“Jaws” brought them together, and now Oscar-winning director Steven Spielberg, a frequent big-screen collaborator with John Williams, will present the composer with the American Film Institute’s 44th Life Achievement Award, AFI announced Wednesday.
Williams, famed for everything from his ominous “Jaws” shark theme to the stirring music of “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” will be the first composer ever to receive the honor, which AFI bills as “America’s highest honor for a career in film.” Spielberg will present the award to Williams during a gala event on June 9 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.
The event will be taped and aired as a special on TNT on June 15.
Spielberg received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995. He and Williams have worked together on more than two dozen projects, including “Jaws,” “Close Encounters of the Third Kind,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Jurassic Park,” “Schindler’s List,” “Saving Private Ryan” and “Lincoln.”
Williams has amassed more than 150 film and television series credits over seven decades. Three of Williams’ scores landed on AFI’s list of the 25 greatest American film scores of all time, including the 1977 “Star Wars” soundtrack at number one.
With five Academy Award wins and 49 nominations in total, Williams holds the record for the most Oscar nominations of any living person.
—City News Service