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

Updated September 25, 2020 82.3k votes 4.6k voters 60.0k views185 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
    1,359
    462

    Amy Adams

    Age: 46
    Nominated For: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle
  • 2
    Glenn Close
    1,738
    415

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

  • 3
    Sigourney Weaver
    1,264
    472
    Nominated For: Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl.
  • 4
    Helena Bonham Carter
    1,691
    599
    Nominated For: The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech
  • 5
    Michelle Pfeiffer
    1,305
    510
    Nominated For: Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field.
  • 6
    Judy Garland
    1,170
    392

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
    Nominated For: A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg 
  • 7
    Annette Bening
    1,046
    432
    Nominated For: The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are Alright.
  • 8
    Angela Lansbury
    853
    351
    Nominated For: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate
  • 9
    Lauren Bacall
    834
    370

    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
    533
    212

    Nominated for: Spotlight

  • 11
    Margot Robbie
    566
    224
  • 12
    Emily Blunt
    922
    345
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award
  • 13
    Laura Linney
    567
    283
    Nominated For: The Savages, Kinsey, You Can Count on Me.
  • 14
    Winona Ryder
    643
    348
    Nominated For: Little Women, The Age of Innocence.
  • 15
    Toni Collette
    607
    263
    Nominated ForThe Sixth Sense
  • 16
    Bette Midler
    738
    454
    Nominated For: The Rose, For the Boys
  • 17
    Angela Bassett
    711
    405
    Nominated For: What's Love Got to Do with It.
  • 18
    Naomi Watts
    852
    375
    Nominated For: 21 Grams, The Impossible.
  • 19
    Scarlett Johansson
    747
    486
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 20
    Sarah Paulson
    310
    148

    Never nominated

  • 21
    Jamie Lee Curtis
    815
    421
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 22
    Diane Lane
    349
    126

    Diane Lane

    Age: 54

    Nominated for: Unfaithful

  • 23
    Debbie Reynolds
    413
    208
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • 24
    Gena Rowlands
    361
    217
    Nominated For: Gloria
  • 25
    Jessica Chastain
    761
    455
    Nominated For: The Help, Zero Dark Thirty