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

Updated November 10, 2020 493.3k votes 27.9k voters 371.4k views301 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. 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. 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. It's up to you to determine which of these men is the greatest.

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  • 1
    Alan Rickman
    7,038
    1,622

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award. 

  • 2
    Ian McKellen
    7,133
    1,730

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

  • 3
    Gary Oldman
    12,239
    2,251

    voting closed at #3

    Gary Oldman

    Age: 62

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

  • 4
    Robert Downey Jr.
    7,985
    2,792

    Nominated for: Chaplin, Tropic Thunder

  • 5
    Samuel L. Jackson
    6,812
    2,298

    Nominated for: Pulp Fiction

  • 6
    Willem Dafoe
    4,375
    1,393

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

  • 7
    Clint Eastwood
    6,162
    2,167

    Nominated for: Unforgiven, Million Dollar Baby

  • 8
    Charlie Chaplin
    3,046
    1,127

    Charlie Chaplin

    Dec. at 88 (1889-1977)

    Nominated for: The Great Dictator

  • 9
    Johnny Depp
    10,247
    4,021

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

  • 10
    Ralph Fiennes
    5,157
    1,982

    Nominated for: Schindler's List, The English Patient

  • 11
    Edward Norton
    6,606
    2,793

    Edward Norton

    Age: age 50

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

  • 12
    Liam Neeson
    6,121
    2,534

    Nominated for: Schindler's List

  • 13
    Hugh Jackman
    4,557
    1,738

    Nominated for: Les Misérables

  • 14
    Ed Harris
    3,840
    1,602

    Ed Harris

    Age: 70

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

  • 15
    Harrison Ford
    5,953
    2,555

    Nominated for: Witness

  • 16
    Woody Harrelson
    3,987
    1,526

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

  • 17
    Matt Damon
    5,106
    2,348

    Matt Damon

    Age: 50

    Nominated for: Good Will Hunting, Invictus, The Martian

  • 18
    Brad Pitt
    5,878
    2,528

    voting closed at #18

    Brad Pitt

    Age: 57

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

  • 19
    Joaquin Phoenix
    4,149
    1,886

    voting closed at #19

    Joaquin Phoenix

    Age: 46

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

  • 20
    Donald Sutherland
    3,516
    1,602

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award

  • 21
    Benedict Cumberbatch
    3,346
    1,336

    Nominated for: The Imitation Game

  • 22
    John Malkovich
    2,996
    1,239

    Nominated for: Places in the Heart, In the Line of Fire

  • 23
    로버트 레드포드
    2,938
    1,354

    Nominated for: The Sting

  • 24
    Gene Wilder
    2,430
    1,191

    Nominated for: The Producers

  • 25
    Cary Grant
    2,779
    1,400

    Cary Grant

    Dec. at 82 (1904-1986)

    Nominated for: Penny Serenade, None But the Lonely Heart