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Who won the most Oscars for best director?




The most important Oscar usually goes to the category of the best film of the year. All winning films can be found in this overview. The award-winning best actresses and actors are also in the public spotlight. Especially those that have won several Oscars. But the Oscar for the best director is also in great demand. Which director has won the most directing Oscar?

The prominent directing scene is still heavily male-dominated: it wasn’t until 2010 that the Oscar for best director was awarded to a woman for the first time: Kathryn Bigelow received the award for directing “Tödliches Kommando – The Hurt Locker”. In 2021, Chloé Zhao (“Nomadland”) was the second time a female director was awarded the Oscar for best director. Up to that point in time, a total of more than 90 directorscars had been awarded.

While Zhao and Bigelow have received a directing Oscar so far, there are some directors who have already been awarded the golden trophy several times. These directors are the most successful at the Academy Awards.

Two-time Academy Award-winning directors

A number of directors have received two awards with the director’s car. Joseph L. Mankiewicz managed the feat of receiving the award for two consecutive years: 1950 for “Letter to Three Women” and 1951 for “All About Eva”. In the series of two-time award-winning directors, Elia Kazan followed with “Tabu der Gerechten” (1948) and “Die Faust im Nacken” (1955) as well as George Stevens with “Ein Platz an der Sonne” (1952) and “Giganten” (1957) . The feat was also achieved by the directors Billy Wilder for “The Lost Weekend” (1946) and “The Apartment” (1961) as well as David Lean with “The Bridge on the Kwai” (1958) and “Lawrence of Arabia” (1963). Fred Zinnemann also received two Oscars for “Damned in All Eternity” (1954) and “A man for every season” (1967). Then two decades passed without a double-award-winning director.




It was only since the 1990s that other directors who are still world-famous have been able to join here. Steven Spielberg got the Oscar first for “Schindler’s List” (1994), then for the film “Saving Private Ryan” (1999). The last double-award-winning director is the 91-year-old Clint Eastwood. Eastwood got his first directorial Oscar for “Merciless” (1993), followed twelve years later by the second for “Million Dollar Baby” (2005).

Directors with three Academy Awards

So far, only two people have been awarded three director’s cars. In the 1930s, Frank Capra quickly won three trophies: 1935 for “It happened in one night”, 1937 for “Mr. Deeds goes to town ”and in 1939 for“ Die Lebenskünstler ”. The second director to win three Academy Awards is William Wyler. In total, Wyler was nominated twelve times for the director’s Oscar, which is by far an Oscar record. Wyler received the Oscars for “Mrs. Miniver ”(1943),“ The Best Years of Our Lives ”(1947) and“ Ben Hur ”(1960). With a total of eleven Oscars, the latter is also one of the most successful films in the history of the Oscars.

Most of the director’s cars: four awards

The most successful director in the history of the Oscars is the American John Ford, who died in 1973. He began his career in the film industry around the First World War, when he began making silent films. In 1936 Ford received his first directorial oscar for “The Traitor”. Five years later, he also won the Oscar for best director twice in a row. First in 1941 for “The Fruits of Anger”, then in 1942 for “Schlagende Wetter”. A decade later he got the fourth Oscar for “Der Sieger” (1953). This puts John Ford at the top of the directorial cars. In his nearly 50 years in the film industry, Ford made over 140 films. He is also one of the most famous western directors in US film history.


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