13 Famous Actors Never who Won an Oscar
Awards season doesn’t always go as planned. Chaotic moments like the Moonlight/La La Land mix-up at the 2017 Oscars have shown it, but sometimes the surprises the show throws at us are a little more subtle, like slights,
Every once in a while you realize that an actor or actress you’d swear to rack up several statuettes hasn’t won an Oscar once. Is it fair?
Well no. Should you be arguing for hours with everyone at your 2022 Oscars party about why these actors deserve the biggest accolades in the industry? Of course.
Below, we’ve rounded up a list of 13 Hollywood actors who surprisingly don’t have an Oscar under their belt (despite their many nominations).
Smith’s nomination for best actor for The Williams Method is his third in 20 years. He was a candidate for Ali in 2001 (he lost to Denzel Washington, who returns to the share category this year) and in 2006, for The Pursuit of Happyness (he was beaten by Forest Whitaker).
Close has been nominated a whopping eight times throughout her impressive career for her performances in films like Reunion (1983), Fatal Attraction (1987), and Dangerous Liaisons (1988), but she has never taken home an Oscar ( Youn Yuh-Jung blew out the last chance to take it, in 2021).
Nominated four times – for Brokeback Mountain in 2015; by Blue Valentine in 2010; for My Week with Marilyn in 2011; and for Manchester by the sea in 2016—Williams has not yet taken home the Oscar, although it seems that she will arrive that day yes or yes. Will she make it with her next project, Steven Spielberg’s semi-autobiographical drama The Fabelmans?
Throughout his 50 years of a brilliant career, under the orders of great directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Maurice Pialat, Michael Haneke, Claire Denis, and Hong Sang-soo, Huppert has been nominated by the American academy only once, for her performance in Paul Verhoeven’s erotic thriller Elle (2016).
Hawke has amassed a legendary filmography, ranging from independent titles to authentic auteur films (Reality Bites; the Before trilogy) to commercial blockbusters (Dead Poets Society, Gattaca). However, he has only aspired to the Oscar twice – for Training Day in 2002 and Boyhood in 2015 – and has never won it.
Bening has been nominated for an Oscar four times, most recently in the Best Actress category for her role in The Boys Are All Right (2011). But that year she lost to Natalie Portman, who won for her role in Black Swan (There is a curious coincidence that her husband, Warren Beatty, has won zero of four nominations as an actor, although he won the Oscar for best director for Reds in 1982.)
Despite his memorable performances in such films as Julie and Julia and Big Night (which he co-directed with Campbell Scott), Tucci has only been nominated once, for his role in The Lovely Bones; and he left the 2010 Oscar ceremony empty-handed (better for him, since he was able to tour Italy on CNN trying the best of his gastronomy). Tucci was also nominated for BAFTAs and Golden Globes for the same role.
The legendary actor was nominated twice (for The Lord of the Rings and Gods and Monsters), but to this day he still hasn’t won it. Don’t worry about him: he’s the proud owner of seven Olivier Awards, a Tony, and a Golden Globe.
Samuel L Jackson
Despite having one of the most recognizable voices in Hollywood, Jackson failed to win Best Supporting Actor when he was nominated in 1994 for his performance in Pulp Fiction. Years later, after staying at the gates again in 2015 for The Hateful Eight, LaTanya Richardson, Jackson’s wife, said that her husband and she had “overcome” her displeasure. “I’m upset, but you have to remember that the Oscars are just one night,” she added.
In 1994 Neeson was nominated for Best Actor for the role that marked a turning point in his career, in Schindler’s List (winner of the Oscar for best picture that year). Many were very disappointed to see that he did not take it, and that was the year in which Tom Hanks achieved his first statuette of the two consecutive ones that he garnered as best leading actor for Philadelphia and Forrest Gump.
Like Liam Neeson with Schindler’s List, Fiennes was nominated for an Oscar for his work on the film in 1994 but lost to Tommy Lee Jones.
When he received his second mention in 1996 for the title role of The English Patient, it was taken off his hands again, this time in favor of Geoffrey Rush.
A fixture in Hollywood for 30 years (and counting), Bassett received her first – and only – Oscar nomination in 1993, for starring in the Tina Turner biopic Tina (yet she has a SAG Award, a Golden Globe, seven NAACP Image Awards, and seven other Emmy Awards).
Weaver has three Oscar nominations under her belt for her performances in Aliens, Homecoming, Girl Guns, and Gorillas in the Mist. Her last two were in 1989, making her the fifth performer to receive two nominations in the same year up to that point. But to this day she still hasn’t taken the statuette home.