Entertainment
29.6k voters

The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Oscar (For Acting)

Updated April 26, 2021 393.0k votes 29.6k voters 387.7k views219 items

List RulesVote 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. 

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. Of course, some actors - like the great shapeshifter Gary Oldman - do finally get recognized after years without even a nomination, let alone a win.

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 acting 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. Vote up the actors you think should've taken home the trophy below. Then check back to see if your favorites topped the list! 

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    6,965
    1,781

    Alan Rickman

    Hammersmith, London

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award.

    More Alan Rickman 

    The Harry Potter Cast Shares Their Favorite Alan Rickman Moments And We’re Already Crying#3 of 24 People Are Sharing The Celebrity Death That Hit Them Hardest And We're Already Crying

  • 2
    6,899
    1,881

    Ian McKellen

    Burnley, Lancashire

    Nominated for: Gods and Monsters (Best Actor), The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Ian McKellen 

    #1 of 22 People Share The Actors Who Delivered Iconic Performances As Both The Villain And The Hero#13 of 55 The Best English Actors Working Today

  • 3
    10,517
    3,719

    Johnny Depp

    Owensboro, Kentucky

    Nominated for: Finding Neverland (Best Actor), Sweeney Todd (Best Actor), Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (Best Actor)

    More Johnny Depp 

    The Train-Wreck That Was Johnny Depp And Kate Moss: The Most Self-Destructive Couple of The 1990s#6 of 90 Who Is The Coolest Actor In The World Right Now?

  • 4
    7,694
    2,874

    Robert Downey Jr.

    Manhattan, New York City

    Nominated for: Chaplin (Best Actor), Tropic Thunder (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Robert Downey Jr. 

    20 Robert Downey Jr. Memes That Prove He's Actually A Real PersonHilarious Robert Downey Jr. Interviews That Prove His Sarcasm Can't Be Beat

  • 5
    6,681
    2,347

    Samuel L. Jackson

    Washington, D.C.

    Nominated for: Pulp Fiction (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Samuel L. Jackson 

    12 Behind-The-Scenes Stories From 'Pulp Fiction'#3 of 178 The Greatest Black Actors In Film History

  • 6
    4,370
    1,493

    Willem Dafoe

    Appleton, Grand Chute

    Nominated for: At Eternity's Gate (Best Actor), The Florida Project (Best Supporting Actor), Shadow of the Vampire (Best Supporting Actor), Platoon (Best Supporting Actor),

    More Willem Dafoe 

    18 Unexpected Facts About Willem Dafoe Most People Don't Know#26 of 57 The Best Marvel Superhero Movie Actors

  • 7
    5,900
    2,183

    Clint Eastwood

    California, United States of America

    Nominated for: Unforgiven (Best Actor), Million Dollar Baby (Best Actor)

    More Clint Eastwood 

    22 Interesting Facts You May Not Know About Clint EastwoodUnbelievably Macho Stories About Clint Eastwood

  • 8
    5,002
    1,943

    Ralph Fiennes

    Ipswich, United Kingdom

    Nominated for: Schindler's List (Best Supporting Actor), The English Patient (Best Actor)

    More Ralph Fiennes 

    #22 of 71 The Best Living English Actors#9 of 12 The Most Overqualified Actors Who Became Nerd Franchise Icons

  • 9
    3,040
    1,191

    Charlie Chaplin

    Walworth, United Kingdom

    Nominated for: The Great Dictator (Best Actor)

    More Charlie Chaplin 

    18 Surprising and Revealing Facts About Charlie Chaplin#289 of 1,355 The Greatest Minds of All Time

  • 10
    6,244
    2,690

    Edward Norton

    Boston, Massachusetts

    Nominated for: American History X (Best Actor), Primal Fear (Best Supporting Actor), Birdman (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Edward Norton 

    The Best Edward Norton Characters#2 of 30 Who Would Star In An Americanized 'Game Of Thrones'?

