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

Updated January 13, 2021 81.5k votes 4.7k voters 61.8k 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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  • Glenn Close1
    1,720
    402

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

  • Amy Adams2
    1,333
    451

    Amy Adams

    Age: 46
    Nominated For: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle
  • Helena Bonham Carter3
    1,668
    564
    Nominated For: The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech
  • Sigourney Weaver4
    1,266
    451
    Nominated For: Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl.
  • Judy Garland5
    1,164
    373

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
    Nominated For: A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg 
  • Michelle Pfeiffer6
    1,309
    487
    Nominated For: Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field.
  • Annette Bening7
    1,047
    413
    Nominated For: The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are Alright.
  • Angela Lansbury8
    866
    338
    Nominated For: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate
  • Lauren Bacall9
    843
    355

    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.
  • Toni Collette10
    644
    254
    Nominated ForThe Sixth Sense
  • Laura Linney11
    597
    271
    Nominated For: The Savages, Kinsey, You Can Count on Me.
  • Emily Blunt12
    953
    332
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award
  • Rachel McAdams13
    573
    224

    Nominated for: Spotlight

  • Margot Robbie14
    603
    236
  • Winona Ryder15
    638
    342
    Nominated For: Little Women, The Age of Innocence.
  • Angela Bassett16
    737
    389
    Nominated For: What's Love Got to Do with It.
  • Sarah Paulson17
    360
    153

    Never nominated

  • Diane Lane18
    390
    128

    Diane Lane

    Age: 54

    Nominated for: Unfaithful

  • Naomi Watts19
    863
    359
    Nominated For: 21 Grams, The Impossible.
  • Bette Midler20
    743
    441
    Nominated For: The Rose, For the Boys
  • Gena Rowlands21
    389
    211
    Nominated For: Gloria
  • Jamie Lee Curtis22
    813
    402
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Scarlett Johansson23
    738
    462
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Debbie Reynolds24
    439
    198
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • Saoirse Ronan25
    345
    83