Did you know Grumpy Cat was the first animal to be posthumously nominated for a Golden Globe? No, you don’t know that because it’s not true, but a lot of other wild stuff actually has happened at the Globes. Over the course of 77 years, some interesting things are bound to happen and from poorly-timed bathroom breaks to totally made-up awards, we’ve got the tea. So ahead of the 77th Golden Globe Awards (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on CTV), check out 26 wild, weird and wonderful facts about the show.
1. The show once went so late, Elizabeth Taylor literally aged a year
In 1958, the awards went so long (more on why later), that the show stretched past midnight from February 26th to 27th—which is Liz Taylor’s birthday. The actress entered the awards a 25-year-old and left them a (very tired) 26-year-old.
2. Which maybe explains the time she tried to read the winner before the nominees
Forty-three years later in 2001, Liz was presenting the Best Picture award and opened the winner’s envelope when she was supposed to be reading the nominees off the teleprompter. Dick Clark ran out and gave her a hand before she made the big reveal. After what happened in 1958 though, can you really blame her for trying to move the show along?
3. Emma Thompson holds a bizarre but #relatable record
In 2014, Emma Thompson reminded us all what an icon she is by becoming the only celeb in the show’s history to present an award barefoot, holding her heels in one hand and a martini in the other. She (literally) tossed the shoes and handed off her drink to open the winner’s envelope.
4. Laura Dern was once Miss Golden Globes
The role now known as the Golden Globes Ambassador was once “Miss Golden Globes” and was performed by some pretty familiar faces like Laura Dern (1982), Melanie Griffith (1975) and Dakota Johnson (2006). How does one become GG Ambassador? First, you have to be the offspring of a famous person. Then you have to apply, campaign and maintain a lit social media profile to get voted in by the HFPA. The prez makes the final selection.
5. Meryl Streep wore her wedding dress to her first-ever Globes
While a guest on the Graham Norton Show in 2015, Meryl Streep revealed that back in 1980, when she won a trophy for Kramer vs Kramer, it was before designers would lend out dresses so she just had to wear the fanciest gown she owned for the ceremony (which was just a luncheon back then). The nicest thing in her closet just happened to be her wedding dress so that’s what she wore.
6. Meryl has the most nominations and most losses but is tied for most wins
She’s obviously the Globes Queen in nominations, but as Steve Martin pointed out in his 2010 Oscars opening monologue with Alec Baldwin, most noms also means most losses. Meryl shares the record for most wins with Barbra Streisand at nine but leads the pack in nominations and losses with 33 and 23 respectively. She stands to overtake Barbra if she wins for Supporting Actress (TV) in 2020 for her role in Big Little Lies.
7. Renée Zellweger was in the bathroom for her Best Actress win
Perhaps it’s fitting that Bridget Jones once nearly missed accepting her award for Best Comedy Actress in a Motion Picture because she was in the loo. In 2001, when Renée won the honour for her role in Nurse Betty, Hugh Grant nearly had to accept on her behalf because she was—allegedly—removing lipstick from her teeth. The only other time that has happened was with Christine Lahti in 1998 who won for her role in Chicago Hope.
8. Only nine celebs have hosted the awards
That doesn’t seem right, does it? Well, it’s true. Between repeats (lookin’ at you, Ricky Gervais) and long periods without any host at all (from its inception in 1943 to 1994 and then 1996 to 2009) there have only been nine celebs to take on the task. The talented few are: Gervais, John Larroquette & Janine Turner, Tina Fey & Amy Poehler, Jimmy Fallon, Seth Meyers and Andy Samberg & Sandra Oh.
9. Thank the Rat Pack for the Globes as we know it
Before the 1958 Globes (the ones that went into Liz Taylor’s birthday), there was no celeb involvement in the actual show. It wasn’t until the boozy-fueled Rat Pack, led by Frank Sinatra, stormed the stage at the 15th Globes to present the awards themselves. Since then, Hollywood A-listers have been tasked with bestowing the honours.
10. The awards went off air for a while
Prior to 1964, the awards weren’t televised and after a stint on TV, they went off for several years in the 1980s after some lawsuits and controversies. Since the return, they’ve been a yearly occurrence except during the 2008 writers’ strike.
11. The first year, the awards were just scrolls
It may be the Golden GLOBES now, but at the first year of (what would eventually be) the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s awards in 1944, they presented winners with scrolls. The next year, the organization had the now-traditional Globe crafted for the ceremony.
12. The statue itself is pretty darn heavy
What, did you expect something that substantial to be an easy lift? The design used for decades consisted of a golden globe atop a marble pedestal which weighed 5.5 pounds and was 10.75 inches tall and 3.5 inches wide. In 2019, they nixed the marble, but somehow made the whole thing even heavier at 7.8 pounds. Yowza!
