Middle name: Towner
Suboptimal Credits: conductor laureate, boston pops, 1995–
Legal name: John Towner Williams
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. With a career spanning over six decades he has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, to many of the highest-grossing films of all time, including Jaws, the Star Wars series, Superman, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, the Indiana Jones series, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, and the first three Harry Potter films. Williams has been associated with director Steven Spielberg since 1974, composing music for all but two of his feature films. Other notable works by Williams include theme music for the Olympic Games, NBC Sunday Night Football, "The Mission" theme used by NBC News, the television series Lost in Space and Land of the Giants, and the incidental music for the first season of Gilligan's Island. Williams has composed numerous classical concerti and other works for orchestral ensembles and solo instruments; he served as the Boston Pops' principal conductor from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra's laureate conductor.
Williams has won five Academy Awards, four Golden Globe Awards, seven British Academy Film Awards, and 23 Grammy Awards. With 50 Academy Award nominations, Williams is the second most-nominated individual, after Walt Disney. In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams' score to 1977's Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. The soundtrack to Star Wars was additionally preserved by the Library of Congress into the National Recording Registry, for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." Williams was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl's Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. Williams composed the score for eight movies in the Top 20 highest-grossing films at the U.S. box office (adjusted for inflation).
Williams' body of work in film composing was featured in the 2017 documentary film SCORE: A Film Music Documentary.