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List of posthumous Academy Award winners and nominees: Wikis

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This is a list of posthumous Academy Award winners and nominees. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually presents Academy Awards in both competitive and honorary categories. This list includes posthumous winners and nominees of the Academy's competitive awards, as well as posthumous winners of its honorary awards.

The list does not include people who were retrospectively honoured with an Academy Award and were dead at the time the Academy made the decision to make the retrospective award. For example: in 1993, seventeen years after his death, Dalton Trumbo was retrospectively awarded the 1953 Oscar for Best Writing - Motion Picture Story for Roman Holiday. It had been previously awarded to Ian McLellan Hunter. However, Hunter was merely a front for Trumbo, because Trumbo was blacklisted at the time and it was not possible for his name to appear in either the film's credits or the Academy Award nomination (hence, it was not generally known that he was the real screenwriter). Trumbo did not die until 1976, and under normal circumstances he would have received this award in person in 1953; hence the Academy does not consider this a posthumous award but a correction of the record.

Similarly, the Oscar for Best Screenplay (Adaptation) for The Bridge on the River Kwai was originally awarded to Pierre Boulle, but only in 1984 corrected to honor the actual screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, who were on the Hollywood blacklist at the time and could only work on the film in secret. By the time this correction was made, both Foreman and Wilson had died, but the award does not qualify for an entry in the following list.

This list is current as of the 81st Academy Awards ceremony held on February 22, 2009.

