At the 2020 Academy Awards nominations announcement, the films that came away with the most nominations were Joker (11), The Irishman, 1917, and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (10 each). Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, the last film in the epic space opera saga, were able to get three—and one of them meant a big deal.

For his musical score, The Rise of Skywalker’s composer John Williams received what is now his 52nd Oscar nomination, extending his record as the most-nominated living individual.

The only person with more nominations than Williams is the late Walt Disney, who garnered 59 nominations between 1932 and 1969. Disney is also the most-awarded individual with 32 Oscars, 22 of which were competitive awards. For perspective, coming in third behind Disney and Williams is the late composer Alfred Newman who has 43, while the closest living individual is director Woody Allen with 24.


Composer John Williams (Photo from AP)

To date Williams has won five Academy Awards, all for Original Score in the following films: Fiddler on the Roof, Jaws, the original Star Wars, E.T. the Extraterrestrial, and Schindler’s List. He has scored all nine films in the Star Wars saga, and has been nominated for all the films in the original trilogy and the sequel trilogy. Some of Williams’ best-known scores include Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, Home Alone, Saving Private Ryan, the first two Harry Potter films, and the Indiana Jones series.

In the 2020 Academy Awards, Williams will be going up against Little Women’s Alexandre Desplat, Joker’s Hildur Guðnadóttir, Marriage Story’s Randy Newman, and 1917’s Thomas Newman (the two Newmans are cousins, and Thomas is the son of the aforementioned Alfred—collectively the Newman family has 92 nominations).

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