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The Woman With The Most Oscar Wins

Updated: Mar 23

The Oscars are back in town, with the 95th Academy Awards taking place today. But which woman has the most golden figures on her mantlepiece?

Edith Head

Many may think that the woman with the most Oscars must be a performer, because it’s certainly not a director.

Only 3 women have ever won Best Director in the Academy’s 94-year history: Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker in 2010, Chloé Zhao for Nomadland in 2021 and Jane Campion for The Power of the Dog in 2022.

For performers, Katharine Hepburn still holds the record title of the most wins for a female actor in Oscar history (4 Oscars and a total of 12 nominations), with Ingrid Bergman, Elizabeth Taylor, Frances McDormand and Meryl Streep all not far behind with 3 Oscars to their names. Cate Blanchett may soon be adding her name to this illustrious group if she wins Best Actress this evening for her performance in Tár.

But none of them come close to the top spot. Let’s end the suspense. The woman who holds the records for the most wins is a costume designer: Edith Head.

In a career that spanned over five decades and 400 film credits, Edith Head (1897 – 1981) garnered an incredible 35 Oscar nominations and 8 wins for Best Costume Design, the most for any woman in history. And more than anyone in history, for that matter, apart from a certain Walter Disney, who won 22 awards from a total of 59 nominations.

Her first win was for the 1949 film adaptation of The Heiress, for which she designed voluminous Victorian gowns. Her second Oscar win was the following year for Cecil B. DeMille’s biblical epic Samson and Delilah.

The six other films she won for were All About Eve, A Place in the Sun, Roman Holiday, Sabrina, The Facts of Life and The Sting - her last Oscar in 1973.


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