  • 11
    5,805
    2,450

    Liam Neeson

    Ballymena, United Kingdom

    Nominated for: Schindler's List (Best Actor)

    More Liam Neeson 

    The Best Liam Neeson Characters#7 of 243 The Most Trustworthy Celebrities In The World

  • 12
    4,397
    1,721

    Hugh Jackman

    Sydney, Australia

    Nominated for: Les Miserables (Best Actor)

    More Hugh Jackman 

    35 Hugh Jackman Interview Moments That Make Our Love For Him Indestructible#75 of 242 The Hottest Men Of 2019, Ranked

  • 13
    5,655
    2,431

    Harrison Ford

    Chicago, Illinois

    Nominated for: Witness (Best Actor)

    More Harrison Ford 

    13 Things You Didn't Know About Harrison Ford#108 of 162 The Greatest Western Movie Stars

  • 14
    3,842
    1,528

    Woody Harrelson

    Midland, Texas

    Nominated for: The People vs. Larry Flynt (Best Actor), The Messenger (Best Supporting Actor), Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Woody Harrelson 

    #20 of 349 The Best TV Actors And Actresses Of All Time#33 of 44 Oscar Loser Faces, Ranked

  • 15
    3,666
    1,580

    Ed Harris

    Englewood, New Jersey

    Nominated for: Apollo 13 (Best Supporting Actor), The Truman Show (Best Supporting Actor), Pollock (Best Actor), The Hours (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Ed Harris 

    #13 of 170 The Best Living American Actors#46 of 1,883 The Greatest Actors & Actresses in Entertainment History

  • 16
    4,864
    2,250

    Matt Damon

    Cambridge, Massachusetts

    Nominated for: Good Will Hunting (Best Actor), Invictus (Best Supporting Actor), The Martian (Best Actor), 

    More Matt Damon 

    The Most Random Matt Damon Cameos#64 of 109 The Greatest '80s Teen Stars

  • 17
    3,450
    1,536

    Donald Sutherland

    Saint John, New Brunswick

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award.

    More Donald Sutherland 

    #128 of 416 Celebrities Whose Deaths Will Be the Biggest Deal#35 of 75 The Greatest Guest Appearances in The Simpsons History

  • 18
    2,929
    1,231

    John Malkovich

    Christopher, Illinois

    Nominated for: Places in the Heart (Best Supporting Actor), In the Line of Fire (Best Supporting Actor)

    More John Malkovich 

    14 Bizarre Facts About John Malkovich, A Brilliant And Eccentric Fellow#11 of 20 Actors Known for Roles Most Similar to Who They Are in Real Life

  • 19
    2,687
    1,356

    Cary Grant

    Horfield, United Kingdom

    Nominated for: Penny Serenade (Best Actor), None But the Lonely Heart (Best Actor)

    More Cary Grant 

    18 Extremely Weird Facts Most People Don't Know About Cary Grant#215 of 339 The Funniest People Of All Time

  • 20
    2,399
    1,169

    Gene Wilder

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Nominated for: The Producers (Best Supporting Actor)

    More Gene Wilder 

    #20 of 753 People We Wish Were Still Alive#11 of 22 People Are Tweeting Stories About The Nicest Celebrity They Ever Met And It Is Incredibly Wholesome

  • 21
    3,287
    1,328

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Hammersmith, London

    Nominated for: The Imitation Game (Best Actor)

    More Benedict Cumberbatch 

    #5 of 264 The Best (Male) Actors Working Today#80 of 1,017 The Best Actors In Film History

  • 22
    1,515
    511

    Patrick Stewart

    Mirfield, Yorkshire

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award.

    More Patrick Stewart 

    Things You Didn't Know About Patrick Stewart#61 of 140 The Greatest Broadway Stars of All Time

  • 23
    1,504
    531

    Michael Keaton

    Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

    Nominated for: Birdman (Best Actor)

    More Michael Keaton 

    The Best Michael Keaton Film Character#10 of 25 The 25 Best Comic Book Villain Movie Performances of All Time

  • 24
    2,792
    1,333

    Robert Redford

    Santa Monica, California

    Nominated for: The Sting (Best Actor)

    More Robert Redford 

    #116 of 213 Celebrities Who Should Run for President#244 of 904 Celebrity Death Pool 2021

  • 25
    3,931
    1,989

    Bill Murray

    USA, Wilmette

    Nominated for: Lost in Translation (Best Actor)

    More Bill Murray 

    The Best Bill Murray Film Character#148 of 168 The All-Time Greatest Action Stars