With the Academy Awards just around the corner, it’s always astonishing to take a look at the list of some of our favorite and most revered actors who have never taken home that coveted golden statuette. The names on the list are very recognizable, and most film fans probably assumed these actors already had an Oscar in their trophy case. Which actors have not won Oscars? The answer might surprise you.
Hopefully, as the years’ progress, many of these names will be checked off the list. It did take Leonardo DiCaprio six nods to get the Academy Award, so actors do have to find patience with the award show process and keep picking good movie roles.
Since the 2023 nominations are getting revealed today on Jan 25, let’s see which beloved stars with frequent nominations have not yet won an Oscar.
A version of this article was originally published on Jan 2019.
Glenn Close is an eight-time Oscar nominee and overdue for the honor. However, anyone can look back at Albert Nobbs, The Big Chill, and Fatal Attraction and know Close is one of the greatest actresses of her time. With four projects in production at the beginning of 2023, we have no doubt she’ll have her time to shine soon enough!
It’s been 23 years since Tom Cruise was last nominated for an Oscar, for Magnolia, considered by many film critics to be his finest role to date. He was on a hot streak earlier in his career with a string of well-received successes, like Born on the Fourth of July and Jerry Maguire.
Cruise has focused on his action-film career over the last two decades, but we think an Oscar-winning role is still in his future since everyone has been obsessed with Top Gun: Maverick.
Besides acquiring a mean set of biceps for her role as Tina Turner in What’s Love Got To Do With It?, Angela Bassett turned in the finest performance of her career with no Oscar win. The award in 1994 went to Holly Hunter for The Piano.
Back in 2019, Bassett admitted on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen that she deserved that Oscar after he read a comment from a fan who believed she should have won. “Yeah, me too,” she laughed.
However, 2023 has already been her year since she won the Golden Globe and the Critics Choice Award for Black Panther: Wakanda Forever!
What’s it going to take for Bradley Cooper to win his Oscar? He has not only been nominated in the acting categories but has also branched out to other categories, like for best picture in his producer roles and one for assisting in screenwriting. He’s been nominated nine times since 2013.
Michelle Williams has given us consistently gut-wrenching performances over the years, from Brokeback Mountain to Manchester by the Sea. She speaks her heartbreak through her facial expressions without ever uttering a word. So how is it possible she doesn’t have an Oscar yet?
We can see the upcoming drama The Fabelmans making her a future Oscar winner!
The Academy tends to overlook action stars when it comes to nominations. It’s hard to believe that Ford’s turns as Indiana Jones or Han Solo never earned him an Oscar — he’s managed the right balance of dramatic and funny in those roles.
Ford does have one solitary nomination, back in 1985 for Witness. Will he ever see another nomination again? We sure hope so!
When will we be able to put Amy Adams on the Oscar winner list? She nailed her powerful role in American Hustle and The Fighter, and our patience is wearing thin with the Academy. The Academy needs to take a closer look at Adams’ nuanced performances. She makes those accents look easy, but they are anything but.
Nobody, and we mean nobody, has had a better on-camera meltdown than Annette Bening in American Beauty. Her flawless execution with the scene screams Oscar, but Bening has lost all four times she’s been nominated. In fact, she lost to Hilary Swank in both 1999 and 2004.
She has three projects in the works as of 2023, so let’s hope another Oscar nod comes Bening’s way soon — she needs to win!
Edward Norton scored two Oscar nominations in the 1990s with Primal Fear and American History X. He didn’t return to the big show until 2014’s Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). He was nominated for best-supporting actor, and the film went on to win best picture.
We don’t know what the Academy missed during Birdman because his character’s epic tanning booth fight with actor Michael Keaton is a delicious gem. Norton’s next project called Asteroid City is currently in post-production as of Jan 2023.
There is no one more badass than Sigourney Weaver in Alien. We think Ellen Ripley paved the way for Linda Hamilton’s character in The Terminator, and Weaver got an Oscar nod for blazing that trail.
Weaver was even one of the rare nominees to get two nominations in a single year — 1988’s Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl. Sadly, she didn’t walk away with either Oscar that night.
This year alone, she’s starred in three films like Call Jane, Master Gardener, and Avatar: The Way of Water. Along with that, she’s set to appear in the next three Avatar films, so an Oscar better be coming her way soon!
Ever since she hit superstardom after co-starring in Interview with the Vampire and Little Women in 1994, we knew Kirsten Dunst was destined for greatness. Despite decades in the industry, though, she’s only been nominated once for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in the 2021 film The Power of the Dog. Despite losing, she has a role in a new film Civil War that just screams Oscar nod (and hopefully Oscar win!)
While Margot Robbie was nominated for her roles in I, Tonya and Bombshell, she totally deserved more for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Mary Queen of Scots. Ever since her major role in Wolf of Wall Street, we’ve been impatiently waiting for that killer, much-deserved Oscar speech.
Okay, we know Saoirse Ronan is only 28 years old, but this 28-year-old has already been nominated for four Oscars, and we seriously want to see her win one soon! Ever since 2007, she’s been nominated for her roles in Atonement, Brooklyn, Lady Bird, and Little Women. She has three films in production right now, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for her inevitable Oscar-winning performance.
Willem Dafoe has been nominated for four Oscars, with three being for his supporting roles in Platoon, Shadow of the Vampire, and The Florida Project. Most recently, he was nominated in 2019 for his leading performance in At Eternity’s Gate, but lost to Rami Malek in Bohemian Rhapsody. However, we have no doubt Dafoe will have his time to shine because he has at least ten projects he’s working on as of 2023.
Taraji P. Henson
We all know Taraji P. Henson was nominated for her supporting role in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button back in 2009, but we’ll say it: she absolutely should’ve gotten another nod for her role in Hidden Figures. We’re still mad about that.
Henson is a chameleon, able to morph into any genre she wants to, and we have no doubt she’ll make waves as Shug Avery in The Color Purple remake.
We are so tired of Salma Hayek being overlooked by the Academy. She was nominated only one time back in 2003, for her incredible role in Frida, but hasn’t been nominated since?! How?! We’re still not over when they snubbed her for her role in House of Gucci.
Carey Mulligan is an international treasure, and we’re still flabbergasted that she hasn’t been honored with an Oscar. She did get nominations for her roles in Promising Young Woman and An Education, but what about Drive? Never Let Me Go?! We could go on, and we’re hoping her role in She Said will get her another nod (and hopefully a win!)
Before you go, click here to see all the most shocking Oscars looks over the years.