John Williams has provided the soundtrack for some of Hollywood's most iconic films

By Alexia Fernández
January 13, 2020 04:18 PM

John Williams is only getting better with age.

The renowned composer scored his 52nd Academy Award nomination for Best Original Score for his work in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker on Monday.

Williams, 87, broke his own record with the nomination. The only other person Williams trails behind is Walt Disney, who received 59 Academy Award nominations including 22 total award wins, according to Forbes.

Williams has won a total of five Oscars for Schindler’s List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Star Wars, Jaws and Fiddler on the Roof.

His first Oscar nomination came from composing the score for the 1967 film Valley of the Dolls. At the 1969 awards show, Williams was nominated twice for The Reivers and Goodbye, Mr. Chips.

John Williams
| Credit: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty

That wouldn’t be the last time the composer would be nominated more than once in a year.

Williams scored three Academy Award nominations in 1973 for scoring Cinderella Liberty and Tom Sawyer and also received a Best Song nomination for Cinderella Liberty‘s “Nice To Be Around.”

Most of Williams’ work is widely known and regarded having scored the music for all nine Star Wars films, four Indiana Jones films and the first three Harry Potter films.

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In 2005 the American Film Institute chose Williams’ score to the 1977 Star Wars film as the greatest American film score of all time, while the Library of Congress entered the soundtrack into the National Recording Registry for being “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant.”

He received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016.

Steven Spielberg, who has worked with Williams on all but five of his films, paid tribute to the movie-music titan, evoking even more of Williams’ indelible compositions, including the Superman themes.

“Without John Williams, bikes don’t really fly, nor do brooms in Quidditch matches, and nor do men in red capes. There is no Force. Dinosaurs do not walk the Earth. We do not wonder, we do not weep, we do not believe,” Spielberg said at the time.

“John, you breathe belief into every film we have made,” Spielberg continued. “You take our movies, many of them about our most impossible dreams, and through your musical genius, you make them real and everlasting for billions and billions of people.”

The 92nd Annual Academy Awards will air live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood on Feb. 9 at 8 p.m. ET on ABC.