When he walks the red carpet at Sunday’s 82nd annual Academy Awards ceremony, Jeremy Renner won’t be the first Modestan with ties to Oscar — not by a long shot.
While Renner is Modesto’s first best-actor nominee, you might be surprised by how many other Modestans have been involved in Oscar-honored films.
Perhaps the least known is James Algar, born in Modesto in 1912. Algar directed “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” which arguably is the most recognizable segment from the 1940 Walt Disney animated masterpiece “Fantasia.” “Fantasia” was given an honorary Academy Award in 1942.
Algar, who died in 1998 in Carmel, was involved in numerous Disney productions as a director, writer and producer. He also was among the animators behind the 1937 classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” which received its own honorary Academy Award for its screen innovation.
Of course, the most famous Oscar-connected Modestan is producer/director/writer George Lucas. But the city also boasts the late Modesto-bred actor Harve Presnell, Modesto resident Mike Glad and Modesto transplant Carol Channing.
So, just how much do you know about Modesto’s Oscar connections? Test your hometown movie-magic knowledge with our two quizzes — one on Renner and one on the rest of our city’s film stars and filmmakers.