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

Updated April 26, 2021 385.8k votes 28.8k voters 384.2k 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! 

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  • 1
    6,813
    1,654

    Ian McKellen

    Burnley, United Kingdom

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

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  • 2
    6,810
    1,568

    Alan Rickman

    Hammersmith, London

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award.

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  • 3
    7,582
    2,689

    Robert Downey Jr.

    Manhattan, New York City

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

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  • 4
    6,588
    2,169

    Samuel L. Jackson

    Washington, D.C.

    Nominated for: Pulp Fiction (Best Supporting Actor)

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  • 5
    4,290
    1,348

    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),

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  • 6
    5,854
    2,057

    Clint Eastwood

    California, United States of America

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

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  • 7
    9,672
    3,715

    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)

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  • 8
    4,964
    1,856

    Ralph Fiennes

    Ipswich, United Kingdom

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

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  • 9
    2,983
    1,111

    Charlie Chaplin

    Walworth, United Kingdom

    Nominated for: The Great Dictator (Best Actor)

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  • 10
    5,779
    2,374

    Liam Neeson

    Ballymena, United Kingdom

    Nominated for: Schindler's List (Best Actor)

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  • 11
    6,204
    2,634

    Edward Norton

    Boston, Massachusetts

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

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  • 12
    4,337
    1,662

    Hugh Jackman

    Sydney, Australia

    Nominated for: Les Miserables (Best Actor)

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  • 13
    5,616
    2,380

    Harrison Ford

    Chicago, Illinois

    Nominated for: Witness (Best Actor)

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  • 14
    3,634
    1,520

    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)

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  • 15
    3,789
    1,475

    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)

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  • 16
    4,818
    2,196

    Matt Damon

    Cambridge, Massachusetts

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

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  • 17
    3,408
    1,492

    Donald Sutherland

    Saint John, Canada

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award.

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  • 18
    2,888
    1,184

    John Malkovich

    Christopher, Illinois

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

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  • 19
    2,658
    1,315

    Cary Grant

    Horfield, United Kingdom

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

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  • 20
    3,242
    1,291

    Benedict Cumberbatch

    Hammersmith, London

    Nominated for: The Imitation Game (Best Actor)

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  • 21
    2,355
    1,128

    Gene Wilder

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin

    Nominated for: The Producers (Best Supporting Actor)

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  • 22
    1,455
    490

    Michael Keaton

    Coraopolis, Pennsylvania

    Nominated for: Birdman (Best Actor)

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  • 23
    2,763
    1,299

    Robert Redford

    Santa Monica, California

    Nominated for: The Sting (Best Actor)

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  • 24
    1,465
    468

    Patrick Stewart

    Mirfield, United Kingdom

    Was never nominated for an Academy Award.

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  • 25
    3,911
    1,968

    Bill Murray

    Wilmette, Illinois

    Nominated for: Lost in Translation (Best Actor)

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