Hollywood Star Is Pawning Their Oscar

clark gable vivien leigh[Daily Mail] A mystery Hollywood star has offered their Oscar as collateral in a bid to secure a $70,000 loan.

The film industry heartland has been abuzz with speculation as to who the hard-up headliner could be; the only clue being that he or she won the golden statuette before 1951.

It could mean the secret borrower is simply the relative of a famous actor or director who has since died after winning the gong during the Golden Age of cinema.

Despite costing just £250 ($400) to make, the gold pewter prizes handed out during the Academy Awards have far greater value on the rare occasions they come to auction, with Michael Jackson famously paying $1.5million for the 1939 Best Picture Oscar awarded to Gone with the Wind.

And one winner, or their family, has sought to make use of their valuable possession to get credit from ‘posh pawnbroker’ Borro.


Katharine Hepburn (Best Actress, Morning Glory – 1934)

Clark Gable (Best Actor, It Happened One Night – 1935)

Victor Fleming (Best Director, Gone with the Wind – 1940)

Vivien Leigh (Best Actress, Gone with the Wind – 1940)

John Ford (Best Director, The Grapes of Wrath – 1941)

Ginger Rogers (Best Actress, Kitty Foyle – 1941)

James Stewart (Best Actor, The Philadelphia Story – 1941)

Joan Fontaine (Best Actress, Suspicion – 1942)

James Cagney (Best Actor, Yankee Doodle Dandy – 1943)

Bing Crosby (Best Actor, Going My Way – 1945)

Ingrid Bergman (Best Actress, pictured above right, Gaslight – 1945)

Joan Crawford (Best Actress, Mildred Pierce – 1946)

Olivia De Havilland (Best Actress, The Heiress – 1949)

The Oscar winner in this instance remains secret, with Borro unable to reveal their identity, but it can be narrowed down to someone based in America who got their award prior to 1951.

Only Oscars won before 1951 can actually be sold without the approval of the Academy as they belong to the individual winner. Awards won after this date technically belong to the Academy and winners must offer the Academy the chance to buy it back for just $1 before they can cash in.

Star who is pawning Oscar:

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    • JenJenJen says

      There was famously no love lost between the two so this wouldn’t surprise me at all. Such a sad story if true.

    • Katmandu says

      I can almost see this! Olivia hated her sister, and I think she wants to buy that Oscar so she can “take it with her” when SHE passes! More likely, though, it’s Joan Fontaine’s family who might need – or want – the money. :-(

  1. Runningdude1 says

    The only winner on that list who is still alive is Olivia DeHavilland…however, I thought that it might be the family of Joan Fontaine, who recently died….so thats my guess.

  2. Fan says

    Most of these people are dead. The only one that I know to be alive is DeHavilland. Her sister, Joan Fontaine, just recently died.

  3. mugofmead111 says

    Many of the winners are dead by now, so I guess it’d be one of the heirs (or more than one heir) who is putting the statue up for collateral.

  4. mugofmead111 says

    P.S. It’s interesting that more than old-time Barrymore can fit this description. (Not saying that Drew is involved though.)

  5. stolidog says

    Olivia De Havilland is probably pawning her sister, Joan Fontaine’s oscar, just for the indignity of it.

  6. VexTheVixen says

    Since she is now 104 years old, I’m going to guess Luise Rainer. She might need the money for daily living expenses and she has two Oscars so pawning one would be understandable.

    The heirs of Joan Fontaine, who recently passed away, may need some money before the estate is settled. However, her sister, Olivia De Haviland is rumored to be close to Joan’s daughter despite the years of feuding between the sisters, so I think this is a long shot.

    I doubt it would be any of the Barrymores – doubt Drew would let something like that happen.

  7. Lindasu says

    I’m going with Clark Gable. His son is an actor and I believe was in some trouble not too long ago. May need the cash.

  8. MissNormaDesmond says

    I sort of suspect that this is a relative of an Oscar winner trying to make this sale. When Harold Russell sold his Oscar for “The Best Years of Our Lives,” he made no secret of his need to get money to care for his ailing wife’s medical bills. Even though he was criticized, most people were sympathetic that he was so desperate to take such a drastic step.

    The only two living performers to win before 1951 are Olivia de Havilland and Luise Rainer (still holding strong at 104 years old).

