Every year around Oscar time it seems like we always end up falling into the same debate: Who deserves to win best (INSERT CATEGORY) here. There are many actors, directors, writers and others who have been nominated but have never taken home the gold statuette. Now, the reality is that films take a long time for directors to get made and writers take a long time to get a script right. But actors have a better set of odds, because they can make multiple films in any given year.
This isn't to say that acting is easier than any of the aforementioned jobs. It just means that, if the Academy likes an actor, and they make a lot of films, their chances to gain Oscar gold are that much better. A great case in point is how many times they has been nominated? 19. How many Oscars has she taken home? 3. Those are VERY respectable numbers.
What about those actors that are really great, they get nominated, but they never win? How can this be possible? They've been nominated numerous times and they've never taken home that coveted trophy. Making this even more astounding is the fact that some of these actors who have never won Oscars have made billions for the various studios at the box office!
Art is truly subjective. What some people think is brilliant others decry is tripe. What others think is garbage, others simply see as unpolished jewels. What seems to be a constant thread, is that there are actors who should own an Oscar. Whether it is for one great performance, a multitude of performances, or simply being someone we love to see on the silver screen...Get them that damn little golden guy!
What follows is a list that is many things, but hardly subjective. As you read it, we expect you to be astounded by the fact that this thespian, this master of the acting craft, has never taken home what many others before them have. You might be shocked, surprised, dismayed, even afraid. So as the big night looms before us, sit back and enjoy our list of "15 Actors You Wouldn't Believe Have Never Won An Oscar".
1Leonardo DiCaprio - Nominations: 5
Yup..., I can already hear the the WTF's being typed on your keyboard or smartphone. The man has been nominated four previous times, and has never won. Maybe this fifth time will be the charm! Most thought he'd an Award for the character he played in What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Wrong. It just seems like he should've, though. Doesn't it. Going to the alter for his 5th time this February, many believe this is the year that DiCaprio takes home the gold for his grueling performance in The Revenant.
2Bill Murray - Nominations: 1
Okay, the fact that Bill Murray is mainly known as a funny man probably doesn't help him with the dinosaurs in the Academy. In recent years, Murray's comedic persona has become more sublime and he's actually been in contention more. The reality is that Murray hasn't just been good in a lot of movies, he's been great in a lot them as well. So it stands to reason that he should win an Oscar sometime! His one nomination came in Lost In Translation. He lost out to Sean Penn in Mystic River.
3Tom Cruise - Nominations: 3
Tom Cruise has only been nominated for an Oscar 3 times, and failed to win every single time. Why is this surprising? Why does it seem like he should have won already? Well, at one time, before he was jumping on couches in front of Oprah, Tom Cruise was the biggest actor in the world. Whether this hurt him with the Academy, who can say. What we can say is that he is going to win one day...It just might take 20 more years. And it will take better movies than Jerry Maguire, Magnolia and Born on the 4th of July. Looking at the actor's upcoming slate, which includes popcorn blockbuster fluff such as Top Gun 2, The Mummy, Jack Reacher: Never Go Back and Mission: Impossible 6, his next chances at achieving Academy Gold are a long ways off in the future.
4Glenn Close - Nominations: 6
WTF? How in the world do you get nominated for something 6 times and never win it? That, our friends, is a question we should probably ask Glenn Close. She was a fixture in the 1980s. I honestly couldn't tell the difference between her and Meryl Streep. Well, there was one difference, Streep has won an Oscar. But not poor Glenn Close. She kept getting nominated all throughout the 80s, for such varied fare as The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons. She couldn't catch a nomination in the 90s or 2000s. But she did receive her 6th nomination in 2011 for playing a man in Albert Nobbs. She's had better luck on TV, winning 2 Emmys for her lead role on Damages.
5Johnny Depp - Nominations: 3
Alright, say what you will about Johnny Depp, but when he cares about a role he makes it interesting. This is all the more reason why we're angry that he wasn't even nominated for his role as Whitey Bulger in Black Mass. Shouldn't Depp have won for something by now? Or, at least been nominated more? Perhaps one of the most shocking things about his past nominations is the roles the Academy has chosen to acknowledge. Yes, he was nominated for the big Disney blockbuster Pirates of The Caribbean: The Curse of The Black Pearl in his iconic role as Jack Sparrow. Sure, Jack has become one of the most recognizable characters around the world, but hardly what the Academy usually goes for. He was also nominated for his role as Sweeney Todd, and another over the top, outlandish performance that doesn't usually snag the interest of the voting committee.
6John Travolta - Nominations: 2
John Travolta is such a charismatic, electrifying actor that it sure is surprising he has never won an Oscar. He's only been nominated for Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction, but those two movies defined two very different cinematic decades. And are remembered as two of the best movies ever made. With such a name and star presence, it seems like he would've been nominated (and won) for something by now, right? Recently, he's taken on some questionable B movie fare, so an Oscar might be a long way off. Perhaps he'll nab an Emmy for his astonishing work as Robert Shapiro in The People V. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, which is currently airing on FX. Its some of the best work he's done in his career.
