Oscar Directors: Winners–Age at First Nomination, by Year

This essay is part of my bigger book project dealing with age, productivity, and creativity in film.

I am using the age at which a filmmaker got his/her first Best Director Oscar nomination as an indicator of peer recognition.  Rather than focus on the Best Director winners, I examine all of the Best Director nominees, from 1927-28 to the present.

 

Borzage, Frank, 34

Milestone, Lewis, 33

Lloyd, Frank, 43

Milestone, Lewis, 33

Taurog, Norman, 32

Borzage, Frank

Lloyd, Frank

Capra, Frank, It Happened One Night, 36

Ford, John, The Informer, 40

Capra, Frank

McCarey, Leo, 39

Fleming, Victor, 50

Ford, John

Ford, John

Wyler, William, 34

Curtiz, Michael, 52

McCarey, Leo

Wilder, Billy, 38

Wyler, William

Kazan, Elia, 37

Huston, John, 42

Mankiewicz, Joseph, 40

Mankiewicz, Joseph

Stevens, George, 39

Ford, John

Zinnemann, Fred, 41

Kazan, Elia

Mann, Delbert, 35

Stevens, George

Anderson, Michael, 36

Lean, David, 38

Minnelli, Vincente, 48

Wyler, William

Wilder, Billy

Wise, Robert, 44

Robbins, Jerome, 43

Lean, David

Richardson, Tony, 35

Cukor, George, 34

Wise, Robert

Nichols, Mike, 35

Reed, Carol, 43

Schlesinger, John, 39

Schaffner, Franklin, 50

Friedkin, William, 36

Fosse, Bob, 45

Hill, George Roy, 48

Coppola, Francis Ford, 33

Forman, Milos, 43

Avildsen, John G., 41

Allen Woody, 42

Cimino, Michael, 39

Benton, Robert, 47

Redford, Robert, 44

Beatty, Warren, 41

Hudson, Hugh, 45

Attenborough, Richard, 59

Brooks, James L., 43

Forman, Milos

Pollack, Sydney, 35

Stone, Oliver, 40

Bertolucci, Bernardo, 33

Levinson, Barry, 46

Stone, Oliver

Costner, Kevin, 35

Demme, Jonathan, 47

Spielberg, Steven, 31

Eastwood, Clint, 62

Campion, Jane, 38

Zemeckis, Robert, 42

Gibson, Mel, 39

Minghella, Anthony, 42

Cameron, James, 43

Spielberg, Steven

Mendes, Sam, 34

Soderbergh, Steven, 37

Howard, Ron, 47

Polanski, Roman, 41

Jackson, Peter, 40

Eastwood, Clint

Lee, Ang, 46

Scorsese, Martin, 38

Coen, Joel, 42

Coen, Ethan, 50

Boyle, Danny, 52

Bigelow, Kathryn, 58

Hooper, Tom, 38

Hazanovicius, Michel, 44

Lee, Ang

Cuaron, Alfonso, 52

Innaritu, Alejandro G., 43

Innaritu

Chazelle, Damien, 32

Del Toro, Guillermo, 53

Bong Joon Ho, 50

 

Summary:

30-34: 10

35-39; 16

40-44: 22

45-49:  8

50-54:  8

55-59:  2

60+ :   1

Conclusions

Of the winners:

Youngest nominee: Spielberg, 31, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977

Oldest nominee: Eastwood, 62, Unforgiven, 1992