Surprising Stars Who Have Never Won An Oscar
These actors have been snubbed despite their stellar work.
Movies may be critically acclaimed and a box office hit but that doesn’t always mean its stars will sweep during award season! There are some A-list actors who have never won an Oscar despite their mega-success and multiple nominations. Year after year, they deliver incredible on-screen performances but continue to go without an award from The Academy.
Throughout the years, actors from Johnny Depp to Glenn Close have built up a collection of nominations without an Oscar to put on their shelves. And while these snubs may be disappointing to fans, many actors say they’re just honored to have been nominated!
Here are some of the most popular actors who haven’t gotten their Oscar yet…
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1. Amy Adams
Amy Adams has been nominated for Best Supporting Actress five times during her career but has never taken home an Oscar. She was even up for her role in “American Hustle” but lost out to Cate Blanchett. Even though she hasn’t won an Oscar, Amy says she’s just glad she gets to work in entertainment and be recognized for her performances.
“I feel super grateful and blessed to even get to work in this industry, let alone get to work with people of this caliber. And then on top of it to receive anything on top of that, it’s just beyond. I’m always grateful for it but it doesn’t define me,” Amy said during a TIFF press conference.
2. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has been up for Best Actor for his roles in “Chaplin” and “Tropic Thunder” but hasn’t taken home any Oscars yet. While fans were upset he didn’t receive a nod for his role as Iron Man in “Avengers: Endgame,” he let them know that he actually turned down the opportunity to campaign for the film to be considered at the Oscars.
“I’m so glad you brought this up because there was some talk about [an Oscar campaign]. And I said, ‘Let’s not,'” Robert revealed during an interview with Howard Stern.
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3. Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp has been in countless movies throughout his career but didn’t win any of the three Oscars for which he was nominated. And although winning an Oscar is considered a huge honor, Johnny says that he doesn’t want to win one.
“I don’t want to win one of those things ever, you know…I don’t want to have to talk. They gave me one of those things, like a nomination, two or three times. A nomination is plenty,” Johnny told BBC.
4. Tom Cruise
Tom Cruise has received three Oscar nods during his career — two for Best Actor and one for Best Supporting Actor. Although he personally hasn’t taken any Oscars home, he’s been in plenty of movies that have been recognized with the award including “Rain Man,” which took home Best Picture.
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5. Michelle Pfeiffer
Michelle Pfeiffer has been nominated for three Oscars but hasn’t yet won the award. She was first given a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category for her role in “Dangerous Liaisons” but lost out to Geena Davis. She was later up for two Best Actress awards for her appearances in “The Fabulous Baker Boys” and “Love Field.”
6. Bradley Cooper
Bradley Cooper has been up for four Oscars in his career thus far, including nods for Best Actor on three separate occasions. While he hasn’t won yet, he recently explained why he has mixed feelings about award show season.
“That awards season stuff is a real test. It’s set up to foster [an individualistic] mentality. It’s quite a thing to work through, and it’s completely devoid of artistic creation. It’s not why you sacrifice everything to create art, and yet you spend so much time being a part of it if you’re, in quotes, ‘lucky enough to be a part of it.’ It’s ultimately a great thing because it really does make you face ego, vanity, and insecurity. It’s very interesting and utterly meaningless,” Bradley told Interview magazine.
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7. Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams has been nominated for Oscars on four occasions but has yet to take one home. She received nods in the Best Actress category for her roles in “Blue Valentine” and “My Week With Marilyn” as well as nominations for Best Supporting Actress for her roles in “Brokeback Mountain” and “Manchester By The Sea.”
8. Kirk Douglas
During his lifetime, Kirk Douglas was nominated for Best Actor three times for his roles in “Lust For Life,” “Champion,” and “The Bad and the Beautiful.” While he never took home the award, he was presented with an Honorary Oscar in 1996 to recognize the unique achievements of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film.
9. Jake Gyllenhaal
Despite an extremely successful film career, Jake Gyllenhaal has only been nominated for an Oscar once for his role in “Brokeback Mountain.” He didn’t take home the award for Best Supporting Actor that year and instead, the honor went to George Clooney for his appearance in “Syriana.”
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10. Glenn Close
Glenn Close has been nominated for an impressive eight Oscars during her career but hasn’t taken any home. And although she hasn’t won, Glenn says that she’s grateful for her nominations — and wouldn’t mind being considered for a lifetime achievement award.
“I just have to keep doing what’s good. You’re fulfilled by your work, and that’s the process to me. It’s what feeds my soul, but it really is nice when other people like it. It might be cool to never get one. I wouldn’t mind being wheeled out when I’m old and drooling, and I have a grey wig to cover my bald head,” Glenn said during an Actors on Actors interview.
Close is nominated for Best Supporting Actress at the 2021 Academy Awards for her role in “Hillbilly Elegy.”
11. Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo has found himself nominated for Best Supporting Actor three times but has never been honored with an Oscar. Although he didn’t take home the trophy when he was most recently nominated in 2016, he says that he prepared a speech addressing social justice.
“I want to talk about a general kind of justice and Hollywood’s responsibility and power in today’s world,” Mark told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that it would address “climate issues, social justice, income inequality — it goes across the board. These are interconnected issues. It’s all about justice today.”
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12. Annette Bening
Annette Bening has been nominated for an Oscar an impressive four times but has yet to call one of the awards her own. She’s been up for Best Actress on three occasions and once received a nod in the Best Supporting Actress category. While she says her nominations have been an honor, she also admits that the losses can still be painful.
“It hurts, yeah. The thing about being nominated…the chiche is that it’s an honor. But you know what, it’s true when you think about it…It’s such an honor,” she told ABC News.
13. Will Smith
Will Smith has been nominated for Best Actor twice during his career for his roles in “Ali” and “The Pursuit of Happyness.” On both occasions, he lost out to other Black actors — Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker, which he says was “huge.” But years later, Will decided to boycott the show, admitting that it felt like The Academy was “going in the wrong direction” when all 20 acting nominees were white.
“To me, [Black actors winning] was huge. So when I see this list [of white actors] and series of nominations that come out — and everybody is fantastic. That’s the complexity of this issue…But it feels like it’s going in the wrong direction…There’s a position that we hold in this community and if we’re not a part of the solution, we’re part of the problem,” Will said on “Good Morning America.”
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14. Bill Murray
Bill Murray has surprisingly only been nominated for one Oscar during his career. He received a nod for Best Actor for his role in “Lost in Translation” but lost out to Sean Penn. Bill previously explained that he has no interest in campaigning or winning the award.
“I’ve never done that…If you want an award so much, it’s like a virus. It’s an illness,” Bill told Variety, adding, “Six months [after his nomination], I realized I had taken the virus. I had been infected…People have this post-Oscar blowback. They start thinking, ‘I can’t do a movie unless it’s Oscar-worthy.’ It just seems people have difficulty making the right choices after that.”
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