The Honorary Oscar Winner Who Lost the Most Competitive Awards

In the tangled history of the Academy Awards, there is a small subset of people for whom winning the Oscar has been as simple as taking a bow or running a victory lap; despite the immense prestige of the art form’s most coveted award, people like Daniel Day-Lewis, Katharine Hepburn, and Meryl Streep have had the strange knack of being historical anomalies, racking up nominations and wins for practically every film they touched. Among non-actors, there have been some even more impressive hauls, from Alan Menken’s eight Oscars to John Williams’ 53 nominations to Walt Disney’s remarkable 22 wins. For every such star-crossed competitor touched by fate, however, there have been those on the other end of the scale: the constant competitors always on the edge of glory, but who for one reason or another never quite step into the limelight successfully. While there are many actors, directors, and performers who famously never came home with the prize, the reigning champion of near-misses is a name most probably would not recognize: the film composer Alex North.

​ The list of movies Alex North missed out on Oscar wins for is beyond impressive.