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A Few Facts You May Not Know About the Emmy Awards

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

(Image credit: Flickr user ITU Pictures)

* The first Emmy award was awarded in 1949. It went to Shirley Dinsdale, a ventriloquist. She was voted Most Outstanding Television Personality.

* The name “Emmy" is a feminization of the nickname “Immy,” an abbreviation of the image orthicon tube, which is part of a TV camera.

* In 1971, George C. Scott turned down his Oscar for the movie Patton, complaining that the Oscars were a petty popularity contest. But that same year, Scott accepted an Emmy award for his role in the Hallmark Hall of Fame special The Price.

* Kelsey Grammar is the only actor to be nominated for the same character in three different series. His Frasier Crane character was nominated for Wings (once), Cheers (twice), and Frasier (10 nominations, four wins).

* In 1987, The Facts of Life was nominated for Outstanding Achievement in Hairdressing.

* Baywatch (1989-2001) is the longest-running series (12 years) to never be nominated for an Emmy. It broke the previous record of 11 years, held by Married... with Children.

* In 1958, in a bid to differentiate the characters they play on TV, the Academy created two new categories: Best Continuing Performance in a Series by a Person Who Essentially Plays Herself and it's male counterpart. The idea was to coronate Lucille Ball in I Love Lucy, but the plan backfired and Dinah Shore won instead. (In 1959, Jack Benny became the last person to win this award.)

* In 1962, Jackie Kennedy became the only First Lady to win an Emmy, for her guided tour through the White House. The vice president's wife, Lady Bird Johnson, accepted the award for the camera-shy First Lady.

* In 1960, Harry Belafonte became the first black performer to win an Emmy for Tonight with Belafonte.

* Betty Thomas is the only actress to have her award almost stolen. In 1985, an unknown man took the stage to accept Betty's award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for Hill Street Blues. She accepted the award during a commercial break. The man, Barry Bremen, was arrested for grand theft.

* Jackie Gleason (incredibly) never won an Emmy award. His comedy partner on The Honeymooners, Art Carney, won 5 awards. whenever Jackie visited Art's home, Art hid the awards in his closet. Gleason's wife called not winning an Emmy Jackie's "biggest disappointment".

* The first year of the actors and actresses wearing red AIDS ribbons was 1991. The viewing audience was so confused by seeing all the red ribbons, Jamie Lee Curtis was asked to explain the ribbons' significance.

* Get Smart won for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1969, although the show had already been canceled. This was the first time the question was brought up: “Should a canceled show be eligible to win an Emmy?" (Interestingly, although Get Smart created the controversy, that same year Hope Lange won for The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, Carl Betz won an Emmy for Judd for the Defense and The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour won an Emmy, although each show was already canceled.)

* Ed Asner is the only performer to win an Emmy for playing the same character in both a comedy series and a drama. He won Emmys for his role as Lou Grant in both The Mary Tyler Moore Show (comedy) and for Lou Grant (drama).

* When Shelley Winters won an Emmy for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in 1962, she mistakenly thanked the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

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