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

Updated January 13, 2021 89.3k votes 5.1k voters 66.1k views186 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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  • 1
    1,858
    424

    Nominated For: The World According to Garp, The Big Chill, The Natural, Fatal Attraction, Dangerous Liaisons, Albert Nobbs

  • 2
    1,826
    565
    Nominated For: The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech
  • 3
    1,413
    472

    Amy Adams

    Age: 46
    Nominated For: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle
  • 4
    1,382
    466
    Nominated For: Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl.
  • 5
    1,276
    382

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
    Nominated For: A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg 
  • 6
    1,412
    500
    Nominated For: Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field.
  • 7
    1,146
    426
    Nominated For: The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are Alright.
  • 8
    967
    347
    Nominated For: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate
  • 9
    759
    280
    Nominated ForThe Sixth Sense
  • 10
    692
    257

    Nominated for: Spotlight

  • 11
    923
    363

    Lauren Bacall

    Dec. at 90 (1924-2014)
    Was never nominated, did however receive an Honorary Academy Award, for her career as a whole, in 2009.
  • 12
    698
    282
    Nominated For: The Savages, Kinsey, You Can Count on Me.
  • 13
    1,061
    340
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award
  • 14
    690
    264
  • 15
    477
    172

    Never nominated

  • 16
    489
    216
    Nominated For: Gloria
  • 17
    838
    401
    Nominated For: What's Love Got to Do with It.
  • 18
    476
    153

    Diane Lane

    Age: 55

    Nominated for: Unfaithful

  • 19
    462
    109
  • 20
    725
    373
    Nominated For: Little Women, The Age of Innocence.
  • 21
    947
    365
    Nominated For: 21 Grams, The Impossible.
  • 22
    435
    214
    Nominated ForPieces of April
  • 23
    910
    413
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 24
    505
    204
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • 25
    676
    325

    Natalie Wood

    Dec. at 43 (1938-1981)
    Nominated For: Love with the Proper Stranger, Splendor in the Grass, Rebel Without A Cause.
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List Rules: Vote up the actresses who have never been awarded the Oscar for Best Actress or Best Supporting Actress.