John Williams is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. His career has spanned several decades and in the process, he has given iconic film scores in over 100 films including the ‘Star Wars’ series, ‘Jaws’, ‘E.T.’, ‘Indiana Jones’ series, ‘Superman’, ‘Schindler’s List’, ‘Saving Private Ryan’, ‘Catch Me If You Can’, ‘Memoirs of a Geisha’, ‘War Horse’ and ‘Lincoln’. He has won 25 Grammy Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, five Academy Awards, and four Golden Globe Awards. With 52 Academy Award nominations, he is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney. His compositions are considered the epitome of film music; Classic FM considers Williams to be one of the greatest composers of classical music in history. Furthermore, he has composed for many critically acclaimed and popular movies, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the first two Home Alone films, the Indiana Jones films, the first two Jurassic Park films, Schindler’s List, and the first three Harry Potter films. Other works by Williams include theme music for the 1984 Summer Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, “The Mission” theme used by NBC News and Seven News in Australia, the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants, and the incidental music for the first season of Gilligan’s Island.
John Williams to Compose ‘Obi-Wan Kenobi’ Theme
John Williams will be back to the Star Wars universe with the Obi-Wan Kenobi theme. Williams is the legendary composer who helped bring all nine main Star Wars films to life, creating the iconic soundtracks that are still part of the franchise decades after their conception. He recorded Obi-Wan Kenobi last week with a Los Angeles orchestra, under a tight security scheme that made sure note even a single note would breach out Disney’s soundproof wall of secrecy. It is unknown if Williams used the theme he created for Obi-Wan in the original trilogy as inspiration for the new track, or if the series theme will somehow connect with the soundtrack that represented the character in the prequel trilogy. The Obi-Wan Kenobi theme could also be a mix of both sources, or something else entirely new. As recently revealed, Obi-Wan Kenobi will premiere exclusively on Disney+ on May 25.
What is John Williams Famous For?
- Being a music composer, pianist, and conductor.
- For scoring more than 100 films, including ‘Jaws,’ eight ‘Star Wars’ movies, ‘E.T. ‘ and the first three ‘Harry Potter’ films.
Who are the Parents of John Williams?
John Williams was born on February 8, 1932, in Floral Park, New York with the birth name of John Towner Williams. He was born to his mother, Esther, and his father, Johnny Williams. His father was a jazz percussionist with the CBS radio orchestra. He is the eldest of four children and has three younger siblings: Jerry, Joan, and Donald. He said of his lineage: “My father was a Maine man-we were very close. My mother was from Boston. My father’s parents ran a department store in Bangor, Maine, and my mother’s father was a cabinetmaker.” His present age is 90 as of 2022. Aquarius is his zodiac sign and his religion is Christian. He holds American nationality and his ethnicity is American-White. His race is White.
John attended North Hollywood High School and the University of California, LA after moving to Los Angeles in 1948. There, he studied composition privately with the Italian composer Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Later, he attended Los Angeles City College for one semester, as the school had a Studio Jazz Band. It was in 1951, he joined the U.S. Air Force. There, he played the piano and brass and conducted and arranged music for the U.S. Air Force Band as part of his service till his service ended in 1955. In the same year, he enrolled at The Julliard School in New York City and studied piano with Rosina Lhevinne. He also began playing in many clubs with Jack Sperling on drums, Bob Bain on guitar, and Rolly Bundock on bass. Then, he returned to Los Angeles.
John Williams Career Timeline
- John Williams initially began working as an orchestrator at film studios.
- After his first film composition for “Daddy-O” in the year 1958, he composed then music for films such as “Peter Gunn”, “Days of Wine and Roses” and TV programs such as “Bachelor Father”, the “Kraft Suspense Theatre”, “Lost in Space”, etc. during the 1960s.
- Likewise, he was also the pianist for the soundtrack for the adaptation of Leonard Bernstein’s musical, the 1961 West Side Story, and the 1960 film, The Apartment.
- He rose to fame with the musical scores for the films “Fiddler on the Roof”, “Images”, “The Poseidon Adventure”, “The Towering Inferno”, “Earthquake”, and “The Cowboys” during the early 1970s.
- John composed the music for Steven Spielberg’s directorial debut “The Sugarland Express” in 1974. They teamed up again a year later for Spielberg’s second film, “Jaws”. They also began a long collaboration on their next feature film, “Close Encounters of the Third Kind”. Spielberg recommended Williams to his friend and fellow director George Lucas, who needed a composer to score his ambitious 1977 space epic film “Star Wars”.
- After that, he returned to score The Empire Strikes Back, introducing “The Imperial March”, “Yoda’s Theme”, and “Han Solo and the Princess”.
- Further, he scored the 1976 Alfred Hitchcock film “Family Plot”.
- In 1978, he worked with director Richard Donner for the film “Superman”.
- In 1981, Spielberg and Williams got together for the film “Raiders of the Lost Ark”.
- Spielberg and Williams have also worked together in “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” (1982), “Empire of the Sun” (1987), “Jurassic Park” (1993), “Schindler’s List” (1993), “Saving Private Ryan” (1998), and “Munich” (2005).
- He scored the music for the first three installments of the Harry Potter film franchisee and was also asked to return for the last installment, ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 2’ but he could not due to his busy schedule.
- After then, he scored the music for “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in 2008.
- He also composed two documentaries namely “Warner at War” and “A Timeless Call”.
- In 2011, he composed the scores for Spielberg’s The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse.
- He next scored the music for the film “The Book Thief” in 2013, working with a director other than Spielberg after 2005.
