Veteran sound mixer Kevin O’Connell, 59, finally won his first Oscar after being nominated 21 times and losing 20 times.


O’Connell was actually the record holder for most nominations without a victory in Academy Award history. He won for his work on Mel Gibson‘s war flick Hacksaw Ridge.

“Thank you so much!” he told the crowd. “I can’t even tell you what this means to me… This means to much I can’t even tell you. Mel Gibson, thank you for taking us on this journey with you.”

The excited sound man also thanked his mother in a memorable portion of his speech. “A special thank you tonight to my mother, Skippy O’Connell, who 39 years ago got me a job in sound. And when I asked her how I could thank her, she told me, ‘You can work hard. You can work really hard, and someday you can win yourself an Oscar, and you can stand on the stage, and you can think me in front of the whole world.’ Mom, I know you’re looking down on me tonight, so thank you.”

O’Connell had previously been nominated for his work on Terms of Endearment (1983), Top Gun (1986), A Few Good Men (1992), Armageddon (1998), The Patriot (2000) and Transformers (2007) to name just a few of the 21 noms.

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