The surprise tie in this year’s Best Sound Editing category officially makes this year’s Oscars one for the record books: It’s only the sixth time a tie has happened in Oscar history and the first in a technical category.
“Zero Dark Thirty” and “Skyfall” shared this year’s Sound Editing award — beating out “Argo,” “Django Unchained” and “Life of Pi.” (In an odd coincidence, both Kathryn Bigelow’s acclaimed “Zero” and the blockbuster James Bond film “Skyfall” were distributed by Sony Pictures.)
Perhaps the most famous tie happened in 1968, when Barbra Steisand’s “Funny Girl” breakout performance tied with legendary Katherine Hepburn’s turn in “The Lion in Winter” for Best Actress. We know from the record books that that was an exact tie, each actress received the same number of votes.
However, historically, Oscar will declare a tie if two nominees come within a few votes of each other.
At the 1932 Oscars, Fredric March of “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” tied with Wallace Beery “The Champ” for Best Actor, even though March technically beat Beery by one vote.
The other Oscar ties occurred in the documentary and shorts categories:
In 1949, “A Chance to Live” and “So Much for So Little” tied for Best Documentary Short.
In 1986, “Artie Shaw: Time Is All You’ve Got” and “Down and Out in America” tied for Best Documentary.
And most recently, in 1994, the short films “Omnibus” and “Contact” tied for Best Live Action Short.