- In the year 2015, he gave the music score for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”.
- In July 2016, he composed the score for Steven Spielberg’s fantasy adventure film “The BFG”.
- In 2017, Williams scored the animated short film, Dear Basketball.
- He also wrote the music for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the eighth episode of the saga, and Steven Spielberg’s drama film The Post, both of which opened in December 2017.
- A three-disc box set compilation of all of Williams’s musical scores for Spielberg’s films, “John Williams & Steven Spielberg: The Ultimate Collection”, was released on March 17, 2017, and includes two previous scores compilations from 1991 and 1995.
- His body of work in film composing was featured in the 2017 documentary film “SCORE: A Film Music Documentary”.
- In March 2018, he announced that following Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker, which was released in December 2019, he would retire from composing music for the Star Wars franchise: “We know J. J. Abrams is preparing one Star Wars movie now that I will hopefully do next year for him. I look forward to it. It will round out a series of nine, that will be quite enough for me.”
- He next makes a cameo in the film as Oma Tres, a Kijimi bartender.
- In July 2018, he composed the main musical theme for Disneyland and Disney’s Hollywood Studios theme park attraction Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge.
- In 2019, he served as a music consultant for Spielberg’s 2021 film adaptation of “West Side Story”.
- He is attached to score Spielberg’s next film “The Fabelmans”, scheduled to be released on November 23, 2022, and the fifth Indiana Jones film, scheduled for a 2023 release.
- Moreover, he will also compose the theme music for the upcoming miniseries Obi-Wan Kenobi.
Awards & Achievements
John Williams holds the record for the most Oscar nominations for a living person with 50 nominations.
- Fiddler on the Roof (1971) [Scoring: Adaptation and Original Song Score]
- Jaws (1975) [Original Score]
- Star Wars (1977) [Original Score]
- E.T. (1982) [Original Score]
- Schindler’s List (1993) [Original Score]
Primetime Emmy Awards
- Heidi (1968) [Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition]
- Jane Eyre (1971) [Outstanding Achievement in Musical Composition]
- Great Performances (2009) Outstanding [Original Main Title Theme Music]
- Jaws (1975) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- Star Wars (1977) [Best Pop Instrumental Performance]
- Main Title from Star Wars (1977) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- Star Wars (1977) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- Theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1978) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- Main Title Theme from Superman (1979) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- Superman (1979) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- The Empire Strikes Back (1980) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- “Flying” (Theme from E.T.) (1982) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- E.T. (1982) [Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture]
- “Flying” (Theme from E.T.) (1982) [Best Arrangement on an Instrumental Recording]
- Olympic Fanfare and Theme (1984) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- Schindler’s List (1994) [Instrumental Composition for a Motion Picture or Television]
- Saving Private Ryan (1998) [Best Instrumental Composition Written For A Motion Picture Or For Television]
- Theme from Angela’s Ashes (2000) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- “The Adventures Of Mutt” Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) [Best Instrumental Composition]
- “The Book Thief” from The Book Thief (2013) [Best Instrumental Composition]
Golden Globe Awards
- Jaws (1975) [Best Original Score]
- Star Wars (1977) [Best Original Score]
- E.T. (1982) [Best Original Score]
- Memoirs of a Geisha (2005) [Best Original Score]
Honors and Awards
- AFI Lifetime Achievement Award (2016)
- American Academy of Arts & Sciences Fellow (2009)
- Kennedy Center Honor (December 2004)
- National Medal of Arts (2009)
- Olympic Order (2003)
- American Film Institute (June 11, 2002)
- Berklee College of Music (1980)
- Boston College (1993)
- Boston University (1985)
- Eastman School of Music (April 29, 2001)
- Harvard University (May 25, 2017)
- The Juilliard School (May 21, 2004)
- Middlebury College (May 24, 1987)
- Northeastern University
- New England Conservatory of Music (1985)
- Oberlin Conservatory of Music (May 7, 1995)
- Tufts University (1984)
- University of Massachusetts at Boston
- University of Hartford (May 15, 1988)
- University of South Carolina at Columbia (May 16, 1981)
- University of Southern California (May 2005)
- Utah State University (May 5, 2001) and five other universities
Who is John Williams Wife?
John Williams is married man to his wife, Barbara Ruick in 1956. Barbara is an American actress and singer. The couple had three children namely Jennifer, Joseph, and Mark. Barbara passed away in 1974. Then, he married Samantha Winslow, a photographer, in 1980. His sexual orientation is straight.
John Williams Net Worth in 2022
John Williams is a talented composer as well as a pianist. As of 2022, the net worth of John Williams is estimated to have $100 Million as per sources which he has amassed over 60 years spent as a successful film composer, conductor, and pianist. He earned all this money through his hard work and skills. He has garnered a lot of fame over the years. Starting his career by arranging music for the U.S. Air Force band, now he is associated with the best films such as E.T., Superman, Jurassic Park, Schindler’s List, Jaws, Star Wars. He has composed music for TV programs such as ‘Bachelor Father,’ ‘Land of the Giants, and ‘The Time Tunnel’. His exact career earnings are still to get disclosed yet. He is living a lavish lifestyle from his earnings.
How tall is John Williams?
John Williams is a handsome man during his era. He stands at the height of six feet or 1.82 m. His body weight consists of 165 lbs or 75 Kg. Overall, he has got a healthy body with an average body type. His hair color is White and he has a pair of brown eyes. His other body measurement is still to get unfolded yet. He also wears a spectacle which suits him well.