The Golden Globe Awards were founded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, an organization founded in 1943 by L.A.-based foreign journalists who wanted to distribute cinema news to foreign markets in a more organized manner. They are responsible for reporting activity in the entertainment industry and U.S. media outside of America.

The first Golden Globe Awards were given in January 1944 (75 years ago this month) to honor the best achievements in film in 1943. They were held at the 20th Century Fox Studios in L.A.

The winner for Best Picture was The Song of Bernadette, a biographical drama based on the 1941 novel by Franz Werfel about Saint Bernadette of Lourdes, France who saw visions of the Virgin Mary reportedly 18 times, starring Jennifer Jones and directed by Henry King.

The Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Leading Role went to Paul Lukas as Kurt Muller in the play-based drama Watch on the Rhine, and the Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Leading Role went to Jennifer Jones as Bernadette in The Song of Bernadette.

The Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture went to Akim Tamaroff as Pablo in the war film For Whom the Bells Toll, and the Golden Globe for Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture went to Katina Paxonov as Pilar in the same film.

The Golden Globe for Best Director went to Henry King for The Song of Bernadette.

In 1950, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association established the Cecil B. DeMille Award to recognize outstanding contributions to the entertainment industry and the first person to receive the award was Cecil B. DeMille himself.

The HFPA generates millions of dollars to entertainment-related charities and scholarship funds including the Young Artist Foundation, established in 1978 by HFP member Maureen Dragone to recognize and award young Hollywood artists under the age of 21 and also provide scholarships to artists who may be challenged financially.

Other Facts About the Golden Globes:

  • Best Picture was separated into “Drama” and “Musical or Comedy” beginning in 1951.
  • Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language was established in 1948.
  • Best Motion Picture – Animated was established in 2006.
  • Best Original Song was established in 1961.
  • Television categories were added in 1962.
  • Miniseries or Television Film was established in 1971.
  • The Carol Burnett Award for Achievement in Television was established in 2019 and Carol Burnett was the first recipient of the award.

  • Meryl Streep received the most nominations, followed by film composer John Williams.

In order for films to qualify for a Golden Globe, they must be released in the U.S., including foreign films that were not released in their countries of origin (the only qualification for a foreign film is that they hail from a foreign country). Made-for-TV films are not included in major film awards like Best Picture. All TV shows must air in prime time between 8pm and 11pm. Reality shows, unscripted shows and pay-per-view programs may not be included.

All nominations are decided by ranked voting and all winners are decided by plurality voting.