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What Are the Golden Globes?

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The Golden Globe Awards are a series of awards given by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for outstanding television and film. The awards are presented at a formal ceremony and dinner, which is part of the film industry's awards season at the start of each year (honoring works from the previous year), which wraps up with the Academy Awards (Oscars). The Golden Globe ceremony is televised worldwide and is the third most-watched awards show, behind the Academy Awards and the Grammys.

The first Golden Globe Awards ceremony took place in January, 1944, at 20th Century Fox studios in Los Angeles. Since 1961, the ceremony has been held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills.

Although the Academy Awards are the big kahuna for filmmaking, some viewers and participants prefer the Golden Globes. Some movie buffs claim the Golden Globes are more authentic: While the Academy Awards are peer-driven (causing some critics to dismiss them as little more than a popularity contest), the Golden Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an organization of working journalists who cover the U.S. entertainment industry abroad.

Other viewers prefer the Golden Globe Awards because the ceremony is less uptight — the fact that the participants are having dinner (including cocktails, for those who imbibe) makes for a more relaxed atmosphere with some unplanned and unscripted entertainment.

The award categories for the Golden Globes are similar to the Academy Awards, with the exception that dramatic movies and comedies/musicals are split into different categories. The Golden Globes also give awards for outstanding television. Therefore, more actors are nominated for Golden Globes than for Oscars. (Traditionally, the nominees for Golden Globes are good indicators of who may receive an Oscar nomination.)

Currently, the categories for Golden Globes are as follows:

Motion Picture Awards Television Awards
Best Motion Picture – Drama Best Drama Series
Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Best Comedy Series
Best Director Best Actor in a Television Drama Series
Best Actor – Motion Picture – Drama Best Actor in a Television Comedy Series
Best Actor – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Best Actress in a Television Drama Series
Best Actress – Motion Picture – Drama Best Actress in a Television Comedy Series
Best Actress – Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Best Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Best Actor in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Supporting Actress – Motion Picture Best Actress in a Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Screenplay Best Supporting Actor in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Original Score Best Supporting Actress in a Series, Mini-Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television
Best Original Song
Best Foreign Language Film
Best Animated Film
The Cecil B. DeMille Award

In 1950, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association established an honorary award to recognize outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry. The first award was presented to director and producer Cecil B. DeMille, and since then, the award has been called the Cecil B. DeMille Award. A few past winners of the Cecil B. DeMille award are

  • Walt Disney

  • John Wayne

  • Jimmy Stewart

  • Alfred Hitchcock

  • Joan Crawford

  • Lucille Ball

  • Sydney Poitier

  • Paul Newman

  • Doris Day

  • Lauren Bacall

  • Gene Hackman

  • Robert De Niro

  • Jodie Foster

With nine awards, Barbra Streisand holds the record for the most Golden Globe wins. Meryl Streep has eight awards; and Jack Nicholson, Angela Lansbury, and Alan Alda each have six awards. Rosalind Russell, Sophia Loren, and Jessica Lange each have won five awards.

Meryl Streep holds the record for the most Golden Globe nominations (with 27!). Second in line for the most nominations is Jack Lemmon, with 22.

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