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

Updated September 25, 2020 80.3k votes 4.5k voters 59.2k 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 is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
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    Amy Adams

    Age: 45
    Nominated For: Junebug, Doubt, The Fighter, The Master, American Hustle
  • 2
    Glenn Close is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    1,688
    401

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

  • 3
    Sigourney Weaver is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    1,227
    464
    Nominated For: Aliens, Gorillas in the Mist, Working Girl.
  • 4
    Helena Bonham Carter is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    1,645
    589
    Nominated For: The Wings of the Dove, The King's Speech
  • 5
    Michelle Pfeiffer is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    1,268
    501
    Nominated For: Dangerous Liaisons, The Fabulous Baker Boys, Love Field.
  • 6
    Judy Garland is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    1,135
    385

    Judy Garland

    Dec. at 47 (1922-1969)
    Nominated For: A Star is Born, Judgement at Nuremberg 
  • 7
    Annette Bening is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    1,009
    422
    Nominated For: The Grifters, American Beauty, Being Julia, The Kids Are Alright.
  • 8
    Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    819
    345
    Nominated For: Gaslight, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Manchurian Candidate
  • 9
    Lauren Bacall is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    804
    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.
  • 10
    Rachel McAdams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    510
    202

    Nominated for: Spotlight

  • 11
    Margot Robbie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    536
    211
  • 12
    Emily Blunt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    888
    337
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award
  • 13
    Winona Ryder is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    632
    341
    Nominated For: Little Women, The Age of Innocence.
  • 14
    Laura Linney is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    536
    277
    Nominated For: The Savages, Kinsey, You Can Count on Me.
  • 15
    Toni Collette is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    574
    257
    Nominated ForThe Sixth Sense
  • 16
    Angela Bassett is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    684
    401
    Nominated For: What's Love Got to Do with It.
  • 17
    Bette Midler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    708
    451
    Nominated For: The Rose, For the Boys
  • 18
    Scarlett Johansson is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    731
    476
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 19
    Naomi Watts is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    812
    369
    Nominated For: 21 Grams, The Impossible.
  • 20
    Jamie Lee Curtis is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    785
    411
    Has never been nominated for an Academy Award.
  • 21
    Sarah Paulson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
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    140

    Never nominated

  • 22
    Diane Lane is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    321
    120

    Diane Lane

    Age: 54

    Nominated for: Unfaithful

  • 23
    Jessica Chastain is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    745
    450
    Nominated For: The Help, Zero Dark Thirty
  • 24
    Debbie Reynolds is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    389
    201
    Nominated ForThe Unsinkable Molly Brown
  • 25
    Gena Rowlands is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actresses Who Have Never Won an Oscar (for Acting)
    331
    213
    Nominated For: Gloria
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