For the next twenty-one days we'll be sharing little trivia items as we count down to Hollywood's High Holy Night and surveying each category though we're not ready for the latter part just yet. Sound fun?
Guess who's the only famous director to ever win exactly 21 nominations? That's Billy Wilder, pictured above with his bounty from The Apartment (1960). He won nominations in Picture, Director, and in the Writing categories over his very long directorial career which stretched from the French language Mauvaise Grain (1934) to the Jack Lemmon/Walter Matthau comedy Buddy Buddy (1981). His career total: 6 Oscars and a Thalberg!
The only director more celebrated in terms of total nominations in multiple categories is Woody Allen with 24 career nods, the huge bulk of which are for Best Original Screenplay (where he's nominated again this year for Blue Jasmine). Billy Wilder is also in second place in terms of total Best Director nominations with 8 though he shares that honor with Martin Scorsese (nominated again this year as well for The Wolf of Wall Street). First place is William Wyler (Ben Hur) with an incredible 12 Best Director nominations. Wyler is unlikely to ever be overthrown with his nearest living and working rivals so far behind him (Scorsese with 8, Steven Spielberg & Allen with 7 each and all of them senior citizens).
What's your favorite Billy Wilder movie?
It's an amazingly tough question since the man made Double Indemnity (1944), Sunset Boulevard (1950), Some Like It Hot (1959), and The Apartment (1960) all of which will regular pop up on "Best Movies Ever" lists.