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

Updated January 13, 2021 85.1k votes 4.7k voters 61.0k 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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  • Amy Adams1
    1,400
    475

    Amy Adams

    Age: 46
    Nominated For: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle
  • Glenn Close2
    1,797
    425

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

  • Sigourney Weaver3
    1,317
    480
    Nominated For: Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl.
  • Helena Bonham Carter4
    1,757
    609
    Nominated For: The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech
  • Judy Garland5
    1,218
    401

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
    Nominated For: A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg 
  • Michelle Pfeiffer6
    1,359
    521
    Nominated For: Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field.
  • Annette Bening7
    1,083
    440
    Nominated For: The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are Alright.
  • Angela Lansbury8
    890
    360
    Nominated For: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate
  • Emily Blunt9
    974
    352
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award
  • Lauren Bacall10
    865
    378

    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.
  • Rachel McAdams11
    572
    227

    Nominated for: Spotlight

  • Toni Collette12
    651
    266
    Nominated ForThe Sixth Sense
  • Margot Robbie13
    608
    237
  • Laura Linney14
    605
    288
    Nominated For: The Savages, Kinsey, You Can Count on Me.
  • Winona Ryder15
    666
    358
    Nominated For: Little Women, The Age of Innocence.
  • Sarah Paulson16
    350
    153

    Never nominated

  • Angela Bassett17
    757
    414
    Nominated For: What's Love Got to Do with It.
  • Bette Midler18
    768
    466
    Nominated For: The Rose, For the Boys
  • Diane Lane19
    384
    131

    Diane Lane

    Age: 54

    Nominated for: Unfaithful

  • Naomi Watts20
    888
    385
    Nominated For: 21 Grams, The Impossible.
  • Scarlett Johansson21
    773
    490
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Gena Rowlands22
    392
    223
    Nominated For: Gloria
  • Jamie Lee Curtis23
    848
    431
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • Jessica Chastain24
    784
    457
    Nominated For: The Help, Zero Dark Thirty
  • Debbie Reynolds25
    443
    211
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown