Fitzgerald's family claimed that he was a descendant of 18th century patriot William Orr
, a claim he dismissed. He was a childhood friend of James Joyce
and he was briefly the roommate of playwright Sean O'Casey
. He was often typecast as a thick-accented Irish
man, especially after his Oscar-winning role in Going My Way?
as a Catholic
priest. Ironically, Fitzgerald was a Protestant
Going My Way?
was nominated for Oscar
s in ten categories and won in seven. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
was dismayed at Fitzgerald's double nomination, and no doubt breathed a sigh of relief when he lost Best Actor
to his costar Bing Crosby
. They quickly changed the rules so no actor would be nominated in two categories for the same role ever again.
Fitzgerald, like every Oscar winner during World War II
, took home a statue made of plastic
due to wartime rationing. The $10 plastic statues were given out with the promise of an authentic one once the war was over. A few hours after the award ceremony, Fitzgerald was practicing his golf
swing in his living room
when he decapitated
his plastic Oscar. Paramount
bought him a new one the next day.