Only a couple weeks until the Academy Awards and this year looks particularly forgettable. Some of the best performances of the year (Tilda Swinton, Albert Brooks, Kirsten Dunst) were over looked for safer, more traditional performances. But Oscar has a long history of over looking brilliant performances. It’s surprising the number of people that you assume have won an Oscar for the acting feats but simply didn’t.
This week I take a look at eleven movie stars that haven’t won an Oscar. Some have been nominated several times; others not at all. This is just a small sample of movie stars that have been denied the little golden man.
Becall is a classic actress that you feel like should have won for something. After all she starred in The Big Sleep, Key Largo, To Have and Have Not and The Mirror Has Two Faces. She was only nominated once for Mirror. It was a surprise when she missed out that year to Juliette Binoche in The English Patient. Becall doesn’t act much these days. I guess there is always the chance of a Lifetime Achievement award.
1997 – As Hannah Morgan in The Mirror Has Two Faces
While Neeson might currently be the mostly unlikeliest action hero of all time, he is mostly known for his powerhouse acting in such films as Schindler’s List, Kinsey and Michael Collins. Neeson has only been nominated once for Schindler’s List. He’ll get an Oscar eventually. He just needs another chance.
1994 – As Oscar Schindler in Schindler’s List
Oldman has only been nominated once. ONCE!!! How is that possible? He was passed over for Sid & Nancy, Dracula, The Contender, Immortal Beloved and JFK. Oldman is a chameleon who makes acting look easy. His transformation from one role to the next is simply amazing and I expect he’ll win this year for his nomination in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy.
2012 – As George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Hitchcock favorite and generally well liked actor, Cary Grant was only nominated twice. Despite being one of the most iconic actors in all of Hollywood, Grant didn’t do the big dramatic films that usually get people statues. Instead he turned in amazing performances in Charade, Notorious, North by Northwest, Bringing Up Baby and tons of other classic films.
1941 – As Roger Adams in Penny Serenade
1944 – As Ernie Mott in None but the Lonely Heart
I’m as shocked as anyone that Christopher Plummer didn’t get nominated for Best Actor for Sound of Music. He didn’t get his first nomination until 2010 for The Last Station. He has been great in such films as The Insider, Oedipus the King and the afore mentioned Sound of Music. It looks like he will finally win this year for Beginners.
2010 – As Tolstoy in The Last Station
2011 – As Hal Fields in Beginners
Max Von Sydow
Despite working as an actor since 1949, Max Von Sydow has only been nominated twice. Turning in great performance in Shutter Island, Minority Report, Pelle the Conqueror (nominated for best actor), The Exorcist, Hour of the Wolf and the Seventh Seal, amongst others, Von Sydow has been one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. It’s doubtful he’ll win this year but he’s still going. Anything is possible.
1989 – As Lassefar in Pelle the Conqueror
2012 – As The Renter in Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
Yup, Dorothy herself didn’t win an Oscar in her short but very impressive career. She was nominated twice for Judgement at Nuremberg and A Star is Born, for which she should have won. She wasn’t even nominated for The Wizard of Oz or Easter Parade. If her life hadn’t ended from drug abuse, she probably would have won a few trophies. Let this be a lesson kids, don’t do drugs. You might not win awards.
1955 – As Vicki Lester in A Star is Born
1962 – As Irene Hoffman in Judgement in Nuremberg
Bening has been nominated four times but just misses the gold. Nominated for The Kids are All Right, Being Julia, American Beauty and The Grifters, Bening always delivers the goods but just can’t quite cross the finishline. She could have easily been nominated for The American President, Bugsy, Valmont or Regarding Henry. She’s another actress that could turn in a winning performance soon.
1991 – As Myra Langtry in The Grifters
2000 – As Carolyn Burnham in American Beauty
2005 – As Julia Lambert in Being Julia
2011 – As Nic in The Kids are All Right
Glenn Close is also nominated this year but she’s considered the longshot. This is her sixth nomination. Close’s career has seen its high’s and low’s. She should have won for her roles in The World According to Garp, Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons. She was nominated five times in the 80′s. A very impress three years in a row. Few actresses have accomplished that.
1983 – As Jenny Fields in The World According to Garp
1984 – As Sarah Cooper in The Big Chill
1985 – As Iris Gaines in The Natural
1988 – As Alex Forrest in Fatal Attraction
1989 – As Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil in Dangerous Liaisons
2012 – As Albert Nobbs in Albert Nobbs
Julianne Moore only stars in two types of films, Oscar bait and crap. Moore has been nominated four times for Boogie Nights, The End of the Affiar, The Hours and Far from Heaven. She was sadly overlooked for The Kids are All Right, Magnolia, A Single Man and Safe. She’s still relatively young so her odds are pretty high that she’ll win for whatever she gets nominated for next.
1998 – As Amber Waves in Boogie Nights
2000 – As Sarah Miles in The End of the Affair
2003 – As Laura Brown in The Hours
2003 – As Cathy Whitaker in Far From Heaven
Peter O’Toole has been nominated 8 times in his career. He’s turned in some incredible performances but every year he’s been up against some iconic performances. He should have won for his role as T.E. Laurence in 1962 and then again as Becket in 1964. He is still acting, so it is quite possible that he could win something. His glory days are behind him and any win now would be a consolation prize
1962 – As T.E. Laurence in Laurence of Arabia
1964 – As Becket in King Henry II
1968 – As King Henry II in The Lion in Winter
1969 – As Arthur Chipping in Goodbye, Mr. Chips
1972 – As Jack Gurney in The Ruling Class
1980 – As Eli Cross in The Stunt Man
1982 – As Alan Swann in My Favorite Year
2006 – As Maurice in Venus