The BAMBI award is eleven inches tall and eight inches long. It is cast in bronze, plated with 18 carat gold and weighs about five and a half pounds.
The original BAMBI award from 1948 was made of white porcelain. Today’s BAMBI is cast in bronze and plated in gold. In 1966 there were additional awards in silver for runner-ups.
In 1953, the BAMBI awards were presented in a public ceremony for the first time at the Passage-Theater in Hamburg. For the first five years, they were presented at the winners’ private homes in Vienna, Blackpool and Los Angeles.
At the first public BAMBI award gala in 1958, the red carpet measured 25 feet and six inches. The red carpet at the 60th anniversary gala in 2008 in Offenburg was exactly 1,050 feet long.
The first BAMBI award galas from 1958 to 1964 took place in Karlsruhe. The first winners were the French actor Jean Marais and the German-Austrian actress Marika Rökk. In later years, the BAMBI award galas were held in cities such as Berlin, Leipzig, Hamburg and Munich.
Since 1958 the golden BAMBI has been made by the artisan foundry of Ernst Strassacker in the Swabian village of Süßen. It is based on a design by the sculptor Kurtfritz Handel.
Hundreds of BAMBIs have been awarded since 1948. By 2009, a total of 991 BAMBI statuettes had been given to 242 female and 444 male winners. Many of them have received several BAMBIs down the years.
In 2007, Tom Cruise gave the longest ever acceptance speech for a BAMBI award, talking for almost eight minutes. He expressed his gratitude in 1,319 words.
Since 1971, the annual live broadcast of the BAMBI award gala has been watched by up to 7.07 million viewers. As Executive Producer Werner Kimmig says: “BAMBI is the most successful awards ceremony on German television.”
Here are some of the multiple BAMBI award winners: German actor Heinz Rühmann (12 awards), Austrian actor and entertainer Peter Alexander (10 awards), Austrian actor Otto Wilhelm Fischer (10 awards), Italian actress Sophia Loren (9 awards), Austrian actress Maria Schell (8 awards), American actor Rock Hudson (6 awards), soccer legend Franz Beckenbauer (5 awards) and French actor Pierre Brice (5 awards).