James Ivory made history at the 2018 Oscars. After winning Best Adapted Screenplay, the 89-year-old “Call Me by Your Name” screenwriter is presumed to be the oldest Academy Award winner ever.
Officially, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences only tracks data pertaining to the ages of acting and directing nominees, with the oldest competitive winner on record being Christopher Plummer, who was 82 when he won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for Beginners in 2012.
Still, the oldest overall winner was thought to be composer Ennio Morricone, who was 87 when he won for his “The Hateful Eight” score in 2016. At the time, an Academy spokesperson said, “We do not have this kind of data for the other competitive categories. That being said, we are not aware of a competitive award winner older than 87.”
Fun fact: Ivory is actually one year older than the Oscars! (He was born in 1928 and the first Academy Awards were held on May 16, 1929.)
This marks Ivory’s fourth Oscar nomination but first-ever win, previously nominated as Best Director for “A Room With a View” in 1987, “Howards End” in 1993 and “The Remains of the Day” in 1994. This awards season also saw him win the BAFTA Award and Writers Guild Award.
“Call Me by Your Name” was nominated for a total of four Academy Awards this year, including Best Picture, Best Actor (for Timothée Chalamet), Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Song (for Sufjan Stevens’ “Mystery of Love”).
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