13. The red carpet is suuuper long
Gotta put all those celebs somewhere. In 2012, it was reported that the carpet was 30,000 square feet.
14. Dinner is actually over before the celebs get there
While it seems like the Globes attendees are enjoying a fancy dinner during the ceremony, it actually typically starts around 3:30 and is cleared long before the televised event, often before a lot the stars even get there. Alcohol and backstage noshes are available during the ceremony itself, but the early meal is imposed to avoid clinking cutlery during the show.
15. The Globes are going vegan in 2020
The HFPA wants to “send a good message” about the gravity of climate change this year and is doing so by making the dinner vegan. The new menu was a last-minute change from the one that was approved in December, which included fish.
16. Good-bye Fiji Water Girl, we hardly knew ya
As part of that greener initiative, the Globes are now nixing plastic water bottles and opting for a glass alternative. So much for Fiji Water Girl.
FYI: I have already written 200 pages of the Fiji Water girl’s inner monologue tonight pic.twitter.com/2VvMGRJPW4
— Jarett Wieselman (@JarettSays) January 6, 2019
17. Actors can’t be nominated for voice acting
What?! That’s right. According to official eligibility standards, “voice only performances are not eligible in any acting category.” If you ask us, that’s an outrage in a world where Robin Williams’ Genie exists.
18. Unless, of course, the HFPA just makes up an award
Thank goodness someone at the HFPA saw the light and made an exception to the above rule for the aforementioned voice acting genius! The rules also stipulate that “special achievement awards” can be suggested by any HFPA member and voted on to add to the ceremony. Robin Williams won a special award for his ~voice acting~ in Aladdin and other special award winners include Shirley MacLaine, Elizabeth Taylor and Walt Disney.
19. Animated films got their own category in 2007
It’s taken animation a long time to get its fair shake. Until 2007, the Globes didn’t even recognize animated films with their own category. Even now, they can only be nominated in their own category and can’t be considered for “Best Comedy or Musical” or “Best Drama.”
20. Only women have won two acting awards in one year
Girl power! Four actresses (Sigourney Weaver, Joan Plowright, Helen Mirren and Kate Winslet) have been nominated for acting awards twice in one year, but not men have yet to make the list.
21. But only one woman has ever won best director
The Best Director – Motion Picture category has been notoriously male and white for the entirety of the show’s history. Barbra Streisand’s 1983 win for directing Yentl was the only time the award went to a woman. This year doesn’t look to be different since the nominees are all male.
22. Jamie Foxx was the first actor to get three noms in one year
Foxx was nominated for three separate acting awards in 2005 and won one of them. He was the first and youngest to accomplish this, but since then has been matched by Helen Mirren who was nominated for three awards in 2007 and won two of them (two of her nominations were in the same category so walking away with all three was virtually impossible).
23. Both Amy Poehler and Sandra Oh have won while hosting
In 2014—the second year Amy Poehler and Tina Fey hosted the awards together—Amy won the award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy Series for her leading role on Parks and Recreation. Then in 2019, Sandra Oh won Best Actress in a Drama Series for her role on Killing Eve while she was hosting with Andy Samberg. She was also the first Asian woman to win in the category since Yoko Shimada in 1980.
24. There was once a 3-way tie
A three-way tie has only happened once in Globes history and it was in 1989 between Jodie Foster (The Accused), Shirley MacLaine (Madame Sousatzka) and Sigourney Weaver (Gorillas in the Mist) for Best Actress in a Drama. Since the winners are chosen through voting, ties are mathematically always a possibility.
25. There’s a 78-year age gap between the oldest and youngest winner
The Globes’ oldest winner is Ennio Morricone who was 87 when he won Best Original Score for The Hateful Eight in 2016. He was 78 years older than Ricky Schroder was in 1980 when he won Best New Actor (a since-discontinued category) at the age of nine.
26. Two awards have been declined and one was re-gifted
As coveted as the Globes are, some people have declined or re-assigned them based on politics or personal feelings. In 1970, the creators of Z declined to accept their Best Foreign Language Film award on the grounds that they felt it should have been a contender for Best Picture. Three years later, Marlon Brando refused to accept his Best Actor Globe for The Godfather as a political stance against the treatment of Indigenous people by the film industry. Later that year, he also declined his winning Oscar, sending Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to make the public refusal.
On a lighter note, when Ving Rhames won Best Actor in a Mini-Series or TV Movie in 1998, he re-gifted the award onstage to his fellow nominee, Jack Lemmon. That act of kindness won both actors a standing ovation.