John Williams Sets Record For Oldest Oscar Nominee; Judd Hirsch Becomes Second-Oldest Acting Nominee 42 Years After His First Nom

John Williams and Judd Hirsch
John Williams and Judd Hirsch Getty Images

Steven Spielberg’s autobiographical feature The Fabelmans earned seven Oscar nominations this morning, including one for Spielberg’s longtime collaborator, composer John Williams, and one for veteran actor Judd Hirsch, who plays Boris, a fictionalized version of Spielberg’s great uncle in the movie.

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At 90 years 350 days, Williams became the oldest person to be nominated for an Oscar (excluding honorary awards). He also topped his own record as the most nominated living person with 53 Oscar noms. (Only Walt Disney has more overall, 59.)

At 87 years and 315 days, Hirsch became the second oldest acting nominee behind Christopher Plummer who was 88 years and 41 days at the time of his nomination and ahead of Titanic’s Gloria Stuart who was 87 years, 221 days.

Hirsch’s second Oscar nomination comes 42 years after his first; he was nominated in the same Supporting Actor category in 1981 for Ordinary People. This eclipses the previous record for longest gap between Oscar acting nominations held by Henry Fonda with The Grapes of Wrath in 1941 and On Golden Pond in 1982, for which he won. (Fonda shared a Best Picture Oscar nomination for 12 Angry Men and received an Honorary Oscar between his two acting noms.)

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Williams edged out Call Me by Your Name screenwriter James Ivory, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom costume designer Ann Roth, and Faces Places director Agnès Varda who were 89 at the time of their nominations. Ivory went on to become the oldest Oscar winner; Williams would also surpass that record if he wins what would be his sixth Oscar. He previously won for Fiddler on the Roof (1971), Jaws (1975), Star Wars (1977), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Schindler’s List (1993).

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Williams announced last year that he would retire after scoring the upcoming Indiana Jones 5 but recently indicated that he may have changed his mind.

“I’ll stick around for a while,” he told Entertainment Weekly. “I can’t retire from music.

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At 87, Hirsch, a two-time Emmy winner for Taxi, is not slowing down. He has been recurring on ABC’s The Goldbergs and Prime Video’s Hunters. The Fabelmans was one of four 2022 movies that he appeared in and he has series Extrapolations coming up, among other projects.

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