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The Worst Oscar-Winning Actors Ever

Updated April 6, 2020 216.9k votes 16.3k voters 259.1k views114 items

Bad actors who have won Oscars, in any category, as determined by the votes and selections of Ranker users. This list contains actors and actresses who, despite winning the Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Actress, or either of the Best Supporting categories, are still unworthy, either for the specific performance that one or just in general career terms. They are weak actors who nevertheless have been overpraised by peers, critics and the general public alike.

A number of actors have won Oscars, only to then have their careers taper off quickly. Adrien Brody won the Academy Award for Best Actor at age 29 in 2003 for the film "The Pianist" (becoming the youngest actor to ever win an Oscar in the category), and has - in the interim - failed to appear in a large number of popular or award-contending films (with a few notable exceptions.) F. Murray Abraham, as well, saw his roles begin to dry up after winning the Academy Award for the role of Salieri in "Amadeus."

Who are the worst actors and actresses who nevertheless have received American acting's highest honor? Who are the worst actors to win Oscars? Help decide by voting for your picks below and adding suggestions that aren't currently featured.
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  • 26
    Jared Leto
    1,007
    1,221

    Jared Leto

    Best Supporting Actor - Dallas Buyers Club (2013)
  • 27
    Jamie Foxx
    1,686
    2,263

    Jamie Foxx

    Best Actor - Ray (2004)
  • 28
    Penélope Cruz
    753
    904

    Penélope Cruz

    Best Supporting Actress - Vicky Cristina Barcelona (2008)
  • 29
    Estelle Parsons
    244
    285

    Estelle Parsons

    Bonnie and Clyde, Dick Tracy
  • 30
    John Wayne
    1,490
    2,002

    John Wayne

    Best Actor - True Grit (1969)
  • 31
    Frank Sinatra
    229
    230

    Frank Sinatra

    The Manchurian Candidate, From Here to Eternity
  • 32
    Shirley Jones
    313
    315

    Shirley Jones

    The Music Man, Grandma's Boy
  • 33
    Geena Davis
    906
    1,244

    Geena Davis

    Best Supporting Actress - The Accidental Tourist (1988)
  • 34
    Alicia Vikander
    181
    202

    Alicia Vikander

    Anna Karenina, Seventh Son
  • 35
    Shirley Booth
    414
    562

    Shirley Booth

    The Year Without a Santa Claus, Come Back
  • 36
    Timothy Hutton
    304
    337

    Timothy Hutton

    Best Supporting Actor - Ordinary People (1980)
  • 37
    Casey Affleck
    452
    567

    Casey Affleck

    American Pie, Good Will Hunting
  • 38
    Marlee Matlin
    823
    1,195

    Marlee Matlin

    Best Actress - Children of a Lesser God (1986)
  • 39
    Patricia Arquette
    609
    833

    Patricia Arquette

    Best Supporting Actress - Boyhood (2014)
  • 40
    Mercedes Ruehl
    646
    909

    Mercedes Ruehl

    Best Actress - The Fisher King (1991)
  • 41
    Richard Dreyfuss
    352
    428

    Richard Dreyfuss

    Best Actor - The Goodbye Girl (1977)
  • 42
    Leonardo DiCaprio
    1,254
    1,712

    Leonardo DiCaprio

    Best Actor - The Revenant (2015)
  • 43
    Jack Palance
    507
    756

    Jack Palance

    Best Supporting Actor - City Slickers (1991)
  • 44
    Marisa Tomei
    1,350
    2,068

    Marisa Tomei

    Best Supporting Actress - My Cousin Vinny (1992)
  • 45
    Emma Stone
    554
    794

    Emma Stone

    The Amazing Spider-Man, Zombieland
  • 46
    Bing Crosby
    604
    844

    Bing Crosby

    Best Actor - Going My Way (1944)
  • 47
    Mary Steenburgen
    799
    1,161

    Mary Steenburgen

    Best Actress - Melvin and Howard (1980)
  • 48
    Anne Hathaway
    1,227
    1,826

    Anne Hathaway

    Best Supporting Actress - Les Misérables (2012)
  • 49
    Sean Penn
    1,161
    1,723

    Sean Penn

    Best Actor - Mystic River (2003) and Milk (2008)
  • 50
    Al Pacino
    516
    646

    Al Pacino

    The Godfather, The Godfather Part II