Golden Beginnings

From humble beginnings during World War II, the Golden Globes ceremony has gone on to become a tent-pole moment of the entertainment awards season.

Sure, we all know the Golden Globes is the freewheeling, prom-style get together of the awards season where celebrities eat, drink and get more merry than any other of the major ceremonies. It's the Prince Harry to the Academy Awards' Prince William, if you will.

But do you actually know who the Hollywood Foreign Press Association - the group behind those golden orbs handed out each January - actually are? Thought not. Let's take a look back and see where it all began ...


The Hollywood Foreign Press Association has its origins in the early 1940s as America was being drawn into World War II. Audiences looking for a diversion from the doom and gloom of the then modern times sought escape at the cinema, demanding more and more entertainment product from Hollywood.

Amid the global tension, a handful of Los Angeles-based foreign journalists banded together to share information and contacts as they covered the U.S. entertainment industry in the overseas press. Throughout the remainder of the war the group saw its numbers grow and informal gatherings were first held in private Hollywood homes before moving to the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel as the location for meetings.

The mission of the HFPA is:

To establish favorable relations and cultural ties between foreign countries and the United States of America by the dissemination of information concerning the American culture and traditions as depicted in motion pictures and television through news media in various foreign countries ...

To recognize outstanding achievements by conferring annual Awards of Merit, serving as a constant incentive within the entertainment industry, both domestic and foreign, and to focus wide public attention upon the best in motion pictures and television ...

To contribute to other nonprofit organizations connected with the entertainment industry and involved in educational, cultural, and humanitarian activities ...

To promote interest in the study of the arts, including the development of talent in the entertainment field through scholarships given to major learning institutions.

Early Awards

The first Golden Globe Awards ceremony was held at 20th Century Fox in 1944. "The Song of Bernadette" won best picture, Jennifer Jones won best actress for her performance in that movie, and Paul Lukas won best actor for  "Watch on the Rhine." The physical awards back then existed in the form of scrolls.

Advent of the Statue

1945 saw the arrival of the now famous statue which was created following a design contest. Marina Cisternas, president of the group in 1945-46, presented the concept of a golden globe encircled with a strip of motion picture film, and mounted on a pedestal.

Landmark Moments

In 1951 the association decided to divide the best film, actor and actress nominees into two categories — drama, and musical or comedy — so that no genre would be left out.

In 1952, the HFPA created the Cecil B. DeMille Award to recognize “outstanding contribution to the entertainment field.” The award’s first recipient was DeMille himself. Jodie Foster will receive the award at next year's ceremony.

Television categories were included in 1955 with the honorees for Best Television Show being "Lucy & Desi," "Dinah Shore," "The American Comedy" and "Davy Crockett."

Miss/Mr. Golden Globe

The 50 year tradition - which involves assisting during the awards ceremony - traditionally goes to the son or daughter of a Tinseltown celebrity. Francesca Eastwood (daughter of six-time Globe winner, Clint, and actress Frances Fisher) will take on the honor for the 2013 ceremony. Her sister Kathryn was a previous Miss Golden Globe, in 2005. Other celebrity offspring who have taken on the role include Linda Evans, Anne Archer, Melanie Griffith, Freddie Prinze Jr. and Rumer Willis.

Modern Times

Today, the Golden Globes recognize achievements in 25 categories; 14 in motion pictures and 11 in television.

In January 2013 the HFPA will celebrate its 70th anniversary in Hollywood with members representing some 55 countries with a combined readership of more than 250 million.

Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have been tapped to host the ceremony which will take place at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Jan. 13 and will be televised live on NBC.

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