Oscar nominations: Records, milestones and fascinating facts

Meryl Streep (“August: Osage County“) breaks her own Academy record with an 18th acting nomination (15 leading, 3 supporting). The next closest with 12 nods each are Katharine Hepburn and Jack Nicholson.

Hepburn is the only person to ever win four Oscars for acting. Streep could share that record if she wins this time.

Streep and Hepburn are two of the six people to win at least three Oscars for acting. The others are Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Nicholson.

Composer John Williams earns his 49th Oscar nomination, more than any living person. He is nodded for “The Book Thief” as Best Original Score. The all-time champ is Walt Disney with 59 bids. 

Composer Thomas Newman (“Saving Mr. Banks”) receives his 12th Oscar nomination but has never won before. Going back to the early days of the Oscars, his composing family (Alfred, David, Emil, Lionel, and Randy) has the overall family record of 88 nominations.

Likewise, cinematographer Roger Deakins (“Prisoners”) earns his 11th career nomination with no wins.

American Hustle” becomes the 15th film to earn Oscar nominations in all four acting categories. Director David O. Russell accomplished this same feat last year with “Silver Linings Playbook.”

Megan Ellison is nominated against herself in the Best Picture category for producing “American Hustle” and “Her.” She is only the third person (Francis Ford Coppola, Scott Rudin) to pull off this double act.

With his bid for “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Martin Scorsese is now in a tie with Billy Wilder for the second most nominations among directors. They both achieved eight nods, behind William Wyler‘s total of 12.

Jennifer Lawrence could become the youngest person to ever win two acting Oscars. She is nominated for “American Hustle” this year and won for “Silver Linings Playbook” last year. The current record-holder as the youngest double Oscar winner is Luise Rainer (“The Great Ziegfeld,” “The Good Earth”), who was 28 when she earned her second.

Lawrence could also become the sixth person to win consecutive acting Oscars. The others were Rainer, Spencer Tracy (“Captains Courageous,” “Boys Town”), Katharine Hepburn (“Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “The Lion in Winter”), Jason Robards (“All the President’s Men,” “Julia”), and Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia,” “Forrest Gump”).

Longest gaps between nominations: Bruce Dern (35 years since his last nod); Julia Roberts (13 years).

The past six straight Golden Globe winners as Best Supporting Actor have also won Oscars. That might favor Jared Leto (“Dallas Buyers Club“) this year.

Five consecutive Golden Globe winners as Best Supporting Actress have also won Oscars. That would favor Lawrence (“American Hustle”) this time.

Supporting actor contender Jonah Hill has now appeared in three Best Picture nominees in a row: “Moneyball” (2011), “Django Unchained” (2012), and “The Wolf of Wall Street” (2013).

If Bruce Dern (“Nebraska“) wins as Best Actor, he would become the oldest winner in this category at age 77. The record is currently held by Henry Fonda at age 76 for “On Golden Pond.”

If June Squibb (“Nebraska”) wins as Best Supporting Actress, she would become the oldest winner of any Oscar category at age 84. The current holder of that record is Christopher Plummer, who won at age 82 for “Beginners.”

If Lupita Nyong’o (“12 Years a Slave“) wins as Best Supporting Actress, she would be the ninth person to do so in this category for their film debut. The most recent ladies to accomplish this were Jennifer Hudson (“Dreamgirls”) and Anna Paquin (“The Piano”).

If Barkhad Abdi (“Captain Phillips“) wins as Best Supporting Actor, he would be only the third person to win this category for a film debut. The others were Haing S. Ngor (“The Killing Fields”) and Harold Russell (“The Best Years of Our Lives”).

Woody Allen (“Blue Jasmine“) could break his own record in the screenplay category. He has already won the most times (3) for Original Screenplay. He also now has had 16 overall nominations in his career, by far the record for writing.

Robert Lopez could become the 12th person to achieve EGOT status by winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony over a career. He is nominated for Best Original Song (“Let It Go” from “Frozen”). He won Tonys for “Avenue Q” and “The Book of Mormon,” a Grammy for “The Book of Mormon,” and a Daytime Emmy for “The Wonder Pets.”

In the Best Director race, Alfonso Cuaron (“Gravity“) would be the first ever Mexican winner. Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”) would be the first black winner.

The Best Picture winners with the most nominations were “All About Eve” and “Titanic” with 14. The movies with the most nominations this year are “American Hustle” and “Gravity” with 10 each.

Every Best Picture winner in the past 60 years has also been nominated in a screenplay category except for “The Sound of Music” and “Titanic.”

Every Best Picture winner since 1981 has also been nominated for Best Editing. 1980’s “Ordinary People” was the last one without an editing bid.

Recent Best Picture winners nominated for Best Sound Editing: “No Country for Old Men” (winner), “Slumdog Millionaire,” “The Hurt Locker (winner), and “Argo.”

Recent Best Picture winners nominated for Best Sound Mixing: “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King” (winner), “No Country for Old Men,” “Slumdog Millionaire” (winner), “The Hurt Locker” (winner), “The King’s Speech,” and “Argo.”

Best Picture winners to also win Best Visual Effects include: “Titanic,” “Gladiator,” and “Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.”

No sci-fi film has ever won the Oscar as Best Picture. “Gravity” could become the first this year.

7 thoughts on “Oscar nominations: Records, milestones and fascinating facts

  1. I don’t know about people calling GRAVITY science fiction…it’s story just doesn’t seem to be compatible to any other film attributed to that genre. What happens in the story can so happen in the here and now (even if some of the science is off)…I just call it fiction.

  2. When was the last time, if ever, a Best Actress nominee also appeared in different film nominated for best picture? (Amy Adams nominated for acting in AH, but also appearing in best picture nominee Her.)

  3. Andrew: Viola Davis appeared in The Help (Best Actress nominee) and Extremely Loud and Incredible Close in 2011. John C. Reilly had a greater achievement, for he appeared in 3 Best Picture Nominees when there where only 5: Chicago (nominated), The Hours and Gangs of New York, all in 2002.

  4. I suppose it’s not a record, but Jennifer Lawrence is only the third reigning Best Actress winner to be nominated for Supporting Actress the following year. The others were Jennifer Jones and Emma Thompson. Lawrence would be the first to win a Supporting trophy after having won a Lead Oscar the year before.

  5. @ Andrew – I’m sure it happened more than this way back in the day, but I can think of 4 times off the top of my head: Helen Hayes (Arrowsmith/The Sin of Madleon Claudet) in 1932, Bette Davis (All This and Heaven Too/The Letter) in 1940, Greer Garson (Random Harvest/Mrs. Miniver) in 1942 & Ingrid Bergman (Casablanca/For Whom the Bell Tolls) in 1943.

  6. Also the aforementioned Emma Thompson in 1993, even though she was nominated for both performances in their respective categories…The Remains of the Day/In the Name of the Father. On that same note Teresa Wright in 1942…The Pride of The Yankees/Mrs. Miniver.

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