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).
More recently, Jimmy Kimmel is the academy’s fave emcee, being asked three times in 2023, 2018 and 2017. Scroll through our “Oscar Hosts: Performers Who Have Hosted the Academy Awards” photos below. Gallery originally published 2018.
95th Academy Awards (2023)
90th Academy Awards (2018)
89th Academy Awards (2017)
The comedian and Emmy-winning late-night host presided over the 89th Academy Awards, joining an illustrious list of emcees who have hosted Hollywood’s biggest night. The ABC late nighter hosted for his home network for the first time in 2017 and returned for the second consecutive year in 2018. Following his second stint, there were several years of no hosts, plus the trio of Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall, but Kimmel returned to the big stage at the 2023 ceremony.
Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes, Regina Hall
94th Academy Awards (2022)
The funny lady trio of Amy Schumer, Wanda Sykes and Regina Hall are set to take the Oscar stage together on Sunday, March 27. After three years of having no hosts at all, 2022 Oscars producer Will Packer chose the three first-timers to emcee Hollywood’s biggest night.
88th Academy Awards (2016)
77th Academy Awards (2005)
The Emmy-winning comedian hosted twice, including in 2016, where he provided pointed commentary on the “#OscarSoWhite” controversy.
Neil Patrick Harris
87th Academy Awards (2015)
The popular actor had great success as host of the Emmy’s and the Tony’s, but had less success as an Oscar host.
86th Academy Awards (2014)
79th Academy Awards (2007)
DeGeneres was only the second woman to host the Oscars solo, and put a personal spin on the show by going out and interacting with the audience.
85th Academy Awards (2013)
The “Family Guy” creator earned mixed reviews for his hosting job, which included a song called “We Saw Your Boobs,” which was heavily criticized by critics and several famous actresses.
84th Academy Awards (2012)
76th Academy Awards (2004)
72nd Academy Awards (2000)
70th Academy Awards (1998)
69th Academy Awards (1997)
65th Academy Awards (1993)
64th Academy Awards (1992)
63rd Academy Awards (1991)
62nd Academy Awards (1990)
The actor/comedian was the Oscar’s second most frequent host, becoming famous for his musical numbers featuring the Best Picture nominees.
James Franco & Anne Hathaway
83rd Academy Awards (2011)
The movie star pairing took a critical drubbing for their single hosting job in 2011, though Hathway would earn Oscar just two years later for “Les Miserables.”
Steve Martin & Alec Baldwin
82nd Academy Awards (2010)
Two-time host Martin paired with Emmy-winner Baldwin, making them the first pair to host the Oscars in over twenty years.
81st Academy Awards (2009)
The Tony and Emmy-winning actor brought his musical chops to the Oscars, and was nominated as Best Actor a few years later for his role in “Les Miserables.”
80th Academy Awards (2008)
78th Academy Awards (2006)
The “Daily Show” host made two appearances hosting the Oscars, receiving mixed reviews from critics.
75th Academy Awards (2003)
73rd Academy Awards (2001)
Martin’s two solo stints as an Oscar host proved popular with critics. In 2013, he was awarded an Honorary Oscar.
74th Academy Awards (2002)
71st Academy Awards (1999)
68th Academy Awards (1996)
66th Academy Awards (1994)
The Oscar-winning actress made history twice, becoming the first black performer and first solo woman to host the Oscars.
67th Academy Awards (1995)
The longtime late-night host had a less-than-memorable stint at the Oscars, and is most remembered for his “Uma/Oprah” routine.
60th Academy Awards (1988)
59th Academy Awards (1987) — co-host with Paul Hogan and Goldie Hawn
The actor and SNL-alum co-hosted the Oscars once before hosting the show on his own.
57th Academy Awards (1985)
44th Academy Awards (1972) — co-host with Helen Hayes, Alan King, and Sammy Davis Jr.
36th Academy Awards (1964)
30th Academy Awards (1958) — co-host with Bob Hope, David Niven, James Stewart, Rosalind Russell, and Donald Duck
Lemmon not only made four appearances as host, but also earned two Oscars out of eight nominations.
56th Academy Awards (1984)
54th Academy Awards (1982)
53rd Academy Awards (1981)
52nd Academy Awards (1980)
51st Academy Awards (1979)
The “Tonight Show” host presided over the Oscars five times, and proved to be an extremely popular host.
50th Academy Awards (1978)
47th Academy Awards (1975) — co-host with Shirley MacLaine, Frank Sinatra, and Sammy Davis Jr.
