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How many Oscars has Steven Spielberg won and for which movies?

Steven Spielberg’s successful career in Hollywood continues, with his film “The Fabelmans” up for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.

Steven Spielberg

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For many directors in Hollywood, one Academy Award nomination or win would be the honor of a lifetime. This year, one director stands above the rest with a film of his nominated for the second year in a row. Steven Spielberg, the mind behind Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., The Color Purple, Hook, Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List, has received a nomination for his film, was nominated for Best Director and Best Picture last year for West Side Story.

This year Spielberg has another chance to take home both awards for his film The Fabelmans a semi-autobiographical movie that has received high acclaim for critics. The Fabelmas snagged the award for Best Picture in the drama category at this year’s 80th Golden Globe awards, hosted earlier this month —an indication that the film could win big at the 95th Academy Awards in March.

Spielberg starting out

Spielberg wrote, produced and directed his first feature-length film, Firelight, a crudely-made science-fiction tale, on a budget of just $500 in 1964. A breakthrough wouldn’t come for another four years, when Universal offered him work as a television director on a new series Eyes. Artistically and aesthetically, it didn’t set the world alight but at least it gave Spielberg, then barely in his 20s, the chance to continue learning his trade and make any mistakes he needed to make early on.

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Spielberg gained international recognition with Jaws, a thriller surrounding a great white shark which terrorises beachgoers, swimmers and fishermen on Amity Island and their attempts to hunt it down. It was a box office smash in the summer of 1975, recouping production costs in just over one week. It won three Oscars - Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Sound and was also nominated for the Best Picture but Spielberg was not among the five nominees for the Best Director.

Spielberg made his first appearance among the candidates for the Best Director award two years later for his science fiction thriller Close Encounters of the Third Kind which became a box office smash in the United States and abroad, grossing $340,800,479. But he missed out as Woody Allen took the award for Annie Hall, with Close Encounters picking up just one accolade - Vilmos Zsigmond collecting the Best Cinematography prize.

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First Oscars, 1993

In the early 80s, he was back among the Best Director nominees for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and E.T. (1982). Again he missed out and would have to wait another decade for his first statuette. Spielberg was finally recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 1993 for Schindler’s List - a three-hour epic based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, who is attributed with saving the lives of over 1,000 German Jews during the Second World War. The film, which has since grossed $322,197,132 worldwide, also won the Oscar for the Best Picture.

Five years later, Spielberg picked up his third Oscar - his second in the Best Director category for Saving Private Ryan - another war movie, this time focusing on the Normandy landings. In the following years he featured among the nominees for the Best Director twice: Munich (2006) and Lincoln (2013) and six times for the Best Picture: Munich (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima, (2007), War Horse (2012), Bridge of Spies (2016) and The Post (2018).

Spielberg stands alongside many of Hollywood’s greatest

With a total of eight nominations for the Academy Best Director Award during his career, few filmmakers come close to Steven Spielberg - only William Wyler, with 12 and Martin Scorsese with nine have had more. The 75-year-old has the chance to pick up another academy award, his fourth or perhaps even a fifth, in Monday’s ceremony as his adaptation of West Side Story has been nominated for the Best Director and Best Picture awards.

Best Director nominees photo reel


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