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

Updated September 25, 2020 81.6k votes 4.5k voters 59.7k views192 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
    Amy Adams
    1,352
    455

    Amy Adams

    Age: 46
    Nominated For: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle
  • 2
    Glenn Close
    1,721
    408

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

  • 3
    Sigourney Weaver
    1,249
    468
    Nominated For: Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl.
  • 4
    Helena Bonham Carter
    1,672
    596
    Nominated For: The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech
  • 5
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    1,288
    507
    Nominated For: Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field.
  • 6
    Judy Garland
    1,157
    388

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
    Nominated For: A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg 
  • 7
    Annette Bening
    1,033
    427
    Nominated For: The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are Alright.
  • 8
    Angela Lansbury
    836
    348
    Nominated For: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate
  • 9
    Lauren Bacall
    822
    366

    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.
  • 10
    Rachel McAdams
    526
    208

    Nominated for: Spotlight

  • 11
    Margot Robbie
    555
    220
  • 12
    Emily Blunt
    908
    342
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award
  • 13
    Laura Linney
    553
    280
    Nominated For: The Savages, Kinsey, You Can Count on Me.
  • 14
    Winona Ryder
    636
    347
    Nominated For: Little Women, The Age of Innocence.
  • 15
    Toni Collette
    591
    260
    Nominated ForThe Sixth Sense
  • 16
    Bette Midler
    726
    453
    Nominated For: The Rose, For the Boys
  • 17
    Angela Bassett
    699
    404
    Nominated For: What's Love Got to Do with It.
  • 18
    Naomi Watts
    837
    372
    Nominated For: 21 Grams, The Impossible.
  • 19
    Scarlett Johansson
    740
    481
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 20
    Sarah Paulson
    300
    145

    Never nominated

  • 21
    Jamie Lee Curtis
    802
    418
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 22
    Diane Lane
    337
    123

    Diane Lane

    Age: 54

    Nominated for: Unfaithful

  • 23
    Debbie Reynolds
    405
    204
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • 24
    Jessica Chastain
    757
    452
    Nominated For: The Help, Zero Dark Thirty
  • 25
    Gena Rowlands
    346
    214
    Nominated For: Gloria