40th Academy Awards (1968)
39th Academy Awards (1967)
38th Academy Awards (1966)
37th Academy Awards (1965)
34th Academy Awards (1962)
33rd Academy Awards (1961)
32nd Academy Awards (1960)
31st Academy Awards (1959) — co-host with David Niven, Tony Randall, Mort Sahl, Laurence Olivier, and Jerry Lewis
30th Academy Awards (1958) — co-host with David Niven, James Stewart, Jack Lemmon, Rosalind Russell, and Donald Duck
27th Academy Awards (1955) — co-host with Thelma Ritter
25th Academy Awards (1953) — co-host with Conrad Nagel
18th Academy Awards (1946) — co-host with James Stewart
17th Academy Awards (1945) — co-host with John Cromwell
15th Academy Awards (1943)
14th Academy Awards (1942)
13th Academy Awards (1941)
12th Academy Awards (1940)
With 19 appearances as host or co-host, the comedian was the most popular Oscar host for several decades, and earned an unprecedented five honorary Oscars for his service to the film industry.
47th Academy Awards (1975)
35th Academy Awards (1963)
The legendary singer hosted the Oscars twice, and won an Oscar for his supporting role in 1953’s “From Here to Eternity.”
31st Academy Awards (1959) — co-host with Bob Hope, David Niven, Mort Sahl, Tony Randall, and Laurence Olivier.
29th Academy Awards (1957) — co-host with Celeste Holm
28th Academy Awards (1956) — co-host with Claudette Colbert and Joseph L. Mankiewicz
Lewis made three appearances as a co-host of the Oscars, but was curiously never given his own solo hosting gig.
Donald O’Connor & Fredric March
26th Academy Awards (1954)
Musical-comedy star O’Connor hosted the Oscars in Los Angeles, while two-time Best Actor March anchored the ceremony in New York, a practice that was not uncommon when many stars remained in New York for the Oscars.
24th Academy Awards (1952)
While the popular actor/singer only hosted the Oscars once, over the course of his career he earned an Honorary Oscar and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
23rd Academy Awards (1951)
One of Hollywood’s favorite song-and-dance men hosted the Oscar’s only once, but was later nominated for his supporting role in 1974’s “The Towering Inferno.”
22nd Academy Awards (1950)
Douglas was a popular actor on radio, television, and in film. He hosted the Oscars just once, the same year that he made his film debut.
21st Academy Awards (1949)
Montgomery earned two Best Actor nominations for his film work, and was twice elected as president of the Screen Actors Guild.
Agnes Moorehead & Dick Powell
20th Academy Awards (1948)
Though no woman would host the Oscars solo until 1994, Agnes Moorehead was the first woman to co-host the Oscars when she was paired with Dick Powell for the 1948 ceremony.
19th Academy Awards (1947)
16th Academy Awards (1944)
Benny was a star of vaudeville and radio and later became one of the pioneers of early television comedy.
10th Academy Awards (1938)
Burns was a well-known radio personality and appeared in several musical films, and was famous for an instrument of his own invention, known as the “bazooka.”
9th Academy Awards (1937)
Jessel was a popular entertainer and producer, and was given both an Honorary Oscar and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.
8th Academy Awards (1936)
The three-time Oscar-winner for Best Director also served as president of the Academy and head of the Director’s Guild.
Irvin S. Cobb
7th Academy Awards (1935)
Cobb was a popular humorist and writer whose short stories inspired several silent films, including two studio films directed by John Ford.
6th Academy Awards (1934)
The humorist and cowboy was once the highest paid star in Hollywood and was famous for claiming, “I never met a man I didn’t like”
Lionel Barrymore & Conrad Nagel
5th Academy Awards (1932)
Barrymore, a member of the famed acting dynasty, teamed with Nagel, a founding of the Academy.
4th Academy Awards (1931)
Grant was a distiguished English actor who had over 100 screen credits, mostly as a supporting actor.
3rd Academy Awards (1931)
This star of silent films was a founding member of both the Screen Actors Guild and the Academy.
William C. deMille
2nd Academy Awards (1930)
deMille was one early Hollywood’s most prolific directors and playwrights, and older brother to famed director Cecil B. DeMille.
William C. deMille & Douglas Fairbanks
1st Academy Awards (1929)
The first Oscar ceremony lasted only fifteen minutes and hosting duties were shared by founding Academy members deMille and Fairbanks, who was also the Academy’s first president.