It was on this day, November 10, 1931, Conrad Nagel hosted the Academy Awards for the second year in a row. This year’s gala celebration, the Academy’s fourth, was at the Sala D’Oro Room at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles.
The runaway winner was “Cimarron” (Outstanding Production – RKO Radio; Art Direction – Max Ree; Writing/Adaptation – Howard Estabrook). Best Actor honors went to Lionel Barrymore for his stellar performance in “A Free Soul”; Best Actress award went to Marie Dressler in “Min and Bill”. The Best Directing Award for “Skippy” went to Norman Taurog, and Best Cinematography accolades were earned by Floyd Crosby for his work on “Tabu”. The Academy Award for Best Writing/Original Story was presented to John Monk Saunders for his script, “The Dawn Patrol”.
Several Scientific and Technical Awards were also presented for the first time.
1889 – Claude Rains (actor: Casablanca, The Invisible Man, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, Lawrence of Arabia; died May 30, 1967)
1925 – Richard Burton (Richard Walter Jenkins Jr.) (actor: Camelot, Hamlet, Anne of the Thousand Days, Becket, The Desert Rats, The Longest Day, Look Back in Anger, The Night of the Iguana, The Robe, The Sandpiper, The Taming of the Shrew, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; TV narrator: Winston Churchill-The Valiant Years, Ellis Island; one of Elizabeth Taylor’s ex-husbands; died Aug 5, 1984)
1932 – Roy Scheider (actor: All that Jazz, Blue Thunder, Marathon Man, The French Connection, Jaws series, 2010, 52 Pickup, seaQuest DSV; died Feb 10, 2008)
1949 – Ann Reinking (dancer, actress: Pippin, All that Jazz, Annie, Mickey and Maude)
1956 – Sinbad (David Adkins) (actor, comedian: A Different World, The Sinbad Show, The Redd Foxx Show, Coneheads, The Cherokee Kid, Good Burger; TV host: Showtime at the Apollo)
1959 – (Laura) Mackenzie Phillips (actress: One Day at a Time, American Graffiti, Eleanor & Franklin; daughter of singer John Phillips [The Mamas and The Papas])
1977 – Brittany Murphy (actress: Clueless, Freeway, Drop Dead Gorgeous, Girl, Interrupted, Cherry Falls, Riding in Cars with Boys; died Dec 20, 2009)