Can You Believe These Amazing Actors Have Never Won An Oscars?

Not every world-class actor has taken home the coveted golden statue yet.
  • 1 Glenn Close
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    Close But No Cigar, the story of a six-time Oscar nominee whose glory eludes her. With unforgettable turns in Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons, her skills and body of work are on par with Meryl Streep, yet she hasn’t been recognized the way she deserves. (Basically, that’s the synopsis of our yet-to-be green-lit Glenn Close biopic.)

  • 2 Leonardo DiCaprio
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    Leo is pretty much the Susan Lucci of the Oscars. He’s consistently critically acclaimed, has been nominated four times, and yet the big win eludes him. But who needs an Academy Award when you consistently take home trophies?

  • 3 Annette Bening
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    The 56-year-old actress has been nominated for an Oscar four times, for The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, and The Kids Are All Right. If Hilary Swank wasn’t nominated for Boys Don’t Cry the same year she was American Beauty, you could’ve considered her a shoe-in.

  • 4 Brad Pitt
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    Maybe his Best Actor chances are suffering from the fact that it’s hard to buy Brad Pitt on screen as anything but Brad Pitt. Although he’s been nominated for Best Actor three times, the only time he got a piece of an Oscar was when 12 Years a Slave, a film he co-produced, won Best Picture in 2014.

  • 5 Johnny Depp
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    Depp’s been nominated three times—for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003), Finding Neverland (2004), and Sweeney Todd. But that last time was in 2007. Someone get Depp a better agent because he hasn’t made a good movie since.

  • 6 Jessica Chastain
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    Jessica Chastain has been steamrolling through Hollywood, and taking every Oscar-bait movie role out there, that it’s surprising she hasn’t brought a statue home. While some may argue she deserved the 2013 Best Actress award for Zero Dark Thirty over Jennifer Lawrence’s Silver Linings Playbook, Chastainiacs shouldn’t worry—her starring role in the film adaptation of Joyce Carol Oates’ Blonde, about the life of Marilyn Monroe, is still waiting in the wings.

  • 7 Joaquin Phoenix
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    There is no doubt that Phoenix is a dedicated actor—just watch him absolutely lose himself in The Master, Her, and Inherent Vice. Despite being nominated three times, he probably couldn’t care less if he took a statue home, nor was ever nominated again. After all, he did call the Oscars “bullshit” in 2012.

  • 8 Tom Cruise
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    Jumping on a couch on Oprah unfairly dampened his career. But let’s not forget: Cruise is a talented actor. For a reminder of his genius, just check one of the three films that earned him a Best Actor nod, Magnolia.

  • 9 Viola Davis
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    It seems like Davis will sooner get an Emmy than an Oscar, since she’s slaying on How to Get Away With Murder, but let’s not overlook her film work. Davis was nominated for supporting roles in Doubt and The Help.

  • 10 Helena Bonham Carter
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    One of the greatest character actors today, Bonham Carter has built an impressively bizarre repertoire of unforgettable roles. Nominated twice, for The Wings of the Dove and The King’s Speech, her filmography suggests she should’ve been recognized at least five more times.

  • 11 Sir Ian McKellen
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    With a regal name like Sir Ian McKellen, you’d assume the guy has a mantle stacked with Oscars. Alas, his majesty has only been nominated twice: for Gods and Monsters (1998) and The Fellowship of the Ring (2001).

  • 12 Will Smith
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    Smith proved once and for all that he wasn’t just the Fresh Prince when he landed his first Best Actor nod for Ali, an honor he repeated in 2007 when he was nominated for The Pursuit of Happyness. Although he’s got a few blockbusters lined up next, most notably Suicide Squad, we fully expect him to have another career renaissance that’ll bring home the Oscar.

  • 13 Ralph Fiennes
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    Schindler’s List, The English Patient—basically think of the most depressing World War II movies ever, and Fiennes was probably in it. Not to mention, they probably earned him Academy recognition.

  • 14 Gary Oldman
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    Before Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, Oldman was famous for being one of the finest actors never to be nominated for an Oscar. However, his chances of another nod in the future are unclear now, as his infamous anti-semitic rant has overcome his reputation.

  • 15 Don Cheadle
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    The Academy recognized Cheadle once in his illustrious 30-year career, with a a Best Actor nomination for Hotel Rwanda. Another nomination is bound to come, though, as his next project is the highly anticipated Miles Davis biopic Miles Ahead. You know how much the Academy loves famous people playing other famous people.

  • 16 Robert Downey Jr.
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    Since checking out of rehab in the early 2000s, Downey Jr.’s career has skyrocketed. While his Avengers films have made him a mainstream superstar, his quieter dramas, including The Judge are showing glimpses of the serious actor he’s keeping at bay, namely the one who was nominated for Best Actor for his 1992 film Chaplin.

  • 17 Eddie Murphy
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    What is Eddie Murphy doing nowadays? Who knows. What’s certain is that the Best Supporting Actor nominee for Dreamgirls has the talent to earn even more Academy recognition. We just can’t wait until he realizes it.

  • 18 Liam Neeson
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    Inarguably the hardest working actor in Hollywood—he had 11 projects come out in 2014 alone—Neeson has only been recognized by the Academy once in his career. How he lost is a mystery, because that movie he was nominated for? Schindler’s List (1993).

  • 19 Harrison Ford
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    A guy who’s been in the business this long, and coveted some many iconic roles, has to have won an Oscar right? Nope. He’s only been nominated for Best Actor once, 20 years ago for the film Witness (1985).

Tara Aquino is an entertainment writer based out of L.A. She likes people, places, and things.