How much is a 13-inch, 8-pound, expressionless, naked guy covered in gold worth? If that guy’s name is “Oscar,” the answer is $1, according to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Since 1950, Oscar winners have been required to sign an agreement with the academy, stating they and their heirs will not attempt to sell the awards without first offering them to the academy for a dollar, Forbes.com reported. Those who do not sign the agreement cannot keep their Oscars. (Rumor has it that this year’s winners, including Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem, were also threatened with starring roles in “Norbit 2.”)
Legal experts are unsure if the “Oscar for a dollar” agreement would stand up in court, and sales do happen on the open market despite the academy’s efforts to prevent them; an estimated 150 Oscars have been sold since the awards were first handed out in 1929, Forbes reported. The most paid for an Oscar is $1.5 million, by Michael Jackson in 1999 for the 1939 Best Picture Oscar for Gone with the Wind, according to the article.
Some celebrities, such as Kevin Spacey, have bought Oscars only to return them to the academy.
But not magician David Copperfield. As if being able to walk through the Great Wall of China did not make him awesome enough, Copperfield keeps the 1943 Best Director Oscar for Casablanca, which he bought for $232,000 in 2003, in his bedroom, Forbes reported. His lava lamp is probably very jealous.
Assuming it was for sale and price was not an issue, which Oscar would you want on your mantel? (Personally, I would choose this one.)
DANNY JACOBS, Legal Affairs Writer