John Williams: Let’s revisit his 53 Oscar nominations

Composer John Williams is one of the most celebrated artists in Hollywood, as evidenced by all the history he made with his Best Original Score nomination at the Oscars for “The Fabelmans.” Click through the gallery above to see the composer’s entire legacy of Oscar nominations and wins.

This is the 53rd nomination for Williams, which makes him the most nominated living person at the Oscars and the second most nominated individual of all time behind Walt Disney (59). He’s also the oldest person ever nominated for an Oscar at age 90. And he’s the only artist to be nominated in seven different decades: 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s, 2010s, and now 2020s.

You might be surprised, though, that Williams has lost more than 90% of the time. Across all his decades of work he has only claimed five trophies: Best Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score for “Fiddler on the Roof” (1971) and Best Original Score for “Jaws” (1975), “Star Wars” (1977), “E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), and “Schindler’s List” (1993). So it has been 29 years since he last prevailed. In that time he has lost 21 times in a row. “The Fabelmans” is his 22nd nom since “Schindler’s.” Will this be the one that finally breaks his losing streak?

As of this writing thousands of Gold Derby users have made their Oscar predictions, but most of them are betting on Justin Hurwitz for his “Babylon” score. That said, “The Fabelmans” ranks second and is predicted by one of Gold Derby’s Editors, three of our Top 24 Users, and three of our All-Star Top 24. So he’s not out of the race by any means, and Oscar voters liked “The Fabelmans” overall far more than they liked “Babylon,” nominating it seven times including Best Picture while “Babylon” received only three crafts noms. So the door is open for Williams to become not just the Oscars’ oldest nominee, but also their oldest winner.

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