The 84th Annual Academy Awards air tonight at 6pm Evansville time on ABC (channel 25, 11, 910, or whatever it is on your cable or satellite provider). The goal for every nominee is to be one of the select few that takes home a little golden man affectionately known around the world as "Oscar". But who is this 8-1/2 pound chisled piece of gold that everyone in Hollywood wanting to take him home?

This is Emilio "El Indio" Fernandez, the man whose body provided the inspiration for Oscar's design back in 1929. As the story goes, Fernandez was a Mexican filmmaker, screenwriter, and actor who fled Mexico for Los Angeles in the 1920's after being exiled from his homeland for supporting a failed revolutionary uprising by a man named Adolfo de la Huerta.

While working in Hollywood, Emilio became friends with a Mexican-American actress who just so happened to be the wife of an Art Director at MGM Studios named Cedric Gibbons. Gibbons was also a member of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences who was in charge of supervising the statuette's design for the first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929.

In what I assume was an extremely awkward conversation, Gibbons asked Fernandez to pose nude for a sketch to create the basis for the award to be designed by artist George Stanley. Obviously Fernandez agreed and an iconic award was born.

After acting in dozens of films and directing over 40, Fernandez passed away in 1986, but still lives on as the face, (or should I say the body) of the Oscars each year.

[Source: Yahoo! Movies]