Director Trivia

[w] indicates a win.

Most Nominations for Best Director
Most Directing Oscars
Most Directing Nominations Without A Single Win
Back-to-Back Directing Oscars
Directors Who Directed Themselves to Acting Oscars
Person to Direct the Most Acting Award Winning Performances
The Only Women Nominated As Best Director
Oldest/Youngest Best Directors

Most Nominations for Best Director

  • William Wyler (12 nominations, 3 wins)
  • Martin Scorcese (8 nominations, 1 win)
  • Billy Wilder (8 nominations, 2 wins)

Most Directing Oscars

John Ford was only nominated for 5 Academy Awards for directing, 16 other men can claim that or better, but he holds the record for the most wins for Best Director with 4. John won for:

  • The Informer (1935)
  • The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
  • How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  • The Quiet Man (1952)

Most Directing Nominations Without A Single Win

Clarence Brown (6):

  • Romance (1929/30)
  • Anna Christie (1929/30)
  • A Free Soul (1930/31)
  • The Human Comedy (1943)
  • National Velvet (1944)
  • The Yearling (1946)

Back-to-Back Directing Oscars

  • Joseph L. Mankiewicz — A Letter to Three Wives (1949), All About Eve (1950)
  • John Ford — Grapes of Wrath (1940), How Green Was My Valley (1941)

Directors Who Directed Themselves to Acting Oscars

  • Laurence Olivier — Hamlet (1948)
  • Roberto Benigni — Life is Beautiful (1998)

Person to Direct the Most Acting Award Winning Performances

William Wyler directed 34 Oscar-nominated and 13 Oscar-winning performances; the winners are:

  • Walter Brennan — Come and Get It (1936)
  • Bette Davis — Jezebel (1938)
  • Fay Bainter — Jezebel (1938)
  • Walter Brennan — The Westerner (1940)
  • Greer Garson — Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  • Teresa Wright — Mrs. Miniver (1942)
  • Frederic March — The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • Harold Russell — The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • Olivia de Havilland — The Heiress (1949)
  • Audrey Hepburn — Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Burl Ives — The Big Country (1958)
  • Charleton Heston — Ben-Hur (1959)
  • Hugh Griffith — Ben-Hur (1959)
  • Barbra Streisand — Funny Girl (1968)

The Only Women Nominated As Best Director

  • Lina Wertmuller — Seven Beauties (1976)
  • Jane Campion — The Piano (1994)
  • Sophia Coppola — Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Kathryn Bigelow — The Hurt Locker (2009) [w]
  • Greta Gerwig — Lady Bird (2017)

Oldest/Youngest Best Directors

Youngest Nominee: John Singleton, Age 24, Boyz N the Hood (1991)

Youngest Winner: Norman Taurog, Age 32, Skippy (1930/31)

Oldest Nominee: John Huston, Age 79, Prizzi's Honor (1985)

Oldest Winner: Clint Eastwood, Age 74, Million Dollar Baby (2004)