The only two people to have won an Oscar and a Nobel Prize
Celebrating the finest acting performances of all time, the Academy Awards have been known to have their favourites over the course of the near-100-year history, with the likes of Meryl Streep and Denzil Washington having received multiple Oscar nominations over the years. But, it’s not just actors who are honoured at the iconic annual, taking home hundreds of less-publicised awards over the years.
When it comes to musicians, there are plenty of iconic names that you may not have known who hold Oscar statuettes, with the likes of modern stars such as Adele, Sam Smith and Billie Eilish each winning awards for their work in the James Bond franchise. They join the likes of classic, influential names such as Stevie Wonder, Elton John, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, who each won awards for classic modern flicks. Indeed, having won practically every single award in the field of music, the allure of Dylan’s music reached the movie industry.
Taking home an Academy Award in 2000 for Best Song for the record “Things Have Changed” from the movie Wonder Boys, starring Tobey Maguire, Frances McDormand and Michael Douglas, Dylan sparked a chance to take a rather unique spot in the history of the awards show.
This became true in 2016 when Bob Dylan became one of only two people who has ever won an Oscar as well as a Nobel Prize. Further consolidating his name in the legacy of contemporary American culture, the musician won the prize 16 years after the Academy Award, becoming the first songwriter to claim the honour of the Nobel Prize for Literature, an accolade has been handed out annually since 2001.
In his glittering career of industry success, an Academy Award simply adds to his gleaming trophy cabinet, which also includes inductions into the Songwriters and Rock and Roll halls of fame, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Legion d’Honneur. In addition, Dylan has also claimed a Golden Globe and ten Grammys, three of which came in 1998 when he took home Album of the Year, Best Contemporary Folk Album and Best Rock Vocal Performance for the album Time Out Of Mind.
The only other artist to win both acclaimed awards is the Irish playwright, George Bernard Shaw, whose achievements in both events stretch back to before the Second World War. His first win came in 1925 when he took home the Nobel prize for Literature for his play, Saint Joan.
Naming Shaw the winner, the Nobel board stated that his work was “marked by both idealism and humanity, its stimulating satire often being infused with a singular poetic beauty”. Accepting the prize, Shaw, however, rejected the monetary gift that went along with the accolade, stating, “My readers and my audiences provide me with more than sufficient money for my needs”.
His Oscar would come 13 years later, winning the Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay for co-writing the adaptation of his play, Pygmalion. The film, directed by Anthony Asquith and Leslie Howard, starred Leslie Howard, Wendy Hiller and Marie Lohr, and told the story of a phonetics and diction expert who makes a bet that she can teach a cockney girl to speak proper English.