But he has a record the others can't touch, CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker reports.
"I've been nominated 18 times before. This is my 19th," O'Connell says.
The Oscar nominations cover his wall — so much so that he says he's "running out of wall space."
Acceptance speeches fill a drawer, but there's not one Oscar in the house. You see, O'Connell holds the record for the longest losing streak in Oscar history.
"Golly, how many people win an Oscar? How many people get nominated for an Oscar in their life? It's insane, just to be part of that is an incredible feeling, so I don't get discouraged," O'Connell says.
He's an optimist and an artist. "Every single different sound in this movie is on a different one of these faders," he says, explaining his skill at mixing sound for movies.
Without him, the movie would sound like, well, nothing. He makes it sound like it's booming. He has put sound to everything from blockbusters like "Spider-Man 2," to tear-jerkers — like his first nomination, for "Terms Of Endearment" in 1984. The movie won, but he didn't.
Does he ever feel dejected? "One year we were nominated for 'Top Gun.' I really actually thought it was the best-sounding movie and we didn't win," O'Connell says. "But the next morning I woke up and got on with my life and everything's been fine since, other than the therapy to get over it ... No, just kidding."
As he celebrates nomination No. 19, he says he has only one regret: His mother got him his first sound-mixing job when she worked at Fox Studios.
"And I said, 'Ma, How can I ever thank you for this amazing opportunity?' And she goes 'I'll tell you how you can thank me. You work very hard and someday you go win yourself an Oscar and you can stand up there on the stage and you can thank me in front of the whole world,'" O'Connell explains.
Kevin O'Connell is more than ready for his close-up.