Skip Navigation

Sadly, Walter Mirisch ’42 passed away in February 2023, but though he was one of the UW’s most-decorated Oscar winners, he wasn't the only Oscar-winning Badger, nor even the first. He was a producer on the film In the Heat of the Night, which won the Best Picture honor in 1967, and his company produced The Apartment and West Side Story, the best-picture honorees in 1960 and 1961. Decades before Mirisch had his big day on the red carpet, Fredric March 1920 won the Best Actor award. In fact, he won twice, or possibly three times, depending on how you count. In 1932, he got the award for the title roles in the 1932 horror film Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, in which he played both Jekyll and Hyde. Is that one Oscar or two? He won again in 1946 for The Best Years of Our Lives. He was also nominated three more times — for The Royal Family of Broadway, A Star Is Born, and Death of a Salesman. (In recent years, March has become a controversial figure on campus.) After Mirisch, several other Badgers have taken home little gold men: in 1978, Marshall Brickman ’61 shared Best Screenplay for Annie Hall; Pat Hanrahan ’77, PhD’85 picked up three Oscars for technical achievement in 1993, 2004, and 2014; Thomas Rosenberg ’68 helped produce the best picture of 2004, Million Dollar Baby; the same year, Errol Morris ’69 created the best documentary, The Fog of War; and in 2016, Nicole Rocklin ’01 was a producer on Spotlight, which won best picture. That’s a total of 12 Oscars among seven Badgers. Those numbers might grow to 13 and eight this year, if The Martha Mitchell Effect wins best documentary short — Debra McClutchy ’92 codirected that 40-minute film about the Watergate scandal.

More From Ask Flamingle HQ

Join us for Recent-Grad Weekend on campus June 7–8 for two days packed with all-inclusive summertime fun. Register now before it sells out!