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With the 86th Annual Academy Awards fast approaching, we take a look at 10 actors who you won’t believe have never won an Oscar.

The Academy Awards are this Sunday and while many actors’ dreams will come true when they’re awarded with their own golden statue, there are many incredibly talented actors who have never won an Oscar. These are some of Hollywood’s most beloved stars, who we can’t believe don’t have an Oscar.

1. Amy Adams

amy adams oscar

Amy Adams has been nominated for five Academy Awards, with her most recent nomination coming from this year’s American Hustle. While most believe she’ll be one-upped by Cate Blanchett this year, she is more than deserving of a win.

The actress has proven time and time again that she is highly talented and while we’re surprised she’s never won, she has an incredibly long career ahead of her and we’re certain she’ll get her Oscar win sooner rather than later.

2. Johnny Depp

johnny depp oscar

Thought of as one of the most talented actors of his generation, Depp has been nominated for an Academy Award three times. First for his incredible performance as Jack Sparrow in Pirates of the Caribbean back in 2003, then in Finding Neverland just a year later.

The actor’s last nomination was in 2007 for his role in Sweeney Todd, but he lost to Daniel Day-Lewis. He also lost to Sean Penn and Jamie Foxx, so it’s not as though he hasn’t had stiff competition, but we can’t imagine how he’s made it this far without an Oscar. Hopefully he’ll leave big franchises behind and do some more Oscar-worthy work in the future.

3. Ian McKellen

ian mckellen oscar

Sir Ian McKellen was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1990 for his efforts in the arts, but can’t seem to win himself an Oscar. The actor has won multiple awards, including a Tony for his brilliant stage work, but with two nominations he is still without an Academy Award.

The good news is he’s still in the acting game, as he’ll be appearing in X-Men: Days of Future Past this year and The Hobbit: There and Back Again in December. Hopefully he’ll grab a role in the future that will finally get him that well deserved Oscar.

4. Glenn Close

glenn close oscar

Six-time Academy Award nominee Glenn Close was born and raised in Greenwich, Connecticut. Close was a highly talented actress mostly seen on Broadway until her breakout role in 1982 when she was cast as Jenny Fields in The World According to Garp along with Robin Williams.

She would later go on to receive an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress for the role, but lost. She would then be nominated five more times over the next 30 years and yet still hasn’t received an Oscar. She continues to pursue great roles, as well as taking a role in Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, so it’s easy to predict that she will end up with an Oscar.

5. Liam Neeson

liam neeson oscar

Liam Neeson was nominated for his role in Stephen Spielberg’s Schindler’s List in 1994, which should have been a guaranteed win, but the award-snatching actor that is Tom Hanks won for his incredible role in Philadelphia. Neeson continues to make great films and we can’t imagine he’ll leave Hollywood before he’s given an opportunity to grace Hollywood’s brightest stage.

6. Gary Oldman

gary oldman oscar

One of the most surprising names on our list, Gary Oldman has only received one Oscar nomination in his career, which was for his incredible role of George Smiley in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. He would go on to lose to Jean Dujardin for his role in the silent film The Artist.

Oldman is thought of as one of the best actors of our time and it’s quite surprising that he’s never won, let alone only received one nomination. His career remains strong and we have no doubt he’ll be rewarded with an Oscar before he decides its time to lay down the scripts.

7. Brad Pitt

brad pitt oscar

Pitt’s talent only gets better with age and while he’s been nominated for an Academy Award five times, he’s yet to touch the gold. Pitt is a producer on 12 Years a Slave this year though, which is nominated for Best Picture, along with nine other categories.

While it may not be for Best Actor, Pitt will most likely be a happy man after the 86th Annual Academy Awards when his film pulls in half a dozen wins. We imagine Pitts the kind of guy who is just as proud to see his film win Best Picture than to win a solo award for himself.

8. Samuel L. Jackson

samuel l jackson oscar

Talk about surprising, Samuel L. Jackson has only received one Oscar nomination over his entire 42-year acting career and still didn’t win. He was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in Pulp Fiction, despite having equal screen time as the next person on our list.

9. John Travolta

john travolta oscar

John Travolta has received two Oscar nominations over his entire acting career. The actor’s performance in Pulp Fiction alone should have warranted a win, but he (along with all the other nominees) was crushed by the monster that was Tom Hanks in 1994′s Forrest Gump.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio

leonardo dicaprio oscar

Yes, everyone knows this tale, but the actor has been nominated four times and still has an empty spot on his award shelf. This year Leonardo DiCaprio has again been nominated for his role in The Wolf of Wall Street and while the winner is expected to be Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club, Leo will get his in due time.

