Emil Jannings
became the first person to actually receive an Oscar statuette when he was awarded the first Best Actor Oscar two weeks before the 1927/1928 ceremony so that he didn't have to postpone a trip to his home in Germany. He won Best Actor for two silent films (The Last Command and The Way of All Flesh), and was considered by many to be the greatest actor in the world during the silent film period on the basis of his performances in such classics as The Last Laugh (1924) and Variety (1925), but when the talkies came into vogue he opted not to work on his English and instead return to Germany to star in the classic The Blue Angel. When the Nazis cames into power, Hitler installed Jannings on the Board of Directors of the Tobis movie studio. He was awarded a medal by Goebbels and honored as "Artist of the State." He starred in many films for the Nazis, including Der alte und der junge König (1935) and Ohm Krüger (1941), one of the most expensive anti-British propaganda productions of the Third Reich.

When Berlin fell, he pathetically approached U.S. soldiers holding his Academy Award over his head screaming "Don't shoot! I have Oscar!" Jannings was blacklisted after the war despite claiming that he was forced to make the propaganda films against his will, and died in disgrace in 1950.

Return to Jonny's Oscar Trivia Quiz