Everyone accepts that the Oscars never get everything correct. There are many gaffes that need to be accepted, such as forgettable films winning Best Picture, and Art Carney winning an Oscar for playing old-man cute with his cat in Harry and Tonto in a year when Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Dustin Hoffman gave some of their career best performances. But this isn’t a list of so-and-so should’ve won over so-and-so. No, this list is far more movie-depressing. It’s a list of actors who’ve never been nominated for an acting Oscar.
To make this list, we wanted to focus on actors who’ve been turning in good work for at least one decade of time—without a single Oscar nomination to show for it. So despite a current three-year hot-streak that actors such as Oscar Isaac, Tom Hardy, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Elle Fanning are on, those don’t count. Hopefully, they avoid being on such a list in ten years.
Some of the actors on here faced an uphill battle due to the time they were busy giving their best performances. In Oscar history, certain decades have happened to avoid awarding villains, weirdos, or international actors. Recently, supporting actors are more of a co-leading role than they are the great, brief performances of old. Some of these actors starred in genres such as sci-fi, comedy, and action: genres that Academy turns their noses up at for not being serious enough. But all of these actors have had longevity, and worked opposite actors and directors that the Academy has embraced. So, we’ll use this space to embrace them. Dead or alive.
Please peruse our list, and let us know who surprised you in their inclusion, and who surprised you in their absence. Or who you’d assumed had surely been nominated before. And yes, we are aware that we said “actors” and included “actresses.” We decided to go classy—like the Screen Actors Guild—and go with male actors and female actors.
25 Great Actors Who’ve Never Been Nominated for an Oscar:
Next Five: Isabella Rossellini, Joan Bennett, Ewan McGregor, Danny Glover, and Nastassja Kinski
Brian Formo is a featured contributor on the CraveOnline Film Channel. You can follow him on Twitter at @BrianEmilFormo; he is a HUGE Seahawks fan, but this article was written with objective impartiality.