When Mark Wahlberg, standing next to his computer-animated “Ted” co-star, opened the envelope for Best Sound Editing at Sunday (February 24) night’s Oscars, he made a very curious announcement: “It’s a tie.” There was a slight sound of disbelief that swirled throughout the massive auditorium, at which point Wahlberg confirmed, “No, really, it’s a tie.” “Zero Dark Thirty” and odds-on favorite “Skyfall” both took home awards for their aural excellence.
There are few notable ties in the history of the Academy Awards. In 1969, both Ingrid Bergman and Barbra Streisand were awarded with the Best Actress award for “The Lion in Winter” and “Funny Girl,” respectively. It was the first time an exact tie (of 3,030 votes) had ever been tallied in a principal Oscar category.
The Oscars used to be a little looser when it came to its classification of a “tie,” the History Channel points out. When Fredrich March (for “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde”) and Wallace Beery (“The Champ”) both won the Best Actor prize in 1932, Beery had actually lost the prize, but the rules, at the time, allowed for any film or artist who came within three votes of winning, would automatically be considered a tie.
Oscar history has shown us three more ties in less contentious categories — Best Documentary in 1949 and again in 1997; as well as once in the Live Action Short Category in 1986.
The real question, of course, was who would have thought that this bit of historic Oscar miscellanea would have gone down while Marky Mark was talking to an imaginary anthropomorphic teddy bear?