The first Oscar ceremony in 1928 took place at the famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, with tickets going for five dollars (about $70 in today’s money). The ceremony lasted only about 15 minutes, and was hosted by director William C. deMille and actor Douglas Fairbanks, who was also the first president of the motion picture academy. Winners in 12 categories were announced weeks prior to the event, which was the only Oscar ceremony in history to not be broadcast on radio.
Actor and comedian Bob Hope holds the record for the most frequent Oscar host with 19 appearances either solo or as co-host. For most of the 1990s and early 2000s, Billy Crystal was synonymous with the Oscars, hosting on nine occasions, always bringing out his now-classic medley of songs that interpolated the titles of the Best Picture nominees for that year. Crystal’s fellow “Comic Relief” host Whoopi Goldberg made history twice when she hosted in 1994: she was the first actor of color to host the Oscars solo, and was the first woman to host the show on her own (Agnes Moorehead co-hosted with Dick Powell at the 1948 ceremony). Tour through our photo gallery above for all solo and duo hosts through the years.