After 21 nominations sound engineer wins his first Oscar

Kevin O'Connell wins his first Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)
Kevin O'Connell wins his first Oscar at the 89th Academy Awards. (Photo: Getty Images)

Los Angeles — Kevin O'Connell finally has reason to celebrate at the Oscars.

The sound re-recording engineer snapped a 0 for 20 skid on Monday morning, winning for sound mixing on Hacksaw Ridge with his 21st nomination.

O'Connell owned the record for most nominations without a win.

After waiting so long, a giddy O'Connell had the presence of mind to acknowledge his wife and two sons in the audience. He also thanked director Mel Gibson.

O'Connell mentioned his late mother, Skippy O'Connell, who gave him his first job in sound 39 years ago. He asked her how he could thank her. She told him to work hard, someday win an Oscar and thank her from the stage in front of the world.

He did just that.

"Mom, I know you're looking down on me tonight," O'Connell said. "So thank you."

He was previously nominated for such high-profile movies as Top GunA Few Good Men, Twister, Spider-Man and Transformers.

O'Connell earned his first Oscar nod in 1983 for Terms of Endearment. The 59-year-old sound engineer from Long Island, New York, had not been in contention since 2007.

"I can't even tell you the experience that it was for me," O'Connell said backstage. "As much as I thought I knew what it was going to feel like, I didn't. It's the greatest feeling I've had in my entire life."

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