List of posthumous Academy Award winners and nominees

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Peter Finch is the only winner of a posthumous Academy Award in the Best Actor category (for Network in 1976).

This is a list of posthumous Academy Award winners and nominees. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences annually presents Academy Awards in both competitive and honorary categories. This list includes posthumous winners and nominees of the Academy's competitive awards, as well as posthumous winners of its honorary awards.

This list is current as of the 85th Academy Awards ceremony held on February 24, 2013.

Competitive awards

Name Date of Death Ceremony Year Academy Award Film Winner Notes
Marit Allen November 26, 2007 80th 2007 Best Costume Design La Vie en Rose
Howard Ashman March 14, 1991 64th 1991 Best Music (Song) Beauty and the Beast Won 1
Best Music (Song) Beauty and the Beast
Best Music (Song) Beauty and the Beast
65th 1992 Best Music (Song) Aladdin
Joseph H. August September 25, 1947 21st 1948 Best Cinematography Portrait of Jennie
Robert Alan Aurthur November 20, 1978 52nd 1979 Best Picture All That Jazz
52nd 1979 Best Writing All That Jazz
Mario Cecchi Gori November 5, 1993 68th 1995 Best Picture Il Postino
Frank Churchill May 14, 1942 15th 1942 Best Music (Scoring) Bambi
15th 1942 Best Music (Song) Bambi
Allen Davey March 5, 1946 18th 1945 Best Cinematography A Song to Remember
James Dean September 30, 1955 28th 1955 Best Actor East of Eden
29th 1956 Best Actor Giant
Walt Disney December 15, 1966 41st 1968 Best Short Film (Animated) Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day Won
Gail Dolgin October 7, 2010 084th 2011 Best Documentary (Short Subject) The Barber of Birmingham
Gerald Duffy June 25, 1928 01st 1927 / 1928 Best Writing The Private Life of Helen of Troy
Jeanne Eagels October 3, 1929 02nd 1928 / 1929 Best Actress The Letter
William Ferrari September 10, 1962 36th 1963 Best Art Direction How the West Was Won
Peter Finch January 14, 1977 49th 1976 Best Actor Network Won 2
Gil Friesen December 13, 2012 86th 2013 Best Documentary Feature 20 Feet from Stardom Won 3
George Gershwin July 11, 1937 10th 1937 Best Music (Song) Shall We Dance
Stuart Gilmore November 19, 1971 44th 1971 Best Film Editing The Andromeda Strain
Thomas C. Goodwin December 11, 1992 65th 1992 Best Documentary (Short Subject) Educating Peter Won
Conrad Hall January 4, 2003 75th 2002 Best Cinematography Road to Perdition Won 4
David Hall July 23, 1964 38th 1965 Best Art Direction The Greatest Story Ever Told
Dale Hennesy July 20, 1981 55th 1982 Best Art Direction Annie
Bernard Herrmann December 24, 1975 49th 1976 Best Music (Scoring) Obsession
49th 1976 Best Music (Scoring) Taxi Driver
Gordon Hollingshead July 8, 1952 25th 1952 Best Short Film (Live Action) Desert Killer
25th 1952 Best Short Film (Live Action) Thar She Blows!
William A. Horning March 2, 1959 31st 1958 Best Art Direction Gigi Won
32nd 1959 Best Art Direction Ben-Hur Won
32nd 1959 Best Art Direction North by Northwest
Sidney Howard August 23, 1939 12th 1939 Best Writing Gone with the Wind Won
John Hubley February 21, 1977 50th 1977 Best Short Film (Animated) A Doonesbury Special
Eiko Ishioka January 21, 2012 85th 2012 Best Costume Design Mirror Mirror
Bert Kalmar September 18, 1947 24th 1951 Best Music (Song) The Strip
Jerome Kern November 11, 1945 18th 1945 Best Music (Scoring) Can't Help Singing
18th 1945 Best Music (Song) Can't Help Singing
19th 1946 Best Music (Song) Centennial Summer
William Kiernan November 19, 1973 46th 1973 Best Art Direction The Way We Were
Frederic Knudtson February 14, 1964 36th 1963 Best Film Editing It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World 5
Albert Lamorisse June 2, 1970 51st 1978 Best Documentary (Feature) The Lovers' Wind
Heath Ledger January 22, 2008 81st 2008 Best Supporting Actor The Dark Knight Won 6
Boris Leven October 11, 1986 59th 1986 Best Art Direction The Color of Money
William C. Mellor April 30, 1963 38th 1965 Best Cinematography The Greatest Story Ever Told
Anthony Minghella March 18, 2008 81st 2008 Best Picture The Reader
James V. Monaco October 16, 1945 19th 1946 Best Music (Song) The Dolly Sisters
Alfred Newman February 17, 1970 43rd 1970 Best Music (Scoring) Airport
Joseph O'Brien March 30, 1945 18th 1945 Best Short Film (Live Action) Your National Gallery
Bridget O'Connor September 22, 2010 84th 2011 Best Writing Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Eric Orbom May 23, 1959 33rd 1960 Best Art Direction Spartacus Won
Arnold Perl December 11, 1971 45th 1972 Best Documentary (Feature) Malcolm X
Sydney Pollack May 26, 2008 81st 2008 Best Picture The Reader
Raymond Rasch December 23, 1964 45th 1972 Best Music (Scoring) Limelight Won 7
Gretchen Rau March 29, 2006 79th 2006 Best Art Direction The Good Shepherd
Ralph Richardson October 10, 1983 57th 1984 Best Supporting Actor Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes
Richard H. Riedel March 18, 1960 32nd 1959 Best Art Direction Pillow Talk
Larry Russell February 14, 1954 45th 1972 Best Music (Scoring) Limelight Won 7
Tess Slesinger February 21, 1945 18th 1945 Best Writing A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Carol Sobieski November 4, 1990 64th 1991 Best Writing Fried Green Tomatoes
Gile Steele January 16, 1952 24th 1951 Best Costume Design Kind Lady
24th 1951 Best Costume Design The Great Caruso
25th 1952 Best Costume Design The Merry Widow
Harry Stradling February 14, 1970 42nd 1969 Best Cinematography Hello, Dolly!
Harry W. Tetrick February 17, 1977 49th 1976 Best Sound King Kong
49th 1976 Best Sound Rocky
Spencer Tracy June 10, 1967 40th 1967 Best Actor Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
Massimo Troisi June 4, 1994 68th 1995 Best Actor Il Postino
68th 1995 Best Writing Il Postino
Lamar Trotti August 28, 1952 27th 1954 Best Writing There's No Business Like Show Business
Geoffrey Unsworth October 28, 1978 53rd 1980 Best Cinematography Tess Won 8
Robert L. Wolfe February 28, 1981 54th 1981 Best Film Editing On Golden Pond
Victor Young November 10, 1956 29th 1956 Best Music (Scoring) Around the World in Eighty Days Won
29th 1956 Best Music (Song) Written on the Wind
Sam Zimbalist November 4, 1958 32nd 1959 Best Picture Ben-Hur Won 9

