Only the first two of the six nominees who have hosted the
Academy Awards also won an Oscar that night. Those tapped into double duty were: Frank Carpa, who picked up his third and final directing Oscar during the 1938 ceremony he was hosting in his capacity as Academy president for helming the Best Picture “You Can’t Take It With You,” and 1958 co-host David Niven who took home Best Actor for “Separate Tables.”
One of Niven’s co-hosts that evening was Rosalind Russell who went down to defeat on her fourth and final bid for Best Actress. She was in contention for bringing her smash Broadway hit “Auntie Mame” to the big screen but was bested by five-time nominee Susan Hayward for “I Want to Live!”
Fourteen years later, co-host and Best Actor nominee Michael Caine (“Sleuth”) had to be particularly gracious in defeat when Marlon Brando refused to accept his second Oscar for his performance in Best Picture winner “The Godfather.”
In 1975, fifty-five-year old Walter Matthau lost his Best Actor bid for playing a generation older in “The Sunshine Boys” to Jack Nicholson who was part of a sweep of the top awards by “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”
When Caine won the first of his two Supporting Actor Oscars in 1986 for “Hannah and His Sisters,” he was unable to attend the ceremony when filming on “Jaws: The Revenge” ran long. Had he been there, he would have seen co-host Paul Hogan lose his bid for Original Screenplay for his smash hit “Crocodile Dundee” to “Hannah and Her Sisters” writer/director Woody Allen, who won this award for the second time.
Photo: David Niven and Susan Hayward at the 1958 Academy Awards (Los Angeles Herald Examiner)