Despite their implications for careers, cultural goods and honours in the field of cultural production have rarely been examined as career events by culture researchers. More typically, cultural prizes are examined as they relate to the process of cultural valorization or are used to construct samples of venerated cultural products or producers for subsequent analysis. However, embedding cultural goods and distinctions in the career trajectories of cultural producers provides important neglected context. The example of the Academy Awards, the equivalent of a promotion in film acting, demonstrates the usefulness of the perspective. The research concludes that previously understood gendered age disparities are linked to earlier life course events, social networks, and structural factors that govern access to the career track. Implications for cultural policy are discussed.