Wednesday, January 20, 2010

John Williams #38

According to IMDb, today is the birth anniversary of John Williams. Well, it's not the John Williams with which we're probably all most familiar, i.e. the one who composed the scores of such movies as Jaws and E.T.: The Extraterrestrial. Instead, this John Williams was a British TV producer who died several years back, and is listed at IMDb as John Williams (XXXVIII). Needless to say, there are only so many names to go around, and it's to be expected that some people are going to have the same name, especially with a common name like "John Williams".

Out of curiousity, I was curious to see how many John Williamses there are with IMDb pages, and a name search yielded 75 results. A few of them were Johnny Williamses, who are numbered separately from the John Williamses, and one was even a person who went under the pseudonym "John Williams" for a movie but has a link leading to his real name. Still, there's a John Williams (LXX) out there on IMDb. Interestingly, the Jaws composer, who gets the honor of being John Williams (I), is the only well-known one, as opposed to say the three James Stewarts.

Is John Williams the most common name on IMDb? By itself, perhaps. There are 70 John Williamses, but apparently only 67 John Smiths. On the other hand, there are just over a hundred partial matches for John Smith (eg. people who go by John G. Smith or somesuch), while there are only about 70 partial matches for John Williams. There are only 51 James Smiths, but a further 107 partial matches -- including rapper LL Cool J, whose birth name was apparently James Todd Smith. (You learn something new every day.)

As for the women, there are a lot fewer, largely because in the olden days of Hollywood, most of the behind the camera jobs were held by men.

Can anybody find a name more common than John Williams?

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