" if you want to play catch up or see the movie guide on Page W-16 for where the others are showing.
Bonus Pittsburgh connections: Aliquippa native and four-time Oscar winner Joe Letteri ("Avatar," "King Kong," "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," "The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers") is nominated in his usual category of visual effects. This time, it's for "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey."
Michael Peterson, who grew up in Point Breeze, served as assistant editor on the documentary short, "Mondays at Racine." Rick Witkowski of Weirton, W.Va., and Vanessa Campagna of Beaver Falls were part of the team contributing original music to "Inocente," also a nominated documentary short.
And connected with an asterisk is "Les Miserables" nominee (and Catwoman) Anne Hathaway, whose father, Gerald T. Hathaway, graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
First Published February 21, 2013 12:00 am