The Winner Of Most Best Actor Oscars Ever Is A Woman, But No, It's Not Meryl Streep

who has won most oscars ever
Winner Of Most Oscars Ever Is A WomanBettmann - Getty Images

We're entering the Oscars countdown, friends. The 96th Academy Awards takes place on Sunday March 10, 2024, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. And although it will air in the middle of the night for us UK dwellers, there are always streaming options if you fancy pulling an all nighter, plus a barrage of next-day news to catch up on.

For those celebrating Oscars Sunday, with a late night take-away to accompany your Twitter scrolling, expect larger than life red carpet looks, with even fuller skirts, lengthier trains and more archive pieces as celebrity guests compete with each other to pull the most stunning vintage Mugler or Armani Privé gown. Jimmy Kimmel is this year's host (again), so there'll be gags a-plenty.

When it comes to the accolades themselves, we've seen some history-making moments during this awards season already, from Abbott Elementary's Quinta receiving the second award for Best Actress in a Comedy to Ayo Edibiri winning Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, which made them the first Black actresses to win the comedy acting categories in the same year.

winner of most oscars ever
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If you want to know who has won the most Oscar awards ever, in history, you'll probably not be shocked to learn that it's Walt Disney, who won 22 awards after being nominated 59 times. Lord knows we love Lady and The Tramp and The Little Mermaid as much as the next person.


walt disney died at the age of 65 he rode proudly january 1, 1966 as grand marshal of the rose parade with a character he made a household name, mickey mouse photo by bettmann archivegetty images
Walt DisneyBettmann - Getty Images

However, the winner of most Oscars for acting might actually surprise you.

We may all love Meryl Streep and want her to be Queen of everything, but as it stands, she does not hold the position of 'winner of most oscars ever.'

When it comes to the Academy Awards, Meryl has been given the extreme compliment of having been nominated more times than any other actor, male or female.

The theatrical powerhouse and star of such films as Mama Mia, Deer Hunter and The Iron Lady, has been nominated a whopping 21 times, adding her most recent nomination to the list for her role in The Post.

89th Annual Academy Awards - Red Carpet
Christopher Polk - Getty Images

But when it comes to actually winning the most Oscars, sadly she is not the record holder.

For her 2018 nomination, the impressive 69-year-old lost out in the Best Actress category to Frances McDormand, for McDormand's role in dark and painful comedy Three Billboards, which scuppered Streep's chances of beating the 'most oscars' record holder. McDormand also joined the MAA club in 2018, as it was her second Academy Award.

winner of most oscars ever
Frances McDormandSteve Granitz - Getty Images

Very happily for womankind, though, the record-holder for most oscars ever is female and if we were ever happy for Meryl Streep to come second to anyone, it would likely be this person.

Who Has Won The Most Oscars Ever In History?

The reigning titleholder, in the race for most oscars awards ever, remains Katharine Hepburn.

Katharine Hepburn winner of most oscars ever
Getty Images

Katharine Hepburn won four Oscars throughout her career. As a budding starlet, at 26-years old, Hepburn won her first Academy Award in 1933's Morning Glory.

After that, there was a dearth of awards for the next 34 years of her career, but finally, in 1967 she won her second Oscar for Who's Coming To Dinner, then another in 1968 for The Lion In Winter and finally in 1981 for On Golden Pond.

Katharine Hepburn winner of most oscars ever
Mondadori Portfolio - Getty Images

Here's Something You Didn't Know

You might have been aware of Hepburn's award-laden mantlepiece, but here's something you maybe didn't know: Hepburn did not turn up to collect a single on of her Oscars at the Academy Awards ceremonies.

When questioned about her lack of awards ceremony appearances, Katherine Hepburn famously said: 'Prizes are nothing. My prize is my work.'

Which is, of course, very noble, but we can't help feeling like she might have made a kick-ass speech if she'd taken to the podium.

Which film has won the most Oscars ever?

For the film buffs out there, the film that holds the Guinness world record for the most Oscars won is a three-way tie.

Titanic (1997), Ben-Hur (1959) and Lord Of The Rings: The Return of The King (2003) all won 11 Academy Awards.

Titanic's wins didn't include any for Kate Winslet or Leonardo DiCaprio but did score Best Picture and Best Director went to James Cameron. Ben-Hur was triumphant in both Best Actor (Charles Heston) and Best Director, (William Wyler), while the third Lord of the Rings film was also victorious for Best Picture and, Director for Peter Jackson.

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