->''"A lifetime is just simply not long enough for the study of music."''

John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is one of the world's most famous and prolific movie composers. Professionally active for six decades, he has been nominated for a whopping 50 UsefulNotes/{{Academy Award}}s (winning five), six Emmy nominations (winning three), 22 Golden Globes (winning four) and 59 Grammys (winning twenty). Only Creator/WaltDisney has been nominated for more Oscars, and Williams currently holds the record for most nominated living individual.

Before he rose as a famed composer, Williams was a studio pianist and has performed on film scores by composers such as Music/JerryGoldsmith (''Studs Lonigan''; ''City of Fear''), Music/ElmerBernstein (''Film/SweetSmellOfSuccess''; ''God's Little Acre''; ''Staccato''; ''Film/TheMagnificentSeven''; ''Literature/ToKillAMockingbird''), Music/HenryMancini (he actually played the well-recognized opening riff to the ''Series/PeterGunn'' theme; ''Series/MrLucky''; ''Film/DaysOfWineAndRoses''; ''Film/{{Charade}}''), Music/AlfredNewman (''Theatre/SouthPacific''), and Jerome Moross (''Film/TheBigCountry'').

Williams' scores make extremely liberal use of {{Leitmotif}}--practically every major character and concept has its own musical motif woven into the score. Williams is also fond of the {{Fanfare}}. Despite these stylistic preferences, he seems willing to experiment with every movie, adding different instruments and techniques with each new film. (For example, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vDdFM6U9-eQ one piece]] of the ''Film/AttackOfTheClones'' score uses an electric guitar.) When a Williams composition is playing, you will generally be in for a good movie. If the movie's not good, well, [[CrowningMusicOfAwesome the music]] [[SugarWiki/RuleOfSeanConnery certainly]] [[AwesomeMusic/JohnWilliams will be]].

If you are not hearing impaired and have seen a movie in the last 30 years (or even if you haven't), you'll have certainly heard one of Williams' tunes. Most of his themes have become iconic in their own right, such as the opening {{fanfare}} of ''Franchise/StarWars'', the famous string sting from ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' or the theme for ''Franchise/IndianaJones''. Williams has long been the go-to composer for Creator/StevenSpielberg's films (he even wrote the music for the Amblin and Creator/{{Dreamworks}} logos).

Interestingly, many fans of ClassicalMusic actually hold Williams in rather low regard, as '''many''' elements of his compositions (including some of his most well-known themes and motifs) are borrowed from older pieces of music. Though even they admit he's less guilty of this [[Music/JamesHorner than others]]. For most listeners this is one of his strengths; in the words of the founding editor of ''Film Score Monthly'' Lukas Kendall (whose all-time favorite score is ''The Empire Strikes Back''): "His themes sound inevitable. They sound like they fell out of his sleeves; they sound like they've always existed. And it's extraordinary how you get just two notes for ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' or five notes for ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'' and have them feel like they've always existed."

Among his most famous scores are:
* ''Film/{{Jaws}}'' (duh-''dum'', duh-''dum''...).
* ''Franchise/StarWars'': "Main Title" (the opening {{fanfare}}), "[[BootstrappedTheme Luke's Theme]]" from all of the films in the Prequel Trilogy and Original Trilogy, "The Imperial March (Darth Vader's Theme)" and "Duel of The Fates" are the best known. He returned to score ''Film/TheForceAwakens'' and ''Film/TheLastJedi'', and intends to provide the score for the final movie in the Sequel Trilogy once he has Disney's say-so.
* ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind''.
* ''Film/{{Superman}}'' (he also wrote themes for ''Film/SupermanIVTheQuestForPeace'').
* The ''Franchise/IndianaJones'' films.
* ''Film/ETTheExtraTerrestrial''.
* ''Film/HomeAlone'' (and its first sequel).
* ''Film/JurassicPark'' (and ''its'' first sequel).
* ''Film/SchindlersList''.
* The first three ''Film/HarryPotter'' films (technically William Ross adapted the second from Williams's music, as he was busy scoring two Spielberg movies that year), although the main themes he composed are still used in the later films.

In addition to his film scores, Williams has composed music for four UsefulNotes/OlympicGames, ''The Mission'' suite for the ''NBC Nightly News'' and the inauguration of President UsefulNotes/BarackObama, among many others. He also conducted the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980-1993 and remains Director Laureate to this day.

