Trivia for the 83rd Academy Awards

Jesse Eisenberg, 27, aims to become the youngest Best Actor winner for his turn as Mark Zuckerberg in “The Social Network.” The current record holder is Adrien Brody, who was 29 when he scored a statuette for “The Pianist” (2002). Likewise, 20-year-old Jennifer Lawrence (“Winter’s Bone”) would be the youngest Best Actress winner; the baby in that group is Marlee Matlin, who was 21 when she won for “Children of a Lesser God” (1986).
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Rare is the Oscar-nominated actor who has also been a host of the awards show, and rarer still is one who wins. James Franco, who co-hosts the Feb. 27 ceremony with Anne Hathaway, hopes to be an exception with his nod for “127 Hours.” Only David Niven accomplished the feat while serving as host the night he won for “Separate Tables” (1958).

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If “127 Hours” or “Toy Story 3” is named Best Picture, either would be the first with an Arabic numeral in its title. The “Godfather” sequel that won Best Picture in 1974 had a Roman numeral.

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Jeff Bridges, the incumbent Best Actor winner for “Crazy Heart,” is in line to be just the third man to win the award two straight years. The others are Tom Hanks, for “Philadelphia” (1993) and “Forrest Gump” (1994), and Spencer Tracy, for “Captains Courageous” (1937) and “Boys Town” (1938). Two women have won two consecutive Best Actress awards: Katharine Hepburn for “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” (1967) and “The Lion in Winter” (1968), and Luise Rainer for “The Great Ziegfeld” (1936) and “The Good Earth” (1937).

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Natalie Portman (“Black Swan”) would be the first Israeli-born winner of the Best Actress award.

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Playing real people statistically helps the chances of victory for Jesse Eisenberg (“The Social Network”), Colin Firth (“The King’s Speech”), and James Franco (“127 Hours”). So far this millennium, 12 of the 20 Oscars for Best Actor and Best Actress honored biographical portrayals.

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Thanks to his nominated portrayal of the Spanish-speaking Uxbal in “Biutiful,” Javier Bardem aims to become just the second person to win an acting Oscar in two languages. Robert DeNiro stands alone in the bilingual department, scoring a Best Supporting Actor for speaking Sicilian in “The Godfather, Part II” (1974) and in English in “Raging Bull” (1980). Bardem took home the award for Best Supporting Actor in “No Country for Old Men” (2007).

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“Black Swan” could provide the first Best Director (Darren Aronofsky ’91) and Best Actress (Natalie Portman ’03) winners who are also Harvard graduates. The university is represented in the Best Actor category by Jack Lemmon ’47, Best Supporting Actor with Lemmon and Tommy Lee Jones ’69, and Best Supporting Actress Mira Sorvino ’89.

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Annette Bening’s chances for winning her first Best Actress Oscar for “The Kids Are All Right” are helped by Hillary Swank’s absence from the ballot. The first two times Bening was a nominee in this category, Swank took home the statuette.

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Three members of British royalty have been turned into Oscar-winning roles: King Henry VIII (Charles Laughton in 1932-33), Queen Elizabeth I (Judi Dench, 1998), and Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren, 2006). Colin Firth and Helena Bonham Carter are up for awards this year for playing Elizabeth II’s parents, King George VI and Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon.

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Rooster Cogburn could be the first character to garner Best Actor Oscars for two different actors. John Wayne took the statuette for it in 1969, and Jeff Bridges hopes to repeat the feat. Vito Corleone of “The Godfather” copped a Best Actor Oscar for Marlon Brando in the 1972 original and a Best Supporting Actor award for Robert DeNiro in the 1974 sequel.

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