The Oscar producer DARRYL F. ZANUCK won in 1938 is to be auctioned off online. The first Irving Thalberg Memorial Award ever presented, Zanuck's statuette is expected to fetch upwards of $150,000 (GBP75,000) when it goes under the hammer at a Profiles in History auction on on 27 and 28 March (08). Profiles in History spokesman Marc Kruskol says, "Though the Oscar statuettes are more widely known, perhaps no other Academy Award is as important as this one - the very first Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award ever presented. "It honours the contributions of both Thalberg and Darryl F. Zanuck to the art of film and it stands as a wonderful association between these two giants of Hollywood motion pictures." Thalberg, a brilliant MGM executive known as the "boy Wonder" died tragically at the age of 37, two years before the award named after him was awarded to Zanuck. To this day, the Thalberg Memorial Award is the rarest and most prestigious honour bestowed by the Academy. It is only given an average of once every other year. There have only been 36 recipients, and the accolade has not been bestowed on anyone since 2000, when Dino De Laurentiis was honoured.