Early in his career, Williams worked for producer Creator/IrwinAllen (under the name "''Johnny'' Williams"), providing the themes (and pilot scores) for Allen's TV series ''Series/LostInSpace'', ''Series/TheTimeTunnel'' and ''Series/LandOfTheGiants'', and such disaster films as ''Film/ThePoseidonAdventure'' and ''Film/TheToweringInferno''. Williams himself credits much of his success to the collegial relationships he developed with his fellow musicians during his own stint in a studio orchestra. He also scored the pilot for ''Series/GilligansIsland'' (but he didn't write the theme song).

Not to be confused with John William'''''son''''' who is very very [[AwesomeAussie Australian]] singer/songwriter. Nor with the acclaimed classical ''guitarist'' [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Williams_(guitarist) John Williams]]. Nor with any of the dozens of other [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Williams_(disambiguation) eminent historical John Williamses]]. He is however related to Joseph Williams, the singer from Music/{{Toto}}-- that would be his son.

He is also [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lk5_OSsawz4 the man]].
!!His work provides examples of:
* AssociatedComposer: Famously, Williams has scored almost all the films of Creator/StevenSpielberg. The only exceptions are ''Film/BridgeOfSpies'', due to a health issue, ''Film/TheColorPurple'', which they mutually agreed would be better served with music by Music/QuincyJones, and ''[[Film/ReadyPlayerOne2018 Ready Player One]]'', due to a scheduling conflict. He's also done a fair bit of work with Creator/GeorgeLucas, Creator/ChrisColumbus, and Creator/IrwinAllen.
%%* AwardBaitSong:
* BootstrappedTheme:
** ''Star Wars'''s main theme was originally intended to be purely "Luke's Theme", though it became so synonymous with the franchise as a whole, Williams forewent creating a new main theme for the prequels, and even included the theme in several places in the prequel scores. A rearranged but still recognizable version of the theme was later used for the animated ''Clone Wars''.
** Williams originally scored the scene where Luke looks out to the double sunset with his theme but George Lucas suggested he use the theme he wrote for Obi-Wan instead. Williams complied and now it is known as "Binary Sunset" and used for any scene involving the Force. (It's also one of the best examples of the power of music in film, as it turns a simple shot of a young man staring into the sunset into a powerful scene of desolation and longing.)
** "Hedwig's Theme" has ended up being the theme of the whole ''Harry Potter'' series.
* CallBack: If you listen to the ''Star Wars'' soundtracks in particular, there are so many cues in pieces that appear in ANH and TESB that get brought back in ROTJ and the Prequels to nod back to those moments.
* {{Fanfare}}: He's so good, he's gotten raves from the directors just from watching him conduct. Creator/RichardDonner even admitted he screwed up a recording take for ''Film/{{Superman}}'' by running into the room shouting how great it was.
%% * {{Leitmotif}}
* MusicOfNote: One of the biggest names in film scoring, and deservedly so. Think of huge film franchises like "Star Wars" or "Harry Potter" or "Indiana Jones"-- [[{{Leitmotif}} that tune]] you now have [[EarWorm stuck in your head]] is by John Williams.
* ShoutOut:
** The soundtrack of "StarWars" strongly references Gustav Holst's [[StealthPun The Planets]]. Does [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L0bcRCCg01I this]] remind you of anything?
** Even worse, give some of [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yctfXIqugXc this]] a listen.
** As sort of a self ShoutOut, Williams uses a few notes of the music he composed for the first Harry Potter film in one of the final scenes of RevengeOfTheSith. Fitting, since both scenes involve an infant with great potential being left with relatives after the death of their mother.
** Another self ShoutOut that is easy to miss but very difficult to forget is in the Franchise/JurassicPark theme - when it really kicks in, it heavily references [[Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind five other famous notes.]]
** Yet another: Pay attention to the trombone-notes in ''Film/CloseEncountersOfTheThirdKind'', after the mother ship lands...and you will recognize a brief, but unmistakable, [[Film/{{Jaws}} "duh-DUH, duh-DUH"]]!
* SpoilerTitle: Even his fans admit he's incredibly guilty of this with his track titles - arguably his greatest crime in this regard is ''Film/PresumedInnocent''. Seriously, if you don't have this soundtrack album '''do not''' get it before seeing the movie, as the penultimate track is called [[spoiler: "Barbara's Confession."]]