11th Academy Awards
DateFebruary 23, 1939
SiteBiltmore Hotel
Best PictureYou Can't Take It with You
Most awardsThe Adventures of Robin Hood (3)
Most nominationsYou Can't Take it with You (7)
Harry Cohn and Frank Capra

The 11th Academy Awards were held on February 23, 1939, at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles, California.[1] It was the first Academy Awards show without an official host.

Frank Capra became the first person to win three Best Director awards, to be followed by John Ford (who would go on to win four) and William Wyler. La Grande Illusion was the first non-English language film to be nominated for Best Picture.

This was the first of only two times in Oscar history in which three of the four acting winners had won before; only Fay Bainter was a first-time award winner. The only other time that this happened was at the 67th Academy Awards in 1994. Fay Bainter was the first performer in the Oscars history to receive two acting nominations in the same year, while Spencer Tracy became the first of two actors to win Best Actor two years in a row; the other, Tom Hanks, also did so in 1994.

George Bernard Shaw's screenplay win for Pygmalion made him the first—and, for over 60 years, only—person to win both a Nobel Prize and an Academy Award until Bob Dylan received Nobel Prize in Literature in 2016 after having won the Academy Award for Best Original Song in 2001.

Radio coverage was banned at the ceremony. A reporter, George Fischer from Mutual Radio Network, KHJ, Los Angeles, which had been reporting from the Academy Awards since 1930, locked himself in a booth and was able to broadcast for about 12 minutes before security guards broke down the door. Partial radio coverage was permitted again beginning with the 1942 ceremony.[2]


Frank Capra; Best Picture and Best Director winner
Spencer Tracy; Best Actor winner
Bette Davis; Best Actress winner
Walter Brennan; Best Supporting Actor winner
Fay Bainter; Best Supporting Actress winner
George Bernard Shaw; Best Screenplay co-winner
Erich Wolfgang Korngold; Best Original Score winner
Walt Disney; Honorary Academy Award recipient
Harry Warner; Honorary Academy Award recipient
Deanna Durbin; Juvenile Academy Award recipient
Mickey Rooney; Juvenile Academy Award recipient

Nominees were announced on February 5, 1939. Winners are listed first and highlighted in boldface.

Academy Honorary Awards

Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award

Academy Juvenile Awards

Academy Juvenile Awards were presented to:

Multiple nominations and awards

In memoriam

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See also


  1. ^ "The 11th Academy Awards (1939) Nominees and Winners". Oscars.org (Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences). Archived from the original on July 6, 2011. Retrieved August 10, 2011.
  2. ^ Dunning, John (1998). On the Air: The Encyclopedia of Old-Time Radio (Revised ed.). New York, NY: Oxford University Press. pp. 4–5. ISBN 978-0-19-507678-3. Retrieved September 10, 2019.