21% of Actors Cry While Accepting Oscars

And more fun facts about Oscar speeches

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 22, 2013 1:45 PM CST

(Newser) – Itching to watch the Oscars Sunday and not sure how to kill time while you wait? Both Time and Vulture highly recommend you check out Thank the Academy, an addictive website from grad student Rebecca Rolfe, who analyzed 207 acceptance speeches from actors and directors in order to come up with pretty much everything you could ever want to know about thank-you speech trends. Highlights:

  • Average speech length has skyrocketed to nearly two minutes. It used to be just 44 seconds for men, 39 seconds for women.
  • And the speeches given with notes are longer (2 minutes, 2 seconds on average) than those given without (1 minute, 23 seconds on average).
  • Just 3% of directors cry while accepting their awards, while 21% of actors do. The trend started recently, with 71% of the tears happening since 1995.
  • As for what to do with the statuette while you're busy talking, 26% of men hoist it over their heads and 47% of women clutch it with both hands. Just one person, Jack Palance, laid his on the podium while speaking.
  • And as for who to thank, 61% thank production reps; 48% thank family; and 40% thank the Academy.
  • The most-thanked person (other than God) is Harvey Weinstein, who has a dozen thank-yous to his name.
Find out much, much more at Rolfe's website.

In this March 21, 1999 file photo, Gwyneth Paltrow accepts the Oscar for best actress for her role in "Shakespeare in Love," during the 71st Annual Academy Awards in Los Angeles.   (AP Photo/Eric Draper, file)
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