Fast Facts

  • Is the son of a movie studio musician.
  • Drafted into the Air Force, he conducted music as part of his service.
  • Best known for composing the scores of blockbuster movies, he began his compositional career on television series such as Wagon Train, Gilligan's Island, and Lost in Space.
  • Began his career in film score composing with the 1958 movie Daddy-O.
  • Followed in Arthur Fiedler's footsteps as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra.
  • Collaborated with director Steven Spielberg on more than 20 of the director's films, including Jaws (1975), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. (1982), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) and Jurassic Park (1993). It was Spielberg who recommended to George Lucas that Williams write the score for the Star Wars film franchise.
  • In 2005, his score for Star Wars IV: A New Hope (1977) earned the top place on the American Film Institute's 100 Years of Film Scores.
  • In 2009, wrote the classical tune "Air and Simple Gifts" for the presidential inauguration of Barack Obama.
  • Received the National Medal of Arts in 2009.

Awards

  • 1996, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1969, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Score of a Musical Picture--original or adaptation): Nominee
  • 1998, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Song): Nominee
  • 1975, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2012, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1997, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee
  • 1993, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 1989, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Score for a Film: Winner
  • 1972, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee
  • 2016, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Music: Nominee
  • 2009, Emmy — Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music: Winner
  • 1971, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score): Winner
  • 1976, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1989, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1991, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Scoring: Original Song Score and Adaptation -or- Scoring: Adaptation): Nominee
  • 2008, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 1988, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1981, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 2002, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1969, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition: Winner
  • 2000, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1990, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1987, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1963, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Composing Original Music: Nominee
  • 1982, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1978, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1972, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Music Composition: Winner
  • 2002, Emmy — Outstanding Music Direction: Nominee
  • 1981, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1978, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 1975, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 2002, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1999, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1985, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1983, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 2003, BAFTA Film Awards — The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music: Nominee
  • 1994, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Score: Winner
  • 1979, BAFTA Film Awards — The Anthony Asquith Award for Original Film Music: Winner
  • 2005, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 2001, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1988, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1996, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee
  • 1989, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1978, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1980, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1982, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 2006, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1999, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1994, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1979, BAFTA Film Awards — The Anthony Asquith Award for Original Film Music: Nominee
  • 1984, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1995, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee
  • 1995, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Musical or Comedy Score): Nominee
  • 1990, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1999, BAFTA Film Awards — The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music: Nominee
  • 1981, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Film Music: Winner
  • 1976, BAFTA Film Awards — The Anthony Asquith Award for Original Music for a Film: Winner
  • 1990, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2006, BAFTA Film Awards — The Anthony Asquith Award for Achievement in Film Music: Winner
  • 1975, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 1977, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 2014, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1981, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 2006, Grammy — Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media: Winner
  • 1978, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 2012, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1982, Grammy — Best Arrangement On An Instrumental Recording: Winner
  • 2004, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1979, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 1979, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 1978, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1977, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 2011, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1980, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 1982, Grammy — Best Album Of Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 2006, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 2012, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Music: Nominee
  • 1999, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Score: Winner
  • 1980, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 1994, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition Written for a Motion Picture or for Television: Winner
  • 1969, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score--for a motion picture [not a musical]): Nominee
  • 1973, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee
  • 1977, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Winner
  • 2013, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 1977, Grammy — Best Pop Instrumental Recording: Winner
  • 2013, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Score: Winner
  • 2013, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Music: Nominee
  • 2013, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 2014, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 2006, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Composer: Winner
  • 2002, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Composer: Winner
  • 2015, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 2003, Critics' Choice Awards — Best Composer: Winner
  • 2012, Critics' Choice Movie Awards — Best Score: Nominee
  • 1995, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Song): Nominee
  • 1962, Emmy — Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composed for Television: Nominee
  • 1983, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Winner
  • 1991, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Score): Nominee
  • 2000, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1998, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1979, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1983, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Score: Winner
  • 1982, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Film Music: Nominee
  • 1982, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 2000, Grammy — Best Instrumental Composition: Winner
  • 2014, BAFTA Film Awards — Best Original Film Music: Nominee
  • 1973, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1974, Golden Globe — Best Original Score - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1983, Golden Globe — Best Original Song - Motion Picture: Nominee
  • 1977, Grammy — Best Original Score Written For A Motion Picture Or A Television Special: Winner
  • 1967, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Scoring of Music--adaptation or treatment): Nominee
  • 1974, Oscar — Best Achievement in Music (Original Dramatic Score): Nominee

Relationships

  • Samantha Winslow — Wife
  • Mark Williams — Son
  • Joseph S. Williams — Son
  • John Willams, Sr. — Father
  • Barbara Ruick — Wife (deceased)
  • Jennifer — Daughter
  • Esther Williams — Mother

College

  • Attended University of California, Los Angeles, CA; The Juilliard School, New York, NY

Details

  • Birth Place: Flushing, NY
  • Profession: Composer

Trending TonightSee all »

Watch This

Candice King and Paul Wesley, <em>The Vampire Diaries</em>
The Vampire Diaries Stars Pick Their Favorite Steroline Moments

Paul Wesley and Candice King reveal their favorite Stefan and Caroline moments of all time