Composer John Williams is a pillar of the film soundtrack world. He is known for his work on Star Wars, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, and Jaws. His masterful work has earned him 53 Academy Award nominations and five wins—the last one being for Schindler's List (1993). He has been nominated once again for his score for the Steven Spielberg-directed film The Fabelmans (2022). This recognition is now a history-making one. Williams has become the oldest person to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award at the age of 90. The composer also holds the record for most Oscar nods for a living person, and is the only person to be nominated in seven different decades.
The nomination record was previously held by three 89-year-old nominees: James Ivory, screenwriter for Call Me by Your Name; Ann Roth, costume designer for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom; and legendary French filmmaker Agnès Varda for Faces Places. Ivory still holds the record for the oldest person to ever win an Oscar, at 90. Only time will tell if Williams will break his record on Oscars night, at which point the composer will be 91.
This year, at the 95th Academy Awards, Williams’ fellow competitors are two-time Oscar winner Justin Hurwitz for Babylon; German pianist Hauschka for All Quiet on the Western Front, experimental band Son Lux for Everything Everywhere All at Once; and three-time nominee Carter Burwell for The Banshees of Inisherin.
Williams will be in great company in the competition, but being amongst greats is nothing new for him. Williams has worked with many amazing creatives in his lifetime, but his long-time collaboration with Spielberg is especially note-worthy. They have worked together in over 20 films. The Fabelmans, a semi-autographical tale by Spielberg, marks 50 years of their partnership. Since the movie's characters represent the director's family, Williams has described the work as a gift to Spielberg’s parents, whom he also knew well. “When he first previewed it for me on his Steinway, I knew he had made this his most personal gift to me as well,” Spielberg said in an interview with Classic FM. The famed director has also announced that he is working on a documentary on the life of Williams.
The 95th Academy Awards will take place on March 12th, 2023, so it's only a matter of time until we learn if Williams will make history once again.
John Williams has become oldest person to be nominated for a competitive Academy Award at age 90 for his work on the Steven Spielberg-directed movie The Fabelmans (2022)
If Williams wins, he’d also become the oldest person to ever win an Oscar at age 91. The record currently belongs to screenwriter James Ivory, who won at 90.
h/t: [Classic FM]