Contents

Competitive awards

Name Date of Death Ceremony Year Academy Award Film Winner Notes
Allen, Marit 02007-11-26 November 26, 2007 80th 2007 Best Costume Design La Vie en Rose
Ashman, Howard 01991-03-14 March 14, 1991 64th 1991 Best Music (Song) Beauty and the Beast Winner Note 1
Ashman, Howard 01991-03-14 March 14, 1991 65th 1992 Best Music (Song) Aladdin
August, Joseph H. 01947-09-25 September 25, 1947 21st 1948 Best Cinematography Portrait of Jennie
Aurthur, Robert Alan 01978-11-20 November 20, 1978 52nd 1979 Best Picture All That Jazz
Aurthur, Robert Alan 01978-11-20 November 20, 1978 52nd 1979 Best Writing All That Jazz
Cecchi Gori, Mario 01993-11-05 November 5, 1993 68th 1995 Best Picture Il Postino
Churchill, Frank 01942-05-14 May 14, 1942 15th 1942 Best Music (Scoring) Bambi
Churchill, Frank 01942-05-14 May 14, 1942 15th 1942 Best Music (Song) Bambi
Davey, Allen 01946-03-05 March 5, 1946 18th 1945 Best Cinematography Song to Remember, A
Dean, James 01955-09-30 September 30, 1955 28th 1955 Best Actor East of Eden
Dean, James 01955-09-30 September 30, 1955 29th 1956 Best Actor Giant
Disney, Walt 01966-12-15 December 15, 1966 41st 1968 Best Short Film (Animated) Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Winner
Duffy, Gerald 01928-06-25 June 25, 1928 01st 1927 / 1928 Best Writing Private Life of Helen of Troy, The
Eagels, Jeanne 01929-10-03 October 3, 1929 02nd 1928 / 1929 Best Actress Letter, The
Ferrari, William 01962-09-10 September 10, 1962 36th 1963 Best Art Direction How the West Was Won
Finch, Peter 01977-01-14 January 14, 1977 49th 1976 Best Actor Network Winner Note 2
Gershwin, George 01937-07-11 July 11, 1937 10th 1937 Best Music (Song) Shall We Dance
Gilmore, Stuart 01971-11-19 November 19, 1971 44th 1971 Best Film Editing Andromeda Strain, The
Goodwin, Thomas C. 01992-12-11 December 11, 1992 65th 1992 Best Documentary (Short Subject) Educating Peter Winner
Hall, Conrad L. 02003-01-04 January 4, 2003 75th 2002 Best Cinematography Road to Perdition Winner Note 3
Hall, David 01964-07-23 July 23, 1964 38th 1965 Best Art Direction Greatest Story Ever Told, The
Hennesy, Dale 01981-07-20 July 20, 1981 55th 1982 Best Art Direction Annie
Herrmann, Bernard 01975-12-24 December 24, 1975 49th 1976 Best Music (Scoring) Obsession
Herrmann, Bernard 01975-12-24 December 24, 1975 49th 1976 Best Music (Scoring) Taxi Driver
Hollingshead, Gordon 01952-07-08 July 8, 1952 25th 1952 Best Short Film (Live Action) Desert Killer
Hollingshead, Gordon 01952-07-08 July 8, 1952 25th 1952 Best Short Film (Live Action) Thar She Blows!
Horning, William A. 01959-03-02 March 2, 1959 31st 1958 Best Art Direction Gigi Winner
Horning, William A. 01959-03-02 March 2, 1959 32nd 1959 Best Art Direction Ben-Hur Winner
Horning, William A. 01959-03-02 March 2, 1959 32nd 1959 Best Art Direction North by Northwest
Howard, Sidney 01939-08-23 August 23, 1939 12th 1939 Best Writing Gone with the Wind Winner
Hubley, John 01977-02-21 February 21, 1977 50th 1977 Best Short Film (Animated) A Doonesbury Special
Kalmar, Bert 01947-09-18 September 18, 1947 24th 1951 Best Music (Song) Strip, The
Kern, Jerome 01945-11-11 November 11, 1945 18th 1945 Best Music (Scoring) Can't Help Singing
Kern, Jerome 01945-11-11 November 11, 1945 18th 1945 Best Music (Song) Can't Help Singing
Kern, Jerome 01945-11-11 November 11, 1945 19th 1946 Best Music (Song) Centennial Summer
Kiernan, William 01973-11-19 November 19, 1973 46th 1973 Best Art Direction Way We Were, The
Lamorisse, Albert 01970-06-02 June 2, 1970 51st 1978 Best Documentary (Feature) Lovers' Wind, The
Ledger, Heath 02008-01-22 January 22, 2008 81st 2008 Best Supporting Actor Dark Knight, The Winner Note 4
Leven, Boris 01986-10-11 October 11, 1986 59th 1986 Best Art Direction Color of Money, The
Mellor, William C. 01963-04-30 April 30, 1963 38th 1965 Best Cinematography Greatest Story Ever Told, The
Minghella, Anthony 02008-03-18 March 18, 2008 81st 2008 Best Picture Reader, The
Monaco, James V. 01945-10-16 October 16, 1945 19th 1946 Best Music (Song) Dolly Sisters, The
Newman, Alfred 01970-02-17 February 17, 1970 43rd 1970 Best Music (Scoring) Airport
O'Brien, Joseph 01945-03-30 March 30, 1945 18th 1945 Best Short Film (Live Action) Your National Gallery
Orbom, Eric 01959-05-23 May 23, 1959 33rd 1960 Best Art Direction Spartacus Winner
Perl, Arnold 01971-12-11 December 11, 1971 45th 1972 Best Documentary (Feature) Malcolm X
Pollack, Sydney 02008-05-26 May 26, 2008 81st 2008 Best Picture Reader, The
Rasch, Raymond 01964-12-22 December 22, 1964 45th 1972 Best Music (Scoring) Limelight Winner Note 5
Rau, Gretchen 02006-03-29 March 29, 2006 79th 2006 Best Art Direction Good Shepherd, The
Richardson, Ralph 01983-10-10 October 10, 1983 57th 1984 Best Supporting Actor Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
Riedel, Richard H. 01960-03-18 March 18, 1960 32nd 1959 Best Art Direction Pillow Talk
Russell, Larry 01954-02-14 February 14, 1954 45th 1972 Best Music (Scoring) Limelight Winner Note 5
Slesinger, Tess 01945-02-21 February 21, 1945 18th 1945 Best Writing Tree Grows in Brooklyn, A
Sobieski, Carol 01990-11-04 November 4, 1990 64th 1991 Best Writing Fried Green Tomatoes
Steele, Gile 01952-01-16 January 16, 1952 24th 1951 Best Costume Design Kind Lady
Steele, Gile 01952-01-16 January 16, 1952 24th 1951 Best Costume Design Great Caruso, The
Steele, Gile 01952-01-16 January 16, 1952 25th 1952 Best Costume Design Merry Widow, The
Stradling, Harry 01970-02-14 February 14, 1970 42nd 1969 Best Cinematography Hello, Dolly!
Tetrick, Harry W. 01977-02-17 February 17, 1977 49th 1976 Best Sound King Kong
Tetrick, Harry W. 01977-02-17 February 17, 1977 49th 1976 Best Sound Rocky
Tracy, Spencer 01967-06-10 June 10, 1967 40th 1967 Best Actor Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Troisi, Massimo 01994-06-04 June 4, 1994 68th 1995 Best Actor Il Postino
Troisi, Massimo 01994-06-04 June 4, 1994 68th 1995 Best Writing Il Postino
Trotti, Lamar 01952-08-28 August 28, 1952 27th 1954 Best Writing There's No Business Like Show Business
Unsworth, Geoffrey 01978-10-28 October 28, 1978 53rd 1980 Best Cinematography Tess Winner Note 6
Wolfe, Robert L. 01981-02-28 February 28, 1981 54th 1981 Best Film Editing On Golden Pond
Young, Victor 01956-11-10 November 10, 1956 29th 1956 Best Music (Scoring) Around the World in Eighty Days Winner
Young, Victor 01956-11-10 November 10, 1956 29th 1956 Best Music (Song) Written on the Wind
Zimbalist, Sam 01958-11-04 November 4, 1958 32nd 1959 Best Picture Ben-Hur Winner Note 7
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Notes

