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It’s Oscar trivia time! While some New Yorkers may wonder how many times Meryl Streep has actually won an Academy Award (twice), as compared to how many times she’s been nominated (a remarkable 17 times), we ask: How many recent Oscar winners were actually born in New York City? To make the question a bit easier, in the table below, we focused only on winners in the Best Director, Best Actor or Best Actress categories over the past 10 years.
Oscar Winners 2001-2010
The answer: Just two out of the 30 winners were born in NYC!
While this number may at first seem low, it is not altogether surprising given the global nature of today’s film industry. Only Martin Scorsese and Adrien Brody can truly claim to be born in New York—in fact, both were born in Queens. And though we’d love to claim Denzel Washington as a New Yorker, he was born just outside the city limits in Mt. Vernon. Philip Seymour Hoffman was born in upstate New York, though he studied at NYU, and while Natalie Portman grew up on Long Island, she was born in Israel. Perhaps the greatest disappointment to New Yorkers is that Meryl Streep’s (Miranda Priestly, Joanna Kramer) hometown is not in the five boroughs, but a 30-minute car ride away in Summit, New Jersey.
Going back further in Oscar history reveals other notable City-born winners, including Woody Allen, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Whoopi Goldberg, and Susan Sarandon. Perhaps few know that Jack Nicholson and Jane Fonda were both born in New York City as well.
Of course, New York City’s position in the film industry is measured by much more than just its share of local-born Oscar winners. About 100,000 New Yorkers make their living working behind the scenes in film and television in various positions, such as electricians, carpenters, make-up artists, camera operators, and production assistants. Four thousand local businesses support film and TV production in the five boroughs, and the industry contributes approximately $5 billion to the City’s economy each year. Last year, New York City hosted 188 films and more than 140 TV shows, including news shows, reality programs, talk shows, and 23 primetime episodic TV series—all this contributing to New York City’s preeminence as a leading center in the film, TV, and creative industries.
Visit NYC Mayor’s Office for Film, Theater and Broadcasting to learn more about production in New York City. NYCEDC also has numerous properties in our portfolio that provide large spaces essential for set production and film and television production; check out our film and event spaces.
StatsBee is a column featuring interesting statistics about NYC, written by economists at the Economic Research & Analysis department within NYCEDC’s Center for Economic Transformation.
Photo source: http://mediagallery.usatoday.com/Oscar (Emmanuel Dunandi, AFP/Getty Images)