Zany Hosts, Scandalous Noms and Other Fun Tidbits About the Golden Globes

Which actor has notched up the most Globe wins? What year did the ceremony first get an emcee? Which famous group of friends are credited with initiating the free-wheeling feel of the Awards? All is revealed...

With 70 years of history behind them, the Golden Globes are one of the longest running and most prestigious awards ceremonies in show business. Here's a few fun facts and figures of Hollywood’s most freewheeling gala.

*  The Globes are known for a more relaxed, freewheeling atmosphere – largely due to the widespread availability of spirits, wine and champagne during dinner. The anything-goes attitude dates back to 1958, when during the height of their Rat Pack fame Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr., grew so bored with the too-stuffy proceedings that they took over the stage and brought a much-needed anarchy to the ceremony.

*  The Globes’ most honored actor to date is, perhaps unsurprisingly, Meryl Streep, who has collected a record eight trophies over the course of her fabled career. Unless, of course, you count the honorary wins – including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and the now defunct Henrietta Award for World Film Favorite Actress – that put Barbra Streisand over the top with nine. Still, Streep still tops the charts among nominations, with 26 total nods as of 2012.

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*  After hosting four ceremonies between 1961 and 1972, the world-famous Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills became the seemingly permanent home of the Golden Globes in 1974, hosting each consecutive gala for nearly 40 years.

*  In 1963 the HFPA introduced a trophy girl for the ceremony carrying the title of Miss Golden Globe, and by the 1970s tradition dictated that the honoree be the offspring (usually the daughter, but also the occasional son) of at least one famous Hollywood parent. Among the Miss Golden Globes who have gone on to claim their own fame: Anne Archer, Melanie Griffith, Laura Dern, Joely Fisher, Freddie Prinze, Jr., Dakota Johnson and Rumer Willis. The 2013 Miss Golden Globe is Franchesca Eastwood, the daughter of actor-director Clint Eastwood and actress Frances Fisher.

*  The Globes have had a long relationship with television: the ceremony originally aired locally in Los Angeles beginning in 1958, and then nationally as part of NBC’s “The Andy Williams Show” starting in 1962 before the network made it a national special in 1964. After concerns were raised in 1968 by the Federal Communications Commission about how the award winners were determined behind the scenes, NBC instituted a broadcast ban that lasted until 1974. By the early 1990s the Globes had become an annual staple of the cable network TBS, until TV personality Dick Clark became the broadcast’s producer and secured a long-term relationship with NBC, beginning in 1996 and continuing today.

* Scandal erupted around the Golden Globes in 1981 when actress and singer Pia Zadora, star of the reviled film “Butterfly,” received the New Star of the Year Award, beating out such promising competition as Kathleen Turner and Elizabeth McGovern and sparking rumors that the voting had been influenced by Zadora’s wealthy, much-older financier husband Meshulam Ricklis in an attempt to purchase stardom for his young wife. The luster of the Globes was tarnished in the years immediately following.

*  Sharon Stone nearly sparked another controversy in 1999 when, a day after her Globe nomination for her turn in “The Muse,” she had luxe gold Coach watches delivered as gifts to each of the HFPA members – who were instructed by their president to return the timepieces immediately to preserve their awards’ integrity.

* Legendary producer and director Cecil B. DeMille, known for his lavish, flamboyant productions of epics like “Cleopatra” and “The Ten Commandments” in the silent and early sound era, received the Globes’ first lifetime achievement-style award in 1947, which was named in his honor. A major force in Hollywood is given the DeMille Award – a short sampling of the prestigious list of recipients includes Walt Disney, Bing Crosby, Judy Garland, Frank Sinatra, Alfred Hitchcock, Bette Davis, Lucille Ball, Sean Connery, Sophia Loren, Shirley Maclaine, Harrison Ford, Steve Spielberg and Robert DeNiro. The honoree for 2013 is Jodie Foster.

* The ceremony itself has been cancelled only once, in 2008, when the ongoing Hollywood writers strikes threatened to create picket lines and cause actors to stay home in solidarity. Instead the awards were announced with no celebrity presence during a low-key press conference at the Hilton.

* For many years the Globes were traditionally broadcast without a master of ceremonies. That changed in 2010 when comedian Ricky Gervais assumed hosting duties, and although he created a small firestorm of controversy with his harsh but wickedly funny, never-ending jibes at both the attending celebrities and members of the foreign press, Gervais stirred up so much attention that he was invited back to host the following two ceremonies. For the 2013 Globes, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are sharing the hosting podium.

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