The Weird Oscar Record Steven Spielberg Holds

Alexandra Dantzer
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The speeches held at the Academy Awards ceremony are usually emotional and filled with gratitude, showing respect and full of “thank-yous.”

The list of gratitude is, often, comprised of all the crew members, parents, and families. There were a couple of remarkable and awkward speeches such as Roberto Benigni’s 1998 speech, where he thanked his parents for gifting him poverty, for which he was grateful.

Olivia de Havilland with the first of her two Oscars, this one for To Each His Own, March 13, 1947.

In 1987 Cher thanked all the assistants and the woman who had taught her the Brooklyn accent, intentionally leaving out the whole crew, which is highly unusual.

The person who has officially won the most “thank-yous” is Steven Spielberg, leaving even God five places behind him.

Steven Spielberg speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. Photo by Gage Skidmore CC BY-SA 3.0

Reviewing the archive of 1,396 speeches online, Vocativ counted that Spielberg was thanked 42 times which propelled him to the top of the list.

He, himself, was nominated fifteen times and has won two Oscars for his masterpiece Schindler’s List and one for Saving Private Ryan.

Steven Spielberg and Chandran Rutnam on location during the filming of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Photo by Chandran Rutnam (Asian Film Location Services PVT Ltd.) CC BY-SA 3.0

Spielberg has helped quite a few actors to get an Oscar themselves, like Daniel Day-Lewis starring in Lincoln.

It was understandable for him to thank the director who made a movie that helped him win one of the most important awards in the history of the film industry.

However, there are people who expressed their gratitude to Spielberg just for inspiring them, such as Sam Mendes, director of American Beauty.

Montreal Comiccon 2016 – Steven Spielberg and ET cosplay. Photo by Pikawil CC BY-SA 2.0

According to the Academy Awards Acceptance Speech Database, after Steven Spielberg handed the Oscar to him, Mendes said: “especially thank you to Steven Spielberg for handing me this script in the first place, for handing me this [referring to the Oscar], and for being so generous with your wisdom.”

Steven Spielberg’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Following him is George Lucas who gifted us with the Star Wars franchise and was mentioned 23 times. Right after him, with only one vote less, is director of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, Peter Jackson.

On an honorable 6th place is God with 19 mentions, far less than the winner, Steven Spielberg has.

The list finishes with Fran Walsh, Sheila Nevins, and Martin Scorsese and Saul Zaentz sharing 10th place.

Besides honorable mentions of crew members, the Academy itself was thanked in 43 percent of the speeches for allowing for such a great opportunity. Parents are thanked in 28 percent of all Academy Awards speeches.

Read another story from us: Steven Spielberg to Remake the Classic Musical ‘West Side Story’

Maybe the 91st Oscar Ceremony taking place on February 24, 2019 will change these stats, but it seems that Spielberg has a strong advantage, at least for the time being.