oscars The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)  

Ranker Community
Originally by
248.7k votes 13.1k voters 204.7k views 268 items Embed

List Rules Vote up the male actors who have never been awarded the Oscar for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor.

There are many actors who haven't won an Oscar. For 95 percent of the acting population, there is probably a good reason they haven't taken home one of film's most prestigious honors. Only two actors per year can win either the Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor Oscars, leaving eight other nominees with nothing. And all of the other actors in the biz out in the cold.

But does the Academy always get it right? There are plenty of actors who haven't won an Oscar despite the fact that they’ve turned in amazing performances. Whether it’s due to stellar competition, bad luck, or an out-and-out snub, some artists have never gotten the recognition they deserve.

Johnny Depp, Edward Norton, and Brad Pitt are all big draws at the box office who haven't received the same respect of the Academy that they have from audiences. While they've all been nominated for Oscars, they've never taken home the big prize.

There are a surprising number of big name actors who haven't won an Oscar. It's up to you to determine which of these men is the greatest.
list ordered by

1
5,065 950
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Gary Oldman Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (Nom. Best Actor), The Contender, Bram Stoker's Dracula

The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever Celebrities Nobody Cares About Anymore

2
4,774 2,096
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Johnny Depp Finding Neverland (Nom. Best Actor), Sweeney Todd (Nom. Best Actor), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Nom. Best Actor)

3
3,654 1,087
Edward Norton is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Edward Norton American History X (Nom. Best Actor), Primal Fear (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Birdman (Nom. Best Supporting Actor)

4
3,596 836
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Ian McKellen Gods and Monsters (Nom. Best Actor), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Apt Pupil

5
2,753 993
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Ralph Fiennes Schindler's List (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), The English Patient (Nom. Best Actor), The Grand Budapest Hotel

6
3,369 1,275
Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Liam Neeson Schindler's List (Nom. Best Actor), Kinsey, Michael Collins

7
3,043 744
Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Alan Rickman Michael Collins, Sense and Sensibility, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

8
3,633 1,407
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Robert Downey Jr. Chaplin (Nom. Best Actor), Tropic Thunder (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

9
3,089 1,271
Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Harrison Ford Witness (Nom. Best Actor), The Fugitive, Sabrina

10
3,199 1,467
Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Brad Pitt Moneyball (Nom. Best Actor), 12 Monkeys (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Nom. Best Actor)

11
2,935 1,183
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Samuel L. Jackson Pulp Fiction (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), A Time to Kill, Hard Eight

12
3,199 963
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Clint Eastwood Unforgiven (Nom. Best Actor), Million Dollar Baby (Nom. Best Actor), The Good The Bad and the Ugly

13
1,737 913
Peter O'Toole is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Peter O'Toole Lawrence of Arabia (Nom. Best Actor), Goodbye Mr. Chips (Nom. Best Actor), My Favorite Year (Nom. Best Actor)

14
2,398 978
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Bill Murray Lost in Translation (Nom. Best Actor), Rushmore, St. Vincent

15
1,942 849
Ed Harris is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Ed Harris Pollock (Nom. Best Actor), The Truman Show (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Apollo 13 (Nom. Best Supporting Actor)

The Best Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting) The Most Awkward Movies to Watch with Your Parents

16
2,307 1,095
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Matt Damon Good Will Hunting (Nom. Best Actor), Invictus (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), The Talented Mr. Ripley

17
2,017 1,134
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Joaquin Phoenix Walk the Line (Nom. Best Actor), The Master (Nom. Best Actor), Gladiator (Nom. Best Supporting Actor)

18
1,707 827
Donald Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Donald Sutherland Without Limits, Ordinary People, M*A*S*H

19
1,973 832
Willem Dafoe is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Willem Dafoe Platoon (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Shadow of the Vampire (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), The English Patient

20
1,445 755
Michael Fassbender is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Michael Fassbender 12 Years a Slave (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Shame, Fish Tank

21
1,423 763
Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Cary Grant None but the Lonely Heart (Nom. Best Actor), Penny Serenade (Nom. Best Actor), Charade

