We're less than a week from Hollywood's High Holy Night. Are you excited yet?
For today's trivia party we'll look at the only people to win exactly six Oscars. Four men. It's always men (sigh). Only 11 people have won more Oscars than these four men. I did not include confusing cases like Visual FX guru Dennis Murren -- IMDb argues exactly 6 but that depends on how you count them since his prizes are many and a confusing jumble of technical achievements, special Oscars, and regular competitive statues. (Unfortunately I couldn't find photographs of the set decorators)
GORDON HOLLINGSHEAD (1892-1952)
This producer won more Oscars in the short film categories than anyone other than the legendary Walt Disney and Frederick Quimby (of Tom & Jerry fame) but he won them for live action films. His first Oscar, though, was in the inaguaral year (1933) of a category called "Best Assistant Director" which the Academy cancelled just a few years later.
THOMAS LITTLE (1886-1985)
This set decorator, originally from Ogden Utah, nearly made it to 99 years of age but he quit the business in the 1950s. He won six Oscars in the Production Design category (formerly Best Art Direction) from How Green Was My Valley (1941), This Above All (1942), My Gal Sal (1942), The Song of Bernadette (1943)*, Wilson (1944), and Anna and the King of Siam (1946). His last nomination was for Viva Zapata! (1952) and he retired from the business the next year.
WALTER M SCOTT (1906-1989)
Another set decorator! Walter M Scott was originally from Ohio and worked on close to 300 films in his very long career. His Oscars came from The Robe (1953), The King and I (1956), The Diary of Anne Frank (1959), Cleopatra (1963), Fantastic Voyage (1966) and Hello, Dolly! (1969)
BILLY WILDER (1906-2002)
The mega talented ridiculously versatile writer/director/producer helmed so many classics it's rather mind boggling including but not limited to: Ninotchka (1939), Double Indemnity (1944), Sabrina (1954), and Some Like It Hot (1959). His six Oscars came for only three films though: 2 Oscars for The Lost Weekend (1945), 1 Oscar for Sunset Blvd (1950), and 3 Oscars for The Apartment (1960). He later was honored with the Irving Thalberg award.
Do you think anyone in your lifetime is going to become a six time winner?
The closest to achieving this currently is John Williams with 5 Oscars. He's mostly retired now but if he wins for his score for The Force Awakens, he joins this very small club. He hasn't won since Schindler's List (1993) despite constant nominations since then. Iñárritu, who currently has 3, will almost be in this club IF he wins Pic/Director this year for The Revenant, and the following working artists have 4: Clint Eastwood, Woody Allen, the Coen brothers, Milena Canonero in costume design and Nick Park in animation. If Sandy Powell wins for either Carol or Cinderella this year in Costume Design she'll join the 4 Oscar club.
*If Emmanuel Lubezki wins his 3rd consecutive Oscar in cinematography he'll be the first to do so in that particular category but he won't be the first person to achieve it in any craft category since Thomas Little did it in art direction in the 40s (and possibly other people have done it elsewhere, too).