Oscar speeches are traditionally full of “thank yous”—award winners get up on stage and start rambling through their personal lists of those who deserve gratitude, while also saying platitudes such as “this is very humbling,” despite winning an award being the opposite of the definition of “humbling.” So it goes, with the Academy Awards.
But beyond “my parents,” and general phrases such as “the Academy,” who actually has been thanked the most in Oscar history? One obvious guess would be “God,” but oddly, God is actually number six on the full list, having been soundly and unfortunately trounced by the likes of the now disgraced Harvey Weinstein.
Number one, though? Why, it’s the greatest populist film director in history, Steven Spielberg, who has a pretty sizable lead with 42 “thanks” over the years. It turns out that when your films inspire entire generations of filmmakers, you end up getting thanked a lot.
Spielberg has been thanked in 42 of 1,396 acceptance speeches that are currently archived online by the Academy. Here’s the rest of the top 10 entities that have received thanks. It’s amusing to see “God” bookended by Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh in particular—clearly the result of their Oscar-laden three film run in The Lord of the Rings.
1. Steven Spielberg (42)
2. Harvey Weinstein (34)
3. James Cameron (28)
4. George Lucas (23)
5. Peter Jackson (22)
6. God (19)
7. Fran Walsh (18)
8. Sheila Nevins (17)
9. Francis Ford Coppola, Barrie Osborne (16)
10. Martin Scorsese, Saul Zaentz (15)