  1. Howard Ashman's partner Bill Lauch accepted the award on his behalf.
  2. Peter Finch became the first posthumous winner in an acting category. His widow Eletha Finch and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky accepted the award on his behalf.
  3. Conrad L. Hall's son Conrad W. Hall accepted the award on his behalf.
  4. Heath Ledger died after completing his scenes in The Dark Knight but before the film had been completed, and a year before the nominations were announced. His family accepted the award on his behalf.
  5. Limelight, a 1952 film, won its award in 1972 because the blacklisting of Charlie Chaplin prevented it from being shown in Los Angeles until then. (The Academy subsequently changed its rules to prevent films more than two years old from receiving awards.)
  6. Geoffrey Unsworth died during the shooting of Tess, and the cinematography was completed by Ghislain Cloquet. Unsworth and Cloquet were jointly nominated, successfully, for Best Cinematography.
  7. Sam Zimbalist died during the filming of Ben-Hur. His widow Mary Zimbalist accepted the award on his behalf.

Honorary awards

Name Date of Death Ceremony Year Academy Award Notes
Benjamin, Robert 01979-10-22 October 22, 1979 52nd 1979 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Bowie, Les 01979-01-27 January 27, 1979 51st 1978 Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects) for Superman
Fairbanks, Douglas 01939-12-12 December 12, 1939 12th 1939 Commemorative Award
Hepburn, Audrey 01993-01-20 January 20, 1993 65th 1992 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award Note 1
Kraemer, George 01993-01-18 January 18, 1993 65th 1992 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)
Miller, Charles 13th 1940 Scientific or Technical Award (Class I)
Robinson, Edward G. 01973-01-26 January 26, 1973 45th 1972 Honorary Award Note 2
Stankiewicz, Louis 54th 1981 Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)
Williamson, Geoffrey H. 01993-01-20 January 20, 1993 65th 1992 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

Notes

  1. Audrey Hepburn died eight days after the Academy voted to confer this award, but two months before the 65th Academy Awards ceremony. Her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer accepted the award on her behalf.
  2. Edward G. Robinson died after the Academy voted to confer this award, but two months before the 45th Academy Awards ceremony. His widow Jane Robinson accepted the award on his behalf.

Superlatives

Among the posthumous winners and nominees of Academy Awards in standard competitive categories, the following superlatives emerge.

Statistics

For the purposes of the following statistics relating to posthumous winners and nominees of Academy Awards in standard competitive categories:

  • Where a nomination is in more than one name, it counts as a posthumous nomination if at least one of the people was dead at the time of nomination.
  • Where such a nomination is successful, it counts as a posthumous award.
  • Where a living (joint or single) nominee dies before the awards ceremony, and the nomination is successful, it counts as a posthumous award but not a posthumous nomination.
  • Where a person wins more than one (joint or single) award posthumously, each award is counted separately but the person is counted only once as a winner.
  • Individuals - To date, 56 individuals received a total of 73 posthumous nominations:
    • 1 individual received 4 posthumous nominations (Howard Ashman);
    • 3 individuals received 3 posthumous nominations;
    • 8 individuals received 2 posthumous nominations; and
    • 44 individuals received 1 posthumous nomination.
  • Ceremonies - To date, 41 ceremonies produced a total of 73 posthumous nominations:
    • 2 ceremonies produced 5 posthumous nominations (18th Academy Awards and 49th Academy Awards);
    • 2 ceremonies produced 4 posthumous nominations (32nd Academy Awards and 64th Academy Awards);
    • 6 ceremonies produced 3 posthumous nominations;
    • 6 ceremonies produced 2 posthumous nominations;
    • 25 ceremonies produced 1 posthumous nomination; and
    • 40 ceremonies produced no posthumous nominations.
  • Films - To date, 62 films received a total of 70 posthumous nominations:
    • 2 films received 3 posthumous nominations (Beauty and the Beast and Il Postino);
    • 7 films received 2 posthumous nominations; and
    • 53 films received 1 posthumous nomination.
  • Number of posthumous nominations: 73
  • Number of posthumous nominees: 56
  • Number of posthumous awards: 13
  • Number of posthumous winners: 13
  • Number of individuals with consecutive posthumous nominations: 5
  • Number of individuals with consecutive posthumous awards: 1 (William A. Horning)
  • Number of individuals with multiple posthumous nominations: 12
  • Number of individuals with multiple posthumous awards: 1 (William A. Horning)
  • Number of ceremonies with multiple posthumous nominations: 16
  • Number of ceremonies with multiple posthumous awards: 2 (one ceremony includes a shared award)
  • Number of films with multiple posthumous nominations: 9
  • Number of films with multiple posthumous awards: 2 (one film includes a shared award)

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