Academy Award History; 7 Record Breaking Nominees

It’s official. La La Land has fourteen nominations, making it either the best picture of 2016 or the most overrated slop since Titanic. (Only kidding… I cried like a baby when Jack sank into the freezing water.)

By reading this list you up your chances of winning the breakout game of trivia at the next Oscar party you attend. You’ll be the master of all questions about nominations.

Some of these are the snubs, the people or films that received the nod but didn’t make the cut.

Movies with the most nominations

(Joseph L. Mankiewicz, the writer and director of All About Eve | source:

With the addition of La La Land (2016), there are now three movies to receive fourteen nominations, including All About Eve (1950), and Titanic (1997).

Of the two previous nomination title holders, Titanic went on to win eleven awards, putting the movie next to Ben-Hur and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King for most awards won by a single film.

If La La Land can score just one more homer to get twelve, it will earn the title as the film with the most wins ever.

Movies with the most nominations but no wins

(Oprah Winfrey in The Color Purple | source:

Two movies share the title, The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1985). The first movie was a movie about ballet in New York City. The cast was a solid block of talent, but all white. It starred Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine.

The movie won two golden globes, but could not crack the Oscars.

Were it not for that film, The Color Purple’s equal snub might stand as proof of the accusations that the Academy suffers color bias. Some fans see it that way anyway.

The Color Purple did win a Golden Globe, but to the cast of that movie, it’s not the same.

Actress with most nominations for acting

(Jessica Lang and Meryl Streep in ’83 | source:

Although not everyone is a fan of Meryl Streep, the Academy likes her. They’ve proven it 20 times over, nominating her that many times for best actress or best supporting.

Streep recently irked the then-president-elect Trump with comments she made about Trump while receiving a lifetime achievement award. The president-elect’s comments at the time were that Streep was “overrated.”

Actor with most nominations for acting

(The man | source:

No stranger to controversy himself, Jack Nicholson trails behind Streep with only 12 nominations. It’s enough to put him at the top of the pack for actors.

Bonus: When he received his tenth nod for A Few Good Men, that put Nicholson in another category as the first actor to receive ten nominations.

He ties with Streep for the second-most wins for acting, both beaten by Katherine Hepburn who has four wins for acting.

Most acting nominations without an award

(A young O’Toole | source:

The Academy first nominated Peter O’Toole for best actor for his performance in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). They would go on to nominate him seven more times.

Despite the eight total nominations, O’Toole won zero awards until the Academy gave him the ultimate prize.

In 2002 they awarded him an honorary award for his entire body of work. O’Toole tried to decline, but they insisted they would award him whether he accepted or not.

Most posthumous nominations

(James Dean and Ursula Andress at the Academy Awards dinner 1955 source:

Winning an award when you are dead is not easy. Actors have a leg up on the rest of us, especially when death rips them from us prematurely.

This was the James Dean when they nominated him for the movies East of Eden (1955) and Giant (1957). Dean died in September of 1955, killed in a car accident. He was in the two films before the accident.

By the time producers edited and released the films, the nominations were relevant but posthumous. For better or worse, Dean did not win for either film.

Person with most nominations


In addition to winning 10 awards over the course of eight years of Academy Awards, from 1931 to 1939, Walt Disney amassed a total of 59 nominations during his life.

Two of those awards were special awards, created just for Walt. They gave him an award for creating Mickey Mouse, but also for the innovations in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

If you didn’t take notes, you should save a copy of this to your phone or commit it to memory. Even if you don’t go to an Oscar’s party, you can impress your friends with all your Academy knowledge.