1960 Oscars 32nd Academy Awards

1960 Oscars 32nd Academy Awards

1960 Oscars 32nd Academy Awards: An Unforgettable Night of Cinema

Winners Announced: April 4, 1960
Held at: RKO Pantages Theatre, Hollywood, California
Host: Bob Hope
Eligibility Year: 1959

Highlights and Achievements:

  • Ben-Hur Dominates: The historical epic didn’t just win; it swept the floor with 11 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Director for William Wyler. This set a record that stood alone for decades until Titanic in 1997 and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King in 2003 matched it.

  • Simone Signoret Makes History: Winning Best Actress for her role in Room at the Top, Simone Signoret became the first French actress to capture an Academy Award. A remarkable feat that added a touch of international flair to the ceremony.

  • Animated Excellence: UPA’s Moonbird claimed the Best Animated Short Film award. This win highlighted UPA’s unique approach to animation, which often utilized innovative storytelling techniques.


  • Bob Hope’s Legacy: This was Bob Hope’s ninth time hosting the Academy Awards. He’s the all-time champ, having hosted a record 19 times over the years.

  • Charlton Heston’s Dedication: To fully embody his role in Ben-Hur, Charlton Heston trained rigorously to become proficient in chariot driving. Heston’s dedication to authenticity shone through while a stunt double was used for some scenes.

Take our 1960 Quiz!