Honorary awards

Name Date of Death Ceremony Year Academy Award Notes
Robert Benjamin October 22, 1979 52nd 1979 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award
Les Bowie January 27, 1979 51st 1978 Special Achievement Award (Visual Effects) for Superman
Theo Brown April 30, 2002 82nd 2009 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award) 10
Douglas Fairbanks December 12, 1939 12th 1939 Academy Honorary Award
Audrey Hepburn January 20, 1993 65th 1992 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award 11
Werner Hopf November 28, 1953 32nd 1959 Scientific and Technical Award (Class II) 12
George Kraemer January 18, 1993 65th 1992 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)
John D. Lowry January 21, 2012 84th 2011 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award) 13
Charles Miller 13th 1940 Scientific or Technical Award (Class I)
Jürgen Noffke November 7, 2011 84th 2011 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award) 14
Edward G. Robinson January 26, 1973 45th 1972 Honorary Award 15
Louis Stankiewicz 54th 1981 Scientific or Technical Award (Technical Achievement Award)
Geoffrey H. Williamson January 20, 1993 65th 1992 Scientific and Technical Award (Scientific and Engineering Award)

Excluded: retrospective awards

The list does not include people who were retrospectively honoured with an Academy Award and were dead at the time the Academy made the decision to make the retrospective award. For example: in 1993, seventeen years after his death, Dalton Trumbo was retrospectively awarded the 1953 Oscar for Best Writing - Motion Picture Story for Roman Holiday. It had been previously awarded to Ian McLellan Hunter. However, Hunter was merely a front for Trumbo, because Trumbo was blacklisted at the time and it was not possible for his name to appear in either the film's credits or the Academy Award nomination (hence, it was not generally known that he was the real screenwriter). Trumbo did not die until 1976, and under normal circumstances he would have received this award in person in 1953; hence the Academy does not consider this a posthumous award but a correction of the record.

Similarly, the Oscar for Best Screenplay (Adaptation) for The Bridge on the River Kwai was originally awarded to Pierre Boulle, but only in 1984 corrected to honor the actual screenwriters, Carl Foreman and Michael Wilson, who were on the Hollywood blacklist at the time and could only work on the film in secret. By the time this correction was made, both Foreman and Wilson had died, but the award does not qualify for an entry in the above list.

Notes

  1. ^ Ashman's partner Bill Lauch accepted the award on his behalf. Ashman had a total of three nominations in this category this year, for "Belle", "Be Our Guest", and "Beauty and the Beast", which he won the award for.
  2. ^ Finch became the first posthumous winner in an acting category. His widow Eletha and screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky accepted the award on his behalf.
  3. ^ With Morgan Neville and Caitrin Rogers
  4. ^ Conrad Hall's son Conrad W. Hall accepted the award on his behalf.
  5. ^ Frederic Knudtson
  6. ^ Ledger died after completing his scenes in The Dark Knight but before the film had been completed, and a year before the nominations were announced. His family accepted the award on his behalf.
  7. ^ a b Limelight, a 1952 film, won its award in 1972 because the blacklisting of Charlie Chaplin prevented it from being shown in Los Angeles until then. (The Academy subsequently changed its rules to prevent films more than two years old from receiving awards.)
  8. ^ Unsworth died during the shooting of Tess, and the cinematography was completed by Ghislain Cloquet. Unsworth and Cloquet were jointly nominated, successfully, for Best Cinematography.
  9. ^ Zimbalist died during the filming of Ben-Hur. His widow Mary Zimbalist accepted the award on his behalf.
  10. ^ Theo Brown
  11. ^ Hepburn died eight days after the Academy voted to confer this award, but two months before the 65th Academy Awards ceremony. Her son Sean Hepburn Ferrer accepted the award on her behalf.
  12. ^ Werner Hopf
  13. ^ John D. Lowry
  14. ^ Dr. Jürgen Noffke
  15. ^ Robinson died after the Academy voted to confer this award, but two months before the 45th Academy Awards ceremony. His widow Jane accepted the award on his behalf.

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