Hildur Guðnadóttir Wins Best Original Score For 'Joker' at 2020 Oscars

Hildur Guðnadóttir
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Hildur Guðnadóttir accepts the Music - Original Score - award for 'Joker' onstage during the 92nd Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on Feb. 9, 2020 in Hollywood, Calif.

The Icelandic composer has now secured three-quarters of an EGOT in less than five months.

Hildur Guðnadóttir won the Oscar for best original score for Joker at the 92nd Annual Academy Awards on Sunday (Feb. 9). The Icelandic composer is the third woman to win for scoring a film, following Rachel Portman, for Emma (1996), and Anne Dudley,  for The Full Monty (1997).  

"This is so touching," Hildur said on accepting the award at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood. "Thank you to the Academy for welcoming me so warmly. My fellow nominees, masters of the craft, it has been such an honor to get to know you all. It has been so special."

Hildur had a special focus as she closed her speech: "To the girls, to the women, to the mothers, to the daughters who hear the music bubbling within, please speak up. We need to hear your voices."

Hildur has now secured three-quarters of an EGOT in less than five months—the fastest that anyone has amassed that many EGOT-level awards since Bob Fosse did it in less than two months in the spring of 1973.

Hildur kicked off this winning streak at the Creative Arts Emmys on Sept. 15 when she won outstanding music composition for a limited series, movie, or special for HBO's Chernobyl. She won a Grammy on Jan. 26 for best score soundtrack for visual media for that same work.

Between March 25 and May 20, 1973, Fosse won two Tonys for his work on Pippin, an Oscar for directing Cabaret and three Emmys for his work on Liza Minnelli's NBC-TV special, Liza with a Z. Fosse was 45 at the time of his sweep, eight years older than Hildur is now.

Hildur is the first Icelandic composer to win in this category. Jóhann Jóhannsson was nominated for The Theory of Everything (2014) and Sicario (2015). Jóhannsson died two years ago.

Among the losing nominees was Thomas Newman for 1917. Newman has now lost in this category 14 times without a win, which ties Alex North's record. North lost 14 times between 1951 and 1984. In 1985, the Academy gave North an honorary Oscar. He died in 1991, without ever having won an Oscar in competition.

Hildur's awards haul probably isn't over, either. Joker will compete in next year's Grammys, which raises the distinct possibility that she could become the first person to win best score soundtrack for visual media two years in a row since Howard Shore won three years running (2002-04) for The Lord of the Rings franchise.   

In addition to Portman, Dudley and Hildur, lyricist Marilyn Bergman won an Oscar in the defunct original song score category for Yentl (1983). She shared the award with co-lyricist Alan Bergman (her husband) and composer Michel Legrand.

2020 Academy Awards