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The 31st Academy Awards (1959)

Held at the RKO Pantages Theatre on Monday, April 6, 1959,
honoring movies released in 1958.

"Gigi" winners: Maurice Chevalier (Honorary Award), Arthur Freed (Best Picture), Frederick Loewe (Music - Song), Alan Jay Lerner (Music - Song & Writing - Screenplay) and Vincente Minnelli (Directing).

Maurice Chevalier (Honorary Award) with "Gigi" winners: Arthur Freed (Best Picture), Frederick Loewe (Music - Song), Alan Jay Lerner (Music - Song and Writing - Screenplay) and Vincente Minnelli (Directing).

Best Picture

Gigi Full Image


Arthur Freed Productions, Inc.; Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.

Best Actor and Actress

David Niven and Susan Hayward Full Image

David Niven and Susan Hayward

Best Actor David Niven ("Separate Tables") and Best Actress Susan Hayward ("I Want To Live!").

Best Supporting Actor

Burl Ives Full Image

Burl Ives

Best Supporting Actor Burl Ives ("The Big Country").

The Year

  • David Niven
  • Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh
  • Best Picture: "Gigi"
    • "Gigi" also won Academy Awards for Art Direction-Set Decoration (William A. Horning, Preston Ames, Henry Grace, and Keogh Gleason), Color Cinematography (Joseph Ruttenberg), Costume Design (Cecil Beaton), Directing (Vincente Minnelli), Film Editing (Adrienne Fazan), Music – Song (“Gigi,” Frederick Loewe, music, and Alan Jay Lerner, lyrics), Music – Scoring of a Musical Picture (Andre Previn), and Writing – Screenplay based on material from another medium (Alan Jay Lerner). (View Image)
    • “Gigi” set a new Oscar record by winning nine awards.
    • “Gigi” remains one of the few films to win all the awards for which it had been nominated (in four or more categories), and is one of only 11 Best Picture winners in the Academy’s first 82 years not to receive a single acting nomination.
  • Bob Hope, David Niven, Tony Randall, Mort Sahl, Laurence Olivier, and Jerry Lewis hosted the show.
  • The show ended 20 minutes ahead of schedule, so NBC switched to a sports review show to fill time.
  • The Oscar for Cartoon Short Subject went to "Knighty Knight Bugs," marking the first time that a Bugs Bunny cartoon won an Oscar.
  • In February 1958, Pope Pius XII declared Saint Clare the patron saint of television.
  • On March 27, 1958, Nikita Khrushchev became the premier of the Soviet Union.
  • On April 15, 1958, the San Francisco Giants defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first major league baseball game ever played in California.
  • In June 1958, Pelé helped Brazil defeat Sweden to win its first World Cup title. At 17, he was the youngest goal scorer in World Cup finals history.
  • In July 1958, the first International House of Pancakes (IHOP) opened in Toluca Lake, California.
  • On July 26, 1958, Queen Elizabeth II gave her son, Prince Charles, the title of Prince of Wales.
  • In August 1958, Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was published in the U.S.
  • On August 29, 1958, pop music icon Michael Jackson was born in Gary, Indiana.
  • In October 1958, Pope John XXIII succeeded Pope Pius XII as the 261st pope.

Honorary Award

To Maurice Chevalier for his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

To Jack L. Warner

See all Nominees and Winners

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