22
1,792 766
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Steve Buscemi Ghost World, Fargo, Reservoir Dogs

23
1,935 969
Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
wiabux added Hugh Jackman Les Miserables (Nom. Best Actor), The Fountain, The Prestige

24
1,533 822
Ewan McGregor is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Ewan McGregor Trainspotting, Moulin Rouge!, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen

25
1,721 970
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Woody Harrelson The People vs. Larry Flynt (Nom. Best Actor), The Messenger (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Rampart

26
1,426 674
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Robert Redford The Sting (Nom. Best Actor), All Is Lost, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

27
1,385 656
William H. Macy is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
William H. Macy Fargo (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Seabiscuit, Magnolia

28
1,269 461
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
ADrago added Charlie Chaplin The Great Dictator (Nom. Best Actor), Modern Times, City Lights

29
1,701 716
John Malkovich is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
wiabux added John Malkovich In the Line of Fire (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Places in the Heart (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Being John Malkovich

The Worst A-List Hollywood Actors The Worst Movie Endings

30
1,505 959
Jake Gyllenhaal is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Jake Gyllenhaal Brokeback Mountain (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Nightcrawler, Prisoners

31
1,081 761
Peter Sellers is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Peter Sellers Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (Nom. Best Actor), Being There (Nom. Best Actor), The Pink Panther

32
1,148 508
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Gene Wilder The Producers (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Silver Streak

33
1,351 859
Viggo Mortensen is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Viggo Mortensen Eastern Promises (Nom. Best Actor), A Dangerous Method, The Road

34
975 744
Richard Harris is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Richard Harris The Field (Nom. Best Actor), This Sporting Life (Nom. Best Actor), Camelot

35
1,109 622
Benedict Cumberbatch is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
sebbzor added Benedict Cumberbatch The Imitation Game (Best Actor), Tinker Taylor Soldier Spy, Amazing Grace

36
1,031 562
Stanley Tucci is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Stanley Tucci The Lovely Bones (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Big Night

37
1,307 971
Mel Gibson is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Mel Gibson Braveheart, Gallipoli, Tim

38
809 745
Richard Burton is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Richard Burton Equus (Nom. Best Actor), Becket (Nom. Best Actor), Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (Nom. Best Actor)

39
1,319 1,003
Bradley Cooper is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Bradley Cooper Silver Linings Playbook (Nom. Best Actor), American Sniper (Nom. Best Actor), American Hustle (Nom. Best Supporting Actor)

40
834 789
Kenneth Branagh is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Kenneth Branagh Henry V (Nom. Best Actor), My Week with Marilyn (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Hamlet

41
935 642
Harvey Keitel is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Harvey Keitel Bugsy (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Taxi Driver, From Dusk Till Dawn

42
1,453 1,109
Bruce Willis is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Bruce Willis The Sixth Sense, In Country

43
1,080 736
Kevin Bacon is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Kevin Bacon The River Wild, Murder in the First, The Woodsman

33 Comedic Actors Who Have Been Nominated for Oscars The Douchiest Things Justin Bieber Has Ever Done

44
931 575
Steve McQueen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Steve McQueen The Sand Pebbles (Nom. Best Actor), The Great Escape, The Reivers

45
988 883
Ryan Gosling is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Ryan Gosling Half Nelson (Nom. Best Actor), Blue Valentine, Lars and the Real Girl

46
815 526
James McAvoy is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
RadoslavaSivkova added James McAvoy Atonement, The Last King of Scotland, The Last Station

47
853 574
Paul Giamatti is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Paul Giamatti Cinderella Man (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), Sideways, American Splendor

48
841 690
James Dean is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
James Dean East of Eden (Nom. Best Actor), Giant (Nom. Best Actor), Rebel Without a Cause

49
1,332 1,183
Will Smith is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Will Smith Ali (Nom. Best Actor), The Pursuit of Happyness (Nom. Best Actor), I Am Legend

50
828 721
James Caan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
James Caan The Godfather (Nom. Best Supporting Actor), The Gambler, Funny Lady