Top Oscar Winners

Films winning the most Academy Awards:

Ben-Hur: 11
Titanic: 11
The Return of the King: 11
West Side Story: 10
Gone with the Wind: 9
The Last Emperor: 9
The English Patient: 9
Gigi: 9
From Here to Eternity: 8
On the Waterfront: 8
My Fair Lady: 8
Cabaret: 8
Gandhi: 8
Amadeus: 8

“There’s a lot of great movies that have won the Academy Award, and a lot of great movies that haven’t,” Clint Eastwood said. “You just do the best you can.”

Jim Morrison’s Death

Jim Morrison’s grave, in Paris. Officially, the Doors frontman died on July 3, 1971, but some questions remain. For one thing, no autopsy was performed; a French physician attributed his death to heart failure on the advice of Morrison’s wife, who was the only one to see the body (and who died herself a few years later). When The Doors’ manager arrived, Morrison’s body was already in a sealed casket.

Beyond that, it’s known that Morrison was tired of fame and had told his bandmates that he wanted to fake his own death. Short of an exhumation, we’ll never know for sure, but Doors keyboard player Ray Manzarek has said, “If there was one guy that would have been capable of staging his own death — getting a phony death certificate and paying off some French doctor … and putting a 150-pound sack of sand into a coffin and splitting to some point on this planet — Africa, who knows where — it is Jim Morrison who would have been able to pull it off.”

“What Bloody Man Is That?”

Actors traditionally refer to Macbeth as “the Scottish play” rather than by name. Supposedly the witches cast real spells, cursing the play with fatal accidents — beginning with the original production, when an actor was stabbed with a real dagger mistaken for a prop.

According to tradition, anyone who speaks the actual name of the play in a theater must leave, spit or turn around three times, and be invited back in.

Strange Bedfellows

At a 1987 party, Oxford philosopher A.J. Ayer confronted Mike Tyson and demanded he stop harassing Naomi Campbell.

Tyson said, “Do you know who the fuck I am? I’m the heavyweight champion of the world.”

Ayer replied, “And I am the former Wykeham professor of logic! We are both pre-eminent in our field; I suggest that we talk about this like rational men.”

No word on whom Campbell left with.

“The Atuk Curse”

Hollywood has stopped developing The Incomparable Atuk, a comedy about an Eskimo hunter adapting to life in the big city. The project is said to be cursed — four successive actors died after being offered the lead role:

  • John Belushi
  • Sam Kinison
  • John Candy
  • Chris Farley

Farley also showed the script to Phil Hartman in 1998, encouraging him to take a co-starring role. Hartman was murdered later that year.