    I don’t think it is either of them.

  9. I Am PunkA says

    Considering that Olivia De Havilland is the only living winner on your list Ace, I choose her.

    Still kicking at 97, congrats to her.

  10. MaryQuiteContrary says

    Since Joan Fontaine died a couple months ago, I will guess someone in her family is selling hers. Maybe her sister Olivia De Havilland??? Those two hated each other.

  11. Katmandu says

    I’m guessing Joan Fontaine, who died recently. She has been estranged from her family and she may not have left much of an estate. Her sister Olivia de Havilland is in her 90’s and is said to be ill, so…it could be her. Most of the other names suggested – not all, but most – were very wealthy and on good terms with their relatives AFAIK.

  12. Cindy Louhoo says

    Think I’m going with Clark Gable’s son on this one. He has had some problems in the past.

    • MissNormaDesmond says

      Joan Crawford’s Oscar for “Mildred Pierce” was sold for almost a half a million at an auction a couple years ago.

  13. bg565 says

    Olivia De Havilland? Her sister and fellow Oscar winner Joan Fontaine. They hated eachother, so if somehow it was left to Olivia, maybe she figured she’d pawn it to pay for any needed medical bills? I believe she’s like 97.

    • mugofmead111 says

      Olivia and Joan had at least one child each. If they hated each other, why would one sister leave anything to the other? (The only possibility I can see is if all their living relatives were deceased and somehow the property reverted Olivia.)

      I wasn’t aware that Joan just died; maybe there isn’t much cash left in the estate to handle other expenses.

  14. Madelyn says

    Since Joan Fontaine recently died I am going to guess one of her relatives got it willed to them and is pawning it.

  15. Elizabeth Lane says

    Hello All! First time posting!
    I think Joan Fontaine’s award makes the most sense. She just passed away, and her daughter, Deborah Douzier, supports a charity involving service dogs. If she’s putting the money towards her work, I don’t think that’s a bad thing.

  16. whoareallthesepeople says

    You do know that’s not Ingrid Bergman, right? That’s Vivien Leigh, with Clark Gable in a still from “Gone With the Wind.” “Gaslight” is a great movie, too, but that’s not what’s pictured. Fun item to think about, Ace!

  17. jerzeygirl says

    With the exception of Olivia DeHaviland all these winners are gone. So either it’s her or one of their heirs.

  18. whowassheilahgraham says

    Olivia de Haviland. However, she wouldn’t be pawning her Oscar but her sister’s, Joan Fontaine. Fontaine passed away last December and probably willed the award to her sister as part of the still-ongoing feud. For the same reason, de Haviland would have the last laugh by consigning the award to a pawn shop. The “posh” reference is because they were from England.

  19. LiamForeman says

    I’d say Olivia deHavilland selling off her hated sister’s Oscar for Suspicion. But Olivia has lived in France for the past 60 years…

    Could be John Clark Gable, but that Oscar is assuredly worth more than 70K.

    Daughter Dearest got virtually nothing, but maybe one of the ‘twins’ is trying to sell Mommie’s Oscar.

    • LiamForeman says

      Since the photo is from GWTW, it has to be Olivia deHavilland who played Melanie. Selling her sister’s Academy Award, maybe for a loan, or maybe just to spite her. And I thought I had a sibling rivalry….

  20. ValleyOfTheGalls says

    Person pawning the Oscar: Jonathan Oppenheim
    Oscar winner: Judy Holliday. Won the Best Actress Oscar for the 1950 film “Born Yesterday”.

    Oppenheim is the son of Judy Holliday. He is a documentary film editor who has twice been nominated for an Emmy.

    My reasoning is that “before 1951” is much more specific than the more general “before 1950”.

  21. Renee says

    Possibly Shirley Temple’s Oscar? She won a special Academy Award in early 1935 for her “outstanding contribution to screen entertainment”.

  22. dontpanik says

    I’m guessing a relative of Bing Crosby simple because a few of his kids stated he beat them (and a couple more committed suicide) so there’s probably not a bunch of love lost there. Of course, the same can be said for Joan Crawford’s children as well…

  23. JHntr113 says

    How is Isabella Rossellini doing these days? She’s Ingrid Bergman’s daughter. This could be her.