Entertainment

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

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Originally by Ranker Community
Updated February 12, 2020 470.4k votes 26.2k voters 349.5k views 329 items

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 and Edward Norton 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. Other top actors without Oscars include Liam Neeson, Robert Downey, Jr.. Matt Damon, and Michael Fassbender. This list of Hollywood celebrities who have no Academy Awards also includes black actors, like Will Smith, and famous classic stars, like Peter O'Toole and Cary Grant. How these people never won an Oscar will always be a mystery! 

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
Gary Oldman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
voting closed at #1 Age: 61

WON for Darkest Hour; Nominated for: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

2
Alan Rickman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 73

Was never nominated for an Academy Award. 

3
Ian McKellen is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 80

Nominated for: Gods and Monsters, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

4
Robert Downey Jr. is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 54

Nominated for: Chaplin, Tropic Thunder

5
Clint Eastwood is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 89

Nominated for: Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby

6
Edward Norton is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: age 50

Nominated for: Primal Fear, American History X, Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

7
Johnny Depp is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 56

Nominated for: Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

8
Samuel L. Jackson is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 71

Nominated for: Pulp Fiction

9
Ralph Fiennes is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 57

Nominated for: Schindler's List, The English Patient

10
Willem Dafoe is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 64

Nominated for: Platoon, Shadow of the Vampire, The Florida Project

11
Liam Neeson is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 67

Nominated for: Schindler's List

12
Harrison Ford is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 77

Nominated for: Witness

13
Brad Pitt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
voting closed at #12 Age: 56

WON for Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood; Nominated for: 12 Monkeys, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Moneyball

14
Ed Harris is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 69

Nominated for: Apollo 13, The Truman Show, Pollock, The Hours

15
Matt Damon is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 49

Nominated for: Good Will Hunting, Invictus, The Martian

16
Hugh Jackman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
wiabux added Age: 51

Nominated for: Les Misérables

17
Charlie Chaplin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
ADrago added Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

Nominated for: The Great Dictator

18
Joaquin Phoenix is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
voting closed at #17 Age: 45

WON for Joker; Nominated for: Gladiator, Walk the Line, The Master

19
Bill Murray is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 69

Nominated for: Lost in Translation

20
Woody Harrelson is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 58

Nominated for: The People vs. Larry Flynt, The Messenger, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

21
Donald Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 84

Was never nominated for an Academy Award

22
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 62

Was never nominated for an Academy Award

23
Cary Grant is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Dec. at 82 (1904-1986)

Nominated for: Penny Serenade, None But the Lonely Heart

24
Gene Wilder is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 86

Nominated for: The Producers

25
Robert Redford is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
Age: 83

Nominated for: The Sting