Best Picture: Around the World in 80 Days
Around the World in 80 Days also won Academy Awards for Color Cinematography (Lionel Lindon), Film Editing (Gene Ruggiero and Paul Weatherwax), Music – Music Score of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture (Victor Young), and Writing – Adapted Screenplay (James Poe, John Farrow, and S.J. Perelman).
For the first time, there was a competitive category for foreign language films. The nominees were from West Germany, France, Japan, Italy, and Denmark; Italy's La Strada won.
Jerry Lewis was the master of ceremonies in Hollywood and Celeste Holm was the host of the companion show in New York City.
On March 11, 1956, Laurence Olivier's Richard III premiered in New York at the Bijou Theatre and on nationwide television on the same day.
On March 15, 1956, the musical My Fair Lady, starring Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison, opened on Broadway.
In April 1956, world heavyweight champion Rocky Marciano retired from boxing. Marciano ended his career as the only heavyweight champion with a perfect record. He won 49 professional fights.
On June 29, 1956, Marilyn Monroe married playwright Arthur Miller.
On August 11, 1956, artist Jackson Pollock died in a car crash.
On September 9, 1956, Elvis Presley made his first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show.
On October 8, 1956, Don Larsen of the New York Yankees pitched the only perfect game in World Series history.
In October 1956, thirteen-year-old Bobby Fischer defeated Donald Byrne in the Game of the Century at the Lessing J. Rosenwald Trophy Tournament, held at the Marshall Chess Club in New York.
On November 6, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower defeated Adlai Stevenson in the U.S. presidential election.
On December 31, 1956, Bob Barker made his television debut as the host of the game show Truth or Consequences.
Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
To Y. Frank Freeman.
To Eddie Cantor for distinguished service to the film industry.
Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award
To Buddy Adler.