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

Updated September 23, 2021 92.8k votes 5.2k voters 67.2k views188 items

List RulesVote up the actresses who have never been awarded the Oscar for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress.

There are many actresses 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 being on the Academy Awards winners list. Only two actresses per year can win either the Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress Oscars, leaving eight other nominees with nothing - and all of the other actresses in the biz out in the cold. 

But does the Academy always get it right? There are plenty of actresses 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. 

Amy Adams, Rachel McAdams, and Glenn Close 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 actresses without Oscars include Michelle Pfeiffer, Annette Bening, Sigourney Weaver, Helena Bonham Carter, and Christina Ricci. This list of female Hollywood celebrities who have no Academy Awards also includes black Actresses, like Angela Bassett, and famous classic stars, like Greta Garbo and Judy Garland. With six nominations, Thelma Ritter has the most nominations without winning the Oscar.  

There are a surprising number of big name actresses who haven't won an Oscar. It's up to you to determine which of these women is the greatest.

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  • 26
    701
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    Natalie Wood

    Dec. at 43 (1938-1981)
    Nominated For: Love with the Proper Stranger, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without A Cause.
  • 27
    534
    214

    Debbie Reynolds

    Dec. at 84 (1932-2016)
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • 28
    828
    458
    Nominated For: The Rose, For the Boys
  • 29
    617
    217
    FranciscodeSouza added

    Deborah Kerr

    Dec. at 86 (1921-2007)

    Nominated For: Edward, My Son, From Here to Eternity, The King and I, Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, Separate Tables, The Sundowners

    (Six Nominations, the most ever without winning.)
  • 30
    417
    204
    CraigAlarm added

    Madeline Kahn

    Dec. at 57 (1942-1999)
    Nominated For: Paper Moon
  • 31
    918
    462
    Nominated ForPride & Prejudice, The Imitation Game
  • 32
    655
    262

    Barbara Stanwyck

    Dec. at 82 (1907-1990)
    Nominated ForSorry Wrong Number, Double Indemnity, Ball of Fire
  • 33
    821
    487
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 34
    788
    431
    Nominated For: The Help, Zero Dark Thirty
  • 35
    Nominated For: Hateful Eight
  • 36
    645
    385
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
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    724
    411
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 38
    460
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    Lily Tomlin

    Age: 82
    Nominated For: Nashville.
  • 39
    499
    272
    Nominated For: Up in the Air
  • 40
    335
    139
    FranciscodeSouza added

    Rosalind Russell

    Dec. at 69 (1907-1976)
    Nominated For: My Sister Eileen, Sister Kenny, Mourning Comes Electra, Auntie Mame
  • 41
    576
    269

    Greta Garbo

    Dec. at 84 (1905-1990)
    Nominated For: Anna Christie, Ninotchka, Camille
  • 42
    457
    219
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 43
    456
    225
    FranciscodeSouza added

    Julie Walters

    Age: 71
    Nominated For: Educating Rita, Billy Elliot.
  • 44
    460
    253
    CraigAlarm added

    Doris Day

    Age: 97
    Nominated For: Pillow Talk 
  • 45
    331
    159
    FranciscodeSouza added

    Jean Simmons

    Dec. at 80 (1929-2010)
    Nominated For: Hamlet, The Happy Ending
  • 46
    435
    266
    tom-kelly added

    Eva Green

    Age: 41
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 47
    501
    351
    Nominated ForCrazy Heart 
  • 48
    396
    241

    Joan Allen

    Age: 65
    Nominated For: The Contender, Nixon, The Crucible.
  • 49
    191
    77
    Mike Williams Mendes added

    Joan Plowright

    Age: 91
  • 50
    383
    223
    Nominated ForIndochine
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List Rules: Vote up the actresses who have never been awarded the Oscar for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress.