The Golden Globes is the only awards show today that combines the intimacy and spontaneity of a party for several hundred of film and TV's finest with the drama and anticipation of a live, worldwide-televised event.
Stars, journalists and guests freely mingle during the telecast with no designated 'seat-fillers,' lending the show an air of informality and casual elegance where anything can happen — and most often does. Winners good-naturedly moon the crowd (Jack Nicholson in 1999), have to be rousted out of the bathroom (Christine Lahti in 1998), or give their award away (Ving Rhames to his idol Jack Lemmon in 1998). But amid all the frivolity and good times, the awards have steadily grown in stature from their humble inception, today commanding a worldwide television audience of over 250 million viewers.
Founded in October 1943 by 21 foreign journalists, the organization was originally called the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association. The first awards ceremony was held during a luncheon at 20th Century Fox, where the winners in five categories—Best Motion Picture, Best Actor and Actress, and Best supporting Actor and Actress—received scrolls, with The Song of Bernadette winning the top prize. The next year the ceremony was held at the Beverly Hills Hotel, but the fledgling group's funds were so tight that Joan Bennett's gardener was tapped to supply the flowers for the tables. The actual Golden Globe award came about in 1946, when association president Marina Cisternas came up with the idea of using a statuette of a "golden globe" on a pedestal. The rest is history:
- The Golden Globes were always given out by journalists in the association up until 1958, when Rat Packers Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, and Sammy Davis, Jr. stormed the stage, with whiskeys and cigarettes in tow, and took over the show, to the delight of the audience. They repeated their performance the next year (this time at the request of the HFPA) and since then, the stars have reigned supreme at the Globes.
- The first telecasts of the Globes were from 1958-1963 but were only aired locally in L.A.
- The first national telecasts of the awards were during a special segment on The Andy Williams Show in 1964 and 1965.
- Most Globes won by a film: five, shared by five winners: Doctor Zhivago (1966), Love Story (1971), The Godfather (1973), One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1976), and A Star is Born (1977).
- Perfect records: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest received six nominations and won six Globes, Doctor Zhivago and A Star is Born all received five nominations and won five Globes.
- One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is the only film to win the Globe in all five major categories (Best Motion Picture, Actor, Actress, Director, Screenplay).
- Most nominations by a film: nine for Nashville (1976) -- ironically the film only won one Globe, for the Best Song "I'm Easy" by Keith Carradine. Three other films -- Cabaret (1973), Bugsy (1992), and Titanic (1998) -- tied for second with eight nominations apiece. All won Best Motion Picture in their respective categories.
- Biggest shutouts: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1967) and The Godfather, Part III (1991) each received seven nominations but no Globes.
- Most individual Globes: eight went to Meryl Streep, followed by seven to Shirley McLaine, six to Jack Nicholson, five each to Francis Ford Coppola, Rosalind Russell, and Oliver Stone.
- Rosalind Russell won all five Golden Globes she was nominated for but never won an Oscar.
- Most individual nominations: Meryl Streep 28, Jack Lemmon 22.
- Only three-way tie: Jodie Foster (The Accuse, Shirley MacLaine (Madame Sousatzka), and Sigourney Weaver (Gorillas in the Mist) for Best Actress in 1989.
- Only winners to receive two acting Globes in the same year: Sigourney Weaver won Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist and Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl in 1989; Joan Plowright won Best Supporting Actress for Enchanted April and Stalin in 1993 and in 2009 Kate Winslet won Best Actress for Revolutionary Road 2009 and Best Supporting Actress for The Reader.
- Most nominations in one year: Jamie Foxx, 2005. Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Ray; Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Drama, Collateral; Best Actor in a Mini-Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television, Redemption.
- Youngest winner: Ricky Schroeder was nine years old when he won the Globe for Best New Star of the Year in 1980 for The Champ.
- Oldest winners: 80-year-old Jessica Tandy won Best Actress for Driving Miss Daisy in 1990, and 76-year-old Henry Fonda won Best Actor for On Golden Pond in 1982.
- Winners who refused the Globe: The producers of Z refused the Globe for Best Foreign Language Film in 1970 because they wanted the film included in the main Best Motion Picture category. Marlon Brando refused his Best Actor Globe for The Godfather in 1973 to protest U.S. "imperialism and racism". He similarly didn't accept his Oscar statuette.