John Williams

John Williams

Born Feb 8, 1932

John Towner Williams is an American composer, conductor and pianist. In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most recognizable film scores in the history of motion pictures, including the Star Wars saga, Jaws, Superman, the Indiana Jones films, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Home Alone and its sequel, Hook, Jurassic Park, Schindler's List, War Horse, and the first three Harry Potter films.… Read More

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Learn about the memorable moments in the evolution of John Williams.


1932 Birth John Towner Williams was born on February 8, 1932 in Floral Park, New York, the son of Esther (née Towner) and Johnny Williams. … Read More


1948 16 Years Old In 1948, the Williams family moved to Los Angeles where John attended North Hollywood High School graduating in 1950. … Read More


1952 20 Years Old In 1952, Williams was drafted into the U.S. Air Force, where he conducted and arranged music for The U.S. Air Force Band as part of his assignments.
1955 23 Years Old After his Air Force service ended in 1955, Williams moved to New York City and entered The Juilliard School, where he studied piano with Rosina Lhévinne. … Read More
1956 24 Years Old Williams married Barbara Ruick, an American actress and singer in 1956. Together they had three children: Jennifer, Joseph, who is the lead singer of Toto, and Mark Towner Williams. The two remained married until her death in 1974.
1958 26 Years Old Williams's first film composition was for the 1958 B movie Daddy-O, and his first screen credit came two years later in Because They're Young. … Read More


1967 35 Years Old Williams received his first Academy Award nomination for his film score for 1967's Valley of the Dolls, and was nominated again for his score for 1969's Goodbye, Mr. Chips.
1971 39 Years Old Williams broke through to win his first Academy Award for his film score in the 1971 film Fiddler on the Roof.


In 1972, he composed the score for the Robert Altman–directed psychological thriller Images (recorded in collaboration with noted percussionist Stomu Yamashta) which earned him another nomination in the category Best Music, Original Dramatic Score at the 1973 Academy Awards.
1974 - 1978 3 More Events
1980 48 Years Old In 1980, Williams married Samantha Winslow, a photographer. … Read More
1981 49 Years Old For the 1981 film Raiders of the Lost Ark, created by Lucas and directed by Spielberg, Williams wrote a rousing main theme known as "The Raiders March" to accompany the film's hero, Indiana Jones. … Read More


1982 50 Years Old Williams composed an emotional and sensitive score to Spielberg's 1982 fantasy film E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. … Read More
1985 53 Years Old The 1985 film The Color Purple is one of two Steven Spielberg-directed theatrical features for which Williams did not serve as composer, the other being Bridge of Spies. … Read More
1987 55 Years Old The Spielberg-Williams collaboration resumed with the director's 1987 film Empire of the Sun, and has continued to the present, spanning genres from science fiction thrillers (1993's Jurassic Park), to somber tragedies (1993's Schindler's List, 2005's Munich), to Eastern-tinged melodramas (2005's Memoirs of a Geisha, directed by Rob Marshall), to dramatic war films (1998's Saving Private Ryan). … Read More


2002 - 2003 2 More Events
2005 73 Years Old In 2005, the American Film Institute selected Williams' richly thematic and highly popular score to 1977's Star Wars as the greatest American film score of all time. … Read More
2008 76 Years Old 1 More Event
In 2008, Williams returned to the Indiana Jones series to score the fourth film—Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. … Read More
2011 79 Years Old After a three-year absence from film scoring, Williams composed the scores for Spielberg's The Adventures of Tintin and War Horse in 2011. … Read More
2012 80 Years Old 1 More Event
Williams won an Annie Award for his score for The Adventures of Tintin in 2012.
In February 2013, Williams conducted the Young Musician's Foundation Debut Orchestra and also expressed his interest in working in the Star Wars sequel trilogy, stating: "Now we’re hearing of a new set of movies coming in 2015, 2016... so I need to make sure I’m still ready to go in a few years for what I hope would be continued work with George."
2015 83 Years Old However, in March 2015, it was announced that Thomas Newman would replace Williams for the film, as Williams' schedule was interrupted by a minor health issue and he became unavailable to score the film. … Read More
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