7Harrison Ford - Nominations: 1
How in the world has Harrison Ford only been nominated for one Academy Award? And it was for the 1985 movie Witness from 1985? Sure, we didn't think he'd get nominated for his final turn as Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. But hello Academy, how about Working Girl, Regarding Henry, The Mosquito Coast, The Fugitive, 42??? The man doesn't have a lot of time left on his plate. Hopefully he at least gets a lifetime achievement award.
8Amy Adams - Nominations: 5
Amy Adams has won right? It seems like she's nominated every year, isn't she? Okay, Amy Adams has only been nominated 5 times. However, for an actress that is 41 years old, that is Lifetime. I swear... she has won before, right?!??!?!?!?! Nope. Not even for some high profile dramas that wo big in other categories. The woman nabbed her first nomination in 2006 for Junebug. She followed that up with nominations for Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, and American Hustle. Her next movie is Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, so perhaps she'll have to hold out a little bit longer.
9Gary Oldman - Nominations: 1
This can't be true, can it? On top of that, he only has one nomination under his belt? Blasphemous! With a resume that reads like a film history class (Sid and Nancy, the 3 Christopher Nolan Batman films, JFK, True Romance, etc...), it seems like Gary Oldman, too, has already won the gold. Maybe it's because he can be kind of confrontational? Perhaps its because he doesn't exactly play the Hollywood game? Whatever the case, his lack of an Oscar statue might be the gravest transgression on this list.
10Joaquin Phoenix - Nominations: 3
Here's another one for the unbelievable pile. Joaquin Phoenix is seen as a Hollywood outsider, and its doubtful that he'd even show up to accept an award should he win. So perhaps that's why the academy is hesitant to bestow this great gift upon him. Though, it hasn't been without a lack for trying. The very serious actor is an accomplished resume, and he's been recognized for his work three times. All deservedly so. Gladiator, Walk the Line and The Master all earned him a nomination. But his snub for Her most likely was a signal from the voting committee that they were done with his wily ways. He's still young, he's got time. It will happen. Maybe.
11Annette Bening - Nominations: 4
This actress may not be as primetime as the other celebs on this list, but she hasn't been nominated 4 times for nothing! The films that got her a ticket to the big show were The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia and The Kids are Alright. At a time when Hollywood is in trouble for not being diverse enough, wouldn't it be something if Annette Bening could (in the right role, of course), and kibosh more talk of just how ageist the industry is?
12Ian McKellen: Nominations: 2
How in the world has Gandalf only been nominated twice? Could it be that his work in superhero fare (X-Men) and art films (Gods and Monsters) is so good that the Academy can't figure Ian McKellen out? This seems to be the only way to explain how this incredible actor has never been called on for an Oscar acceptance speech. His first nomination came way back in 1998 for the drama Gods and Monsters, which was expected. But his only other nomination is for playing Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, again, a genre that the Academy seldom recognizes.
13Liam Neeson - Nominations: 1
In recent years, we understand why Liam Neeson has not been acknowledged by the Academy. He has decided to devote himself to big action movies, a genre that never gets recognized by the Academy. But the man is an acting legend. He can easily vacillate between action and art films like The Grey, and also take up residence in a franchise like Taken. Liam Neeson is one of those actors who career doesn't appear to be on any trajectory. In doing what he wants to do, maybe the Academy just wants him to be more grateful when the big day eventually comes? And that big day should have already come. Seriously, he lost out on his only nomination for Schindler's List? To Tom Hanks in Philadelphia? Sure, a close race, but we think this race should have been won by Liam Neeson.
14Bette Midler - Nominations: 2
Huh? How has Bette Midler never won an Oscar? More to the point, how has she only been nominated twice (for The Rose and For the Boys)? Bette Midler is Hollywood royalty. At some point she will probably be given an honorary Oscar, but darn it we think she's still got enough left to earn the real thing. Sadly, she has nothing on her impending slate that indicates that she'll be re-nominated anytime soon.
15Gene Wilder - Nominations: 1
Forget about not winning, why wasn't Gene Wilder not even nominated for his role as Willy Wonka? The only time he has been nominated for acting was in the 1968 role of Leo Bloom in The Producers! Call me nuts but what about such great comic turns in Silver Streak and Stir Crazy? The man has since retired from acting. But let's not count him out yet. There is word that director Steven Spielberg wants to bring him out of retirement for an unspecified movie. Should he accept, and it's something Oscar worthy, perhaps the man will have one last turn at Oscar gold. But that idea certainly seems far off.
Can you believe that these actors have never won an Oscar? Neither can we? Doesn't it seem like a bunch of them have already taken home the golden statue? Shouldn't some, if not all, the actors on this list have been bestowed with Hollywood's greatest honor by now? Let us know your thoughts and especially let us know if we overlooked anybody!