CULTURE MONSTER

Oscar win at 87 may make Ennio Morricone the oldest winner ever

Composer Ennio Morricone, 87, has become one of the oldest — if not the oldest — person to win a competitive Academy Award with his Oscar on Sunday for "The Hateful Eight." 

The academy said it keeps age-related data only for the acting and directing categories and no winners in those races have exceeded 82.

"We do not have this kind of data for the other competitive categories. That being said, we are not aware of a competitive award winner older than 87," an academy spokeswoman said.

Morricone is four years older than Charlie Chaplin was when the legendary filmmaker won an Oscar in 1973 for co-writing the music for "Limelight," his 1952 movie that was belatedly released in Los Angeles two decades later.

Playwright George Bernard Shaw was 82 when he shared a screenplay Oscar for the 1938 film adaptation of his drama "Pygmalion."

Other winners include actors Christopher Plummer at 82 for "Beginners," Jessica Tandy at 80 for "Driving Miss Daisy" and George Burns at 80 for "The Sunshine Boys." Henry Fonda was 76 when he won an Oscar for "On Golden Pond," and Clint Eastwood joked that he was "just a kid" when he won for directing "Million Dollar Baby" at 74.

Morricone's win for "The Hateful Eight" marks his first competitive Oscar following five prior nominations for "Days of Heaven," "The Mission," "The Untouchables," "Bugsy" and "Malèna."

The composer received an honorary Oscar nine years ago in recognition of his career work that includes several classic spaghetti westerns directed by Sergio Leone.

david.ng@latimes.com

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