John Williams Overview:

Character actor, John Williams, was born John Towner Williams on Apr 15, 1903 in Chalfont, England. Williams died at the age of 80 on May 5, 1983 in La Jolla, CA and was cremated and his ashes scattered at sea off the coast of La Jolla, CA.


Tall, stately, and mustachioed John Williams was a British actor who never lost his essential Englishness despite living almost entirely in America from 1924. His film appearances are minor apart from his famous running role as inspector Hubbard in Dial M for Murder", which he played on stage, in film, and on television.  He began on stage as a boy of 13, playing John in "Peter Pan". During World War II, he served with the RAF and made a couple of movies in England. The John Williams who appears in 1935's Emil and the Detectives is not the same actor. 

(Source: available at Amazon Quinlan's Illustrated Dictionary of Film Character Actors).



John Williams was nominated for 30 Academy Awards, winning three for Best Music - Scoring for Fiddler on the Roof, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial and Schindler's List in 1971, 1982 and 1993 respectively.

Academy Awards

YearAwardFilm nameRoleResult
1967Best Music - ScoringValley of the Dolls (1967)N/ANominated
1969Best Music - ScoringThe Reivers (1969)N/ANominated
1971Best Music - ScoringFiddler on the Roof (1971)N/AWon
1973Best Music - ScoringCinderella Liberty (1973)N/ANominated
1973Best Music - SongCinderella Liberty (1973)N/ANominated
1974Best Music - ScoringThe Towering Inferno (1974)N/ANominated
1977Best Music - ScoringClose Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)N/ANominated
1978Best Music - ScoringSuperman (1978)N/ANominated
1980Best Music - ScoringThe Empire Strikes BackN/ANominated
1981Best Music - ScoringRaiders of the Lost Ark (1981)N/ANominated
1982Best Music - ScoringE.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)N/AWon
1983Best Music - ScoringReturn of the JediN/ANominated
1984Best Music - ScoringIndiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)N/ANominated
1987Best Music - ScoringEmpire of the Sun (1987)N/ANominated
1988Best Music - ScoringThe Accidental Tourist (1988)N/ANominated
1989Best Music - ScoringBorn on the Fourth of July (1989)N/ANominated
1990Best Music - ScoringHome Alone (1990)N/ANominated
1991Best Music - ScoringJFK (1991)N/ANominated
1993Best Music - ScoringSchindler's List (1993)N/AWon
1995Best Music - ScoringNixon (1995)N/ANominated
1996Best Music - ScoringSleepers (1996)N/ANominated
1997Best Music - ScoringAmistad (1997)N/ANominated
1998Best Music - ScoringSaving Private Ryan (1998)N/ANominated
1999Best Music - ScoringAngela's Ashes (1999)N/ANominated
2000Best Music - ScoringThe PatriotN/ANominated
2001Best Music - ScoringA.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)N/ANominated
2002Best Music - ScoringCatch Me If You CanN/ANominated
2004Best Music - ScoringHarry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)N/ANominated
2005Best Music - ScoringMemoirs of a Geisha (2005)N/ANominated
2011Best Music - ScoringThe Adventures of TintinN/ANominated

BlogHub Articles:

Top of the World: Celebrating With 15 Soundtracks

By Virginie Pronovost on Feb 8, 2020 From The Wonderful World of Cinema

Today, the prolific film music composer turns 88. To celebrate him, I’ve decided to share with you my 15 most favourite film scores composed by him. I believe that even if you aren’t into films, you are surely familiar with at least one of his compositions. Some of his them... Read full article

in Indianapolis

By Alyson on Mar 22, 2018 From The Best Picture Project

A few weeks ago, I was lucky enough to have a once in a lifetime experience that any film fan or music nerd would kill for. I got to see conducting some of his most iconic film music, live with my hometown orchestra, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra. I don?t want to exaggerate, but ... Read full article

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John Williams Quotes:

Inspector Byrnes: Sometimes I think the Blitz left us with more derelict minds than derelict buildings.

Chief Insp. Hubbard: [to Mark and Margot] Mind you, even I didn't guess that at once... extraordinary.

Tony Wendice: [on the phone to a lawyer] Carl, it's me. We have a problem here. Our flat was broken into last night and Margot was attacked. No... she's all right. The man was killed. The police are here now, and don't laugh... but they're suggesting that Margot killed him intentionally.
Chief Insp. Hubbard: [interupting Tony] I wouldn't say that if I were you, sir.

read more quotes from John Williams...

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Best Music - Scoring Oscar 1971

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John Williams Facts
During a live orchestral concert of film music in late 2004, Williams presented a tribute to the late Jerry Goldsmith, David Raksin, and Elmer Bernstein, explaining how he played piano on some of their scores at the beginning of his career. He joked "They were my former employers - I must have been something like 12 when I played for them.".

He's an admirer of Japanese animation composer Yôko Kanno.

Composed for all but two of Steven Spielberg's feature films.

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