• Golden Globe Awards

1966: “Doctor Zhivago” Honored with Five Wins

At the 1966 Golden Globes ceremony, held at the Ambassador Hotel on January 31, English filmmaker David Lean won the Best Director Golden Globe for his classic love story Doctor Zhivago. It was the third time in under ten years that the legendary director won this award in the same year his movie was feted as Best Picture – Drama, following previous double-wins in 1963 for Lawrence of Arabia and 1958 for The Bridge on the River Kwai. Doctor Zhivago ended up winning five of its six nominations that evening, including Best Actor – Drama (Omar Sharif), Best Screenplay (Robert Bolt), and Best Original Score (Maurice Jarre).

Based on the Russian novel of the same name by Boris Pasternak, Doctor Zhivago is set in Russia between the years prior to World War I and the Russian Civil War of 1917-22. The film stars Sharif and Julie Christie as two protagonists who love each other but, because of the turmoil of their current situation, cannot find a way to be together.
Lean told The Atlantic at the time the film was released: “When I read Zhivago, my common sense told me that it was a terribly difficult thing to undertake, but I was so moved by the book that I thought all this must make a marvelous movie. I’ve done two films now with no women in them (Lawrence of Arabia and The Bridge on the River Kwai), so when I found this superb love story, I knew I had to make it.

His efforts also marked the second time in a three-year period that Lean had directed his leading man in Doctor Zhivago to a Golden Globe win, following Sharif’s 1963 victories for Lawrence of Arabia with Best Supporting Actor and New Star of the Year – Male awards. With the triumph of his latest film, Sharif was now a star, not a newcomer, and had traded the deserts of Arabia for Finland and Spain, standing in for snowy Russia and Siberia.
Many critics describe Doctor Zhivago as one of the greatest love stories of all time, and it’s still one of the most popular romances in movie history. A massive worldwide hit upon its release, the film was, as of 2016, still the eight highest-grossing film of all time in the United States, adjusting for inflation.