1960 Oscar Nominees and Winners

Best Motion Picture:
Ben-Hur – Sam Zimbalist, producer (posthumous award) (WINNER)
Anatomy of a Murder – Otto Preminger, producer
The Diary of Anne Frank – George Stevens, producer
The Nun’s Story – Henry Blanke, producer
Room at the Top – John Woolf and James Woolf, producers
Best Director:
William Wyler – Ben-Hur (WINNER)
George Stevens – The Diary of Anne Frank
Fred Zinnemann – The Nun’s Story
Jack Clayton – Room at the Top
Billy Wilder – Some Like It Hot
Best Actor:
Charlton Heston – Ben-Hur as Judah Ben-Hur (WINNER)
Laurence Harvey – Room at the Top as Joe Lampton
Jack Lemmon – Some Like It Hot as Jerry/”Daphne”
Paul Muni – The Last Angry Man as Dr. Sam Abelman
James Stewart – Anatomy of a Murder as Paul Biegler
Best Actress:
Simone Signoret – Room at the Top as Alice Aisgill (WINNER)
Doris Day – Pillow Talk as Jan Morrow
Audrey Hepburn – The Nun’s Story as Sister Luke
Katharine Hepburn – Suddenly, Last Summer as Violet Venable
Elizabeth Taylor – Suddenly, Last Summer as Catherine Holly
Best Supporting Actor:
Hugh Griffith – Ben-Hur as Sheik Ilderim (WINNER)
Arthur O’Connell – Anatomy of a Murder as Parnell McCarthy
George C. Scott – Anatomy of a Murder as Claude Dancer
Robert Vaughn – The Young Philadelphians as Chester A. “Chet” Gwynn
Ed Wynn – The Diary of Anne Frank as Albert Dussell
Best Supporting Actress:
Shelley Winters – The Diary of Anne Frank as Petronella van Daan (WINNER)
Hermione Baddeley – Room at the Top as Elspeth
Susan Kohner – Imitation of Life as Sarah Jane
Juanita Moore – Imitation of Life as Annie Johnson
Thelma Ritter – Pillow Talk as Alma
Best Story and Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen:
Pillow Talk – Story by Russell Rouse and Clarence Greene; Screenplay by Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin (WINNER)
The 400 Blows – François Truffaut and Marcel Moussy
North by Northwest – Ernest Lehman
Operation Petticoat – Story by Paul King, Joseph J. Stone; Screenplay by Stanley Shapiro and Maurice Richlin
Wild Strawberries – Ingmar Bergman (Refused Nomination)
Best Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium:
Room at the Top – Neil Paterson based on the novel by John Braine (WINNER)
Anatomy of a Murder – Wendell Mayes based on the novel by Robert Traver
Ben-Hur – Karl Tunberg based on the novel by Lew Wallace
The Nun’s Story – Robert Anderson based on the novel by Kathryn Hulme
Some Like It Hot – Billy Wilder and I. A. L. Diamond based on a story by Robert Thoeren and M. Logan
Best Foreign Language Film:
Black Orpheus (France) (WINNER)
The Bridge (Germany)
The Great War (Italy)
Paw (Denmark)
The Village on the River (Netherlands)
Best Documentary Feature:
Serengeti Shall Not Die (WINNER)
The Race for Space
Best Documentary Short Subject:
Glass (WINNER)
Donald in Mathmagic Land
From Generation to Generation
Best Live Action Short Subject:
The Golden Fish – Jacques Cousteau (WINNER)
Between the Tides – Ian Ferguson
Mysteries of the Deep – Walt Disney
The Running Jumping & Standing Still Film – Peter Sellers
Skyscraper – Shirley Clarke and Willard Van Dyke
Best Short Subjects – Cartoons:
Moonbird (WINNER)
Mexicali Shmoes
Noah’s Ark
The Violinist
Best Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture:
Ben-Hur – Miklós Rózsa (WINNER)
The Diary of Anne Frank – Alfred Newman
The Nun’s Story – Franz Waxman
On the Beach – Ernest Gold
Pillow Talk – Frank De Vol
Best Scoring of a Musical Picture:
Porgy and Bess – André Previn and Ken Darby (WINNER)
The Five Pennies – Leith Stevens
Li’l Abner – Nelson Riddle and Joseph J. Lilley
Say One for Me – Lionel Newman
Sleeping Beauty – George Bruns
Best Song:
“High Hopes” from A Hole in the Head – Music by Jimmy Van Heusen; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn (WINNER)
“The Best of Everything” from The Best of Everything – Music by Alfred Newman; Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
“The Five Pennies” from The Five Pennies – Music and Lyrics by Sylvia Fine
“The Hanging Tree” from The Hanging Tree – Music by Jerry Livingston; Lyrics by Mack David
“Strange Are The Ways of Love” from The Young Land – Music by Dimitri Tiomkin; Lyrics by Ned Washington
Best Sound:
Ben-Hur – Franklin Milton (WINNER)
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Carlton W. Faulkner
Libel – A. W. Watkins
The Nun’s Story – George Groves
Porgy and Bess – Gordon E. Sawyer and Fred Hynes
Best Art Direction, Black-and-White:
The Diary of Anne Frank – Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler and George W. Davis; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott and Stuart A. Reiss (WINNER)
Career – Art Direction: Hal Pereira and Walter Tyler; Set Decoration: Samuel M. Comer and Arthur Krams
The Last Angry Man – Art Direction: Carl Anderson; Set Decoration: William Kiernan
Some Like It Hot – Art Direction: Ted Haworth; Set Decoration: Edward G. Boyle
Suddenly, Last Summer – Art Direction: Oliver Messel and William Kellner; Set Decoration: Scott Slimon
Best Art Direction, Color:
Ben-Hur – Art Direction: William A. Horning (posthumous award) and Edward Carfagno; Set Decoration: Hugh Hunt (WINNER)
The Big Fisherman – Art Direction: John DeCuir; Set Decoration: Julia Heron
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Art Direction: Lyle R. Wheeler, Franz Bachelin and Herman A. Blumenthal; Set Decoration: Walter M. Scott and Joseph Kish
North by Northwest – Art Direction: William A. Horning (posthumous nomination), Robert F. Boyle, and Merrill Pye; Set Decoration: Henry Grace and Frank R. McKelvy
Pillow Talk – Art Direction: Richard H. Riedel (posthumous nomination); Set Decoration: Russell A. Gausman and Ruby R. Levitt
Best Cinematography, Black-and-White:
The Diary of Anne Frank – William C. Mellor (WINNER)
Anatomy of a Murder – Sam Leavitt
Career – Joseph LaShelle
Some Like It Hot – Charles Lang
The Young Philadelphians – Harry Stradling, Sr.
Best Cinematography, Color:
Ben-Hur – Robert Surtees (WINNER)
The Big Fisherman – Lee Garmes
The Five Pennies – Daniel L. Fapp
The Nun’s Story – Franz Planer
Porgy and Bess – Leon Shamroy
Best Costume Design, Black-and-White:
Some Like It Hot – Orry-Kelly (WINNER)
Career – Edith Head
The Diary of Anne Frank – Charles LeMaire and Mary Wills
The Gazebo – Helen Rose
The Young Philadelphians – Howard Shoup
Best Costume Design, Color:
Ben-Hur – Elizabeth Haffenden (WINNER)
The Best of Everything – Adele Palmer
The Big Fisherman – Renié
The Five Pennies – Edith Head
Porgy and Bess – Irene Sharaff
Best Film Editing:
Ben-Hur – Ralph E. Winters and John D. Dunning (WINNER)
Anatomy of a Murder – Louis R. Loeffler
North by Northwest – George Tomasini
The Nun’s Story – Walter Thompson
On the Beach – Frederic Knudtson
Best Special Effects:
Ben-Hur – Visual Effects by A. Arnold Gillespie and Robert MacDonald; Audible Effects by Milo B. Lory (WINNER)
Journey to the Center of the Earth – Visual Effects by L. B. Abbott and James B. Gordon; Audible Effects by Carl Faulkner
Academy Honorary Awards:
Buster Keaton “for his unique talents which brought immortal comedies to the screen.” (Statuette)

Lee De Forest “for his pioneering inventions which brought sound to the motion picture.” (Statuette)

Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award:
Bob Hope
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