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Academy Awards: 6 Oscar winners with a connection to Glasgow

A look back at Glasgow’s long association with film-making’s greatest prize

Scotland has claimed its share of Hollywood glory at the Academy Awards over the years. In 1995, Braveheart memorably won five awards from ten nominations. Sir Sean Connery was awarded an Oscar for best supporting actor in 1988 for his role in The Untouchables. Annie Lennox won in 2003 for the song Into the West from The Return of the King, part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

An early Academy Award winner was Norman McLaren. Born in Stirling, he studied at Glasgow School of Art, and earned an Oscar for best documentary in 1952 with an anti-war film, Neighbours, which he made in Canada, where he had relocated to and was to spend the rest of his career.

Glasgow’s first fully-fledged taste of Oscars glory came in 1962, when Seawards the Great Ships, a documentary about the shipbuilding industry on the Clyde, won the Oscar for best live action short.

It was produced and co-written by Stirlingshire-born John Grierson for a Glasgow film company. He became renowned as “the father of the documentary” and had a glittering filmmaking career stretching from the 1920s to the 1960s.

Film historian Andrew Martin, from the National Library of Scotland, responsible for the official Scottish Screen Archive, says: “Scotland really has had a remarkable number of nominees and winners.

“Seawards the Great Ships was a really important film at the time and it is genuinely Scottish because it was filmed on the Clyde.

“Other nominees included Mary Ure, for Sons and Lovers, who was born in Glasgow, but met a very tragic end after the opening night of a play.”

The film adaptation of Alasdair Gray's novel Poor Things has 11 nominations for this year's ceremony. Glasgow can also point to Springburn’s Armando Iannucci and Shawlands’ Krysty Wilson-Cairns as previous Oscar nominees, but who are the Oscar winners from Glasgow?

Glasgow’s first fully-fledged taste of Oscars glory came in 1962, when Seawards the Great Ships, a documentary about the shipbuilding industry on the Clyde, won the Oscar for best live action short.

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