oscars The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever  

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Bad actors who have won Oscars, in any category, as determined by the votes and selections of Ranker users. This list contains actors and actresses who, despite winning the Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Actress, or either of the Best Supporting categories, are still unworthy, either for the specific performance that one or just in general career terms. They are weak actors who nevertheless have been overpraised by peers, critics and the general public alike.

A number of actors have won Oscars, only to then have their careers taper off quickly. Adrien Brody won the Academy Award for Best Actor at age 29 in 2003 for the film "The Pianist" (becoming the youngest actor to ever win an Oscar in the category), and has - in the interim - failed to appear in a large number of popular or award-contending films (with a few notable exceptions.) F. Murray Abraham, as well, saw his roles begin to dry up after winning the Academy Award for the role of Salieri in "Amadeus."

Who are the worst actors and actresses who nevertheless have received American acting's highest honor? Who are the worst actors to win Oscars? Help decide by voting for your picks below and adding suggestions that aren't currently featured.
list ordered by

1
2,400 1,286
Cher is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Cher Best Actress - Moonstruck (1987)

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2
2,262 1,503
Halle Berry is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Halle Berry Best Actress - Monster's Ball (2001)

3
2,259 1,188
Gwyneth Paltrow is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Gwyneth Paltrow Best Actress - Shakespeare in Love (1998)

4
1,818 1,422
Roberto Benigni is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Roberto Benigni Best Actor - Life Is Beautiful (1998)

5
1,878 1,516
Renée Zellweger is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Renée Zellweger Best Actress - Chicago (2002)

6
2,206 1,958
Angelina Jolie is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Angelina Jolie Best Supporting Actress - Girl, Interrupted (1999)

7
1,653 1,037
Jennifer Hudson is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Jennifer Hudson Best Supporting Actress - Dreamgirls (2006)

8
1,474 1,252
Catherine Zeta-Jones is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Catherine Zeta-Jones Best Supporting Actress - Chicago (2002)

9
1,890 1,420
Nicolas Cage is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Nicolas Cage Best Actor - Leaving Las Vegas (1995)

10
1,721 1,362
Whoopi Goldberg is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Whoopi Goldberg Best Supporting Actress - Ghost (1990)

11
1,328 1,167
Kim Basinger is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Kim Basinger Best Supporting Actress - L.A. Confidential (1997)

12
1,631 1,246
Cuba Gooding, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Cuba Gooding, Jr. Best Supporting Actor - Jerry Maguire (1996)

13
1,130 850
Mira Sorvino is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Mira Sorvino Best Supporting Actress - Mighty Aphrodite (1995)

14
1,343 1,035
Barbra Streisand is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Barbra Streisand Best Actress - Funny Girl (1968)

15
1,303 1,391
Reese Witherspoon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Reese Witherspoon Best Actress - Walk the Line (2005)

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16
937 999
Anna Paquin is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Anna Paquin Best Supporting Actress - The Piano (1993)

17
1,365 1,362
Julia Roberts is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Julia Roberts Best Actress - Erin Brockovich (2000)

18
1,225 1,309
Jamie Foxx is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Jamie Foxx Best Actor - Ray (2004)

19
1,340 1,557
Sandra Bullock is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Sandra Bullock Best Actress - The Blind Side (2009)

20
1,237 1,479
Jennifer Lawrence is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
kamides added Jennifer Lawrence Best Actress - Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

21
798 558
Mo'Nique Imes-Jackson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Mo'Nique Best Supporting Actress - Precious (2009)

22
892 1,235
Marisa Tomei is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Marisa Tomei Best Supporting Actress - My Cousin Vinny (1992)

23
950 1,074
Helen Hunt is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Helen Hunt Best Actress - As Good as It Gets (1997)

24
1,037 1,373
John Wayne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
John Wayne Best Actor - True Grit (1969)

25
563 688
Mary Steenburgen is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Mary Steenburgen Best Actress - Melvin and Howard (1980)

26
805 1,218
Nicole Kidman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Nicole Kidman Best Actress - The Hours (2002)

27
558 690
Marlee Matlin is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Marlee Matlin Best Actress - Children of a Lesser God (1986)

28
430 505
Mercedes Ruehl is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Mercedes Ruehl Best Actress - The Fisher King (1991)

29
386 319
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
George Clooney Best Supporting Actor - Syriana (2005)

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30
807 1,209
Adrien Brody is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Adrien Brody Best Actor - The Pianist (2002)

31
544 800
Rex Harrison is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Rex Harrison Best Actor - My Fair Lady (1964)

32
652 774
Geena Davis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Geena Davis Best Supporting Actress - The Accidental Tourist (1988)

33
552 472
Tatum O'Neal is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Tatum O'Neal Best Supporting Actress - Paper Moon (1973)

34
483 638
Art Carney is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Art Carney Best Actor - Harry and Tonto (1974)

35
574 943
Rachel Weisz is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Rachel Weisz Best Supporting Actress - The Constant Gardener (2005)

36
748 1,005
Anne Hathaway is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Anne Hathaway Best Supporting Actress - Les Misérables (2012)

37
776 1,129
Sean Penn is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Sean Penn Best Actor - Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008)

38
607 663
Goldie Hawn is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Goldie Hawn Best Supporting Actress - Cactus Flower (1969)

39
590 1,063
Michael Douglas is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Michael Douglas Best Actor - Wall Street (1987)

40
377 427
Red Buttons is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Red Buttons Best Supporting Actor - Sayonara (1957)

41
397 488
Miyoshi Umeki is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Miyoshi Umeki Best Supporting Actress - Sayonara (1957)

42
400 442
Bing Crosby is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Bing Crosby Best Actor - Going My Way (1944)

43
318 413
Beatrice Straight is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Beatrice Straight Best Supporting Actress - Network (1976)

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44
313 351
Jared Leto is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
CraigAlarm added Jared Leto Best Supporting Actor - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)

45
263 232
Patricia Arquette is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
CraigAlarm added Patricia Arquette Best Supporting Actress - Boyhood (2014)

46
308 374
Cliff Robertson is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Cliff Robertson Best Actor - Charly (1968)

47
366 388
Ed Begley is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Ed Begley Best Supporting Actor - Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)

48
667 644
Leonardo DiCaprio is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
oldseadogie added Leonardo DiCaprio Best Actor - The Revenant (2015)

49
495 932
Tim Robbins is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
Tim Robbins Best Supporting Actor - Mystic River (2003)

50
252 240
Penélope Cruz is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever
BidtorEncinas added Penélope Cruz Best Supporting Actress - Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)