The internet is still flame with the now well-spread story of how Moonlight was awarded Best Picture after a mis-announcement had people believing that La La Land had won for a few moments. People began poring over the footage of the mis-announcement immediately, jokes were made, and we’re all still kind of reeling.
This event, however, eclipsed a pretty amazing Oscar story that is getting less attention. Kevin O’Connell, a very talented, and long-working sound re-recording mixer, won the Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing for his work on Hacksaw Ridge, an honor he shared with fellow mixers Andy Wright, Peter Grace, and Robert MacKenzie. You may be asking why this is significant. Well, it’s because O’Connell won his first Oscar after having been nominated 21 times.
You read that right. O’Connell has been nominated for 21 Oscars, and only just now won. Indeed, O’Connell has lost so many times he actually set the record for the the most Oscar losses back in 2006, when he lost his 18th Academy Award.
O’Connell’s work is very well-known to the moviegoing public, as he has worked on some of Hollywood’s biggest blockbusters of the last 30 years. He has frequently worked for Michael Bay, and did the Oscar-nominated sound on Transformers, Pearl Harbor, Armageddon, and The Rock. His first Oscar nomination came way back in 1983 for his work on the lauded, and less bombastic Terms of Endearment.
Last night, O’Connell, 59, not expecting to win, was finally recognized for mixing the noisy battle scenes in the World War II pacifism polemic Hacksaw Ridge. This was his second time working with director Mel Gibson, having previously mixed Apocalypto. In his acceptance speech, O’Connell thanked his mother for getting him his start in sound. He said, “And when I asked her how I could thank her, she told me, ‘You can work hard. You can work really hard, and someday you can win yourself an Oscar, and you can stand on the stage, and you can think me in front of the whole world.’ Mom, I know you’re looking down on me tonight, so thank you.”
Join us as we look back at Kevin O’Connell’s incredible history at the Academy Awards. Twenty worthy films nominated, zero awards. Who would have believed it?
Kevin O’Connell’s 20 Oscar Losses:
Top image: Patrick Wymore/ABC via Getty Images
Witney Seibold is a longtime contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and the co-host of The B-Movies Podcast and Canceled Too Soon. He also contributes to Legion of Leia and to Blumhouse. You can follow him on “The Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.