Leo is still just 39 and his films keep getting better. While the DiCaprio curse is still holding strong, we think he’s bound to break the curse over what could end up being one of the most brilliant acting careers of our time.

Which actor does it surprise you the most to realize they haven’t won an Academy Award?

  • Matthew Howland

    HOW has Johnny Depo never won an Oscar?!? What?!?!

  • http://ravenclaw1991.tumblr.com/ ravenclaw1991

    I feel kind of bad because the title of this is “actors you won’t believe have never won a Oscar” and Leonardo DiCaprio is on here and I just laughed about it so hard. I’m pretty sure everyone knows that one definitely because the internet would implode the moment he wins one. I can’t believe Johnny Depp hasn’t ever won one! That shocked me.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Joshua Nealey

      I agree, he was more of an honorable mention, hence the reason he’s at the end.

  • ben

    Not surprised really about Johnny and Samuel.

    • Robert

      Not surprised about Samuel L. Jackson? Guy is a rockstar.

      • CliveRogan

        He is, he’s great in everything he’s in, but he rarely plays a part that isn’t Samuel L. Jackson. Great, but not Oscar stuff.

        • Liderc

          You can say that about lots of people though, Denzel Washington plays the same person quite often and has an Oscar. Tom Hanks, plays the same character a lot and has multiple Oscars. I’m not even a huge Sam Jackson fan, but I don’t think that excuse is worth much. Jackson has played characters that were Oscarworthy, hence the reason he was nominated for Pulp Fiction. Did you see him in Unbreakable? He was incredible, wheelchair bound and being a terrorist, it was astonishingly well done despite the film not being well received by critics.

          • ynanous

            Tom Hanks does not play the same character, he is a lot more varied compared to SLJ (and I love him). I do think Jules was oscar worthy though

  • Heather

    People should complain like just as much as Amy Adams never winning as they do Leo. She is so talented and her 5 noms were in the last 9 or 10 years.

    Also, I can’t understand why Brad Pitt doesn’t have an Oscar. He’s an incredible actor and was particularly fantastic in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. Such a shame he hasn’t won yet, though hopefully it happens one day. (Note: Brad is producer of 12YAS so if it wins Best Picture, he does win as Oscar. Just a shared one)

    Also, where is Peter O’Toole on this list? He’s like a legend and was nominated 8 TIMES! without winning!

    • American Jeremy Clarkson

      Personally, I’m not a huge fan of Amy Adams. I don’t dislike her, he’s a fine actress, but I never see her really standout. The reason I don’t think she is deserving of an Oscar (yet) is that I can easily imagine her roles being given to someone else and it wouldn’t make a difference to the film (in The Master, The Fighter, American Hustle). Even in that atrociously useless, mind numbingly rubbish film called Man of Steel, she was actually disappointing in the role, completely miscast.

      I think her performance in “Her”, however, was great though, better than in American Hustle. Even though it was small, it was wholly impressive. Contrast that with AH, it seemed to me she was overshadowed by Bale and Lawrence despite having a considerable amount of screen time .

      • lily

        totally agree. She just isn’t that interesting and none of her characters ever stand out at least to me.

        • Liderc

          Did you not see her in The Fighter? If you don’t call that standing out I don’t know what would.

      • Heather

        She’s constantly doing solid work, but fair enough that she could be replaced. I don’t necessarily agree but see how others could. Though I definitely agree that her performance in Her was much more fantastic than Hustle. I found her a little underwhelming in Hustle personally. She has also been stuck in Supporting Roles for a long time so hopefully she’s going to start doing more Lead Roles.

    • Marina

      The Devil’s Own that is why people will never forget that awful movie he made.

  • American Jeremy Clarkson

    This list is the reason why we all shouldn’t care about the Oscars as much as we do.

    Look at the past Best Picture winners like Argo, Slumdog, King’s Speech, The Artist… all fantastic films, but how many times have you re-watched them? Personally speaking, I’ve only seen all of them once (in theaters when they released) and I have zero intention of seeing them again in the near future. Again, they are fantastic films but won’t go down in history as classics, at least not in my book anyway (The Hurt Locker is the one I think is truly deserving in recent memory). Film like The Dark Knight, Inception, The Social Network, all were ignored but damn, they get better and better with every re-watch.

    The Oscars rarely take risks, and are very predictable. It’s almost pointless watching the live broadcast since its mostly commercials anyway, especially having seen all the best pic nominees (somewhat of a disappointment this year tbh, I don’t think any of them are that award-worthy) I’m pretty sure I know which films are going to win.

    Now, I don’t have a hatred for the Oscars, in fact I personally know some of the governors of the Academy, one of whom I speak to almost everyday (not just members, but GOVERNORS). And it’s a cool show but damn, it’s just got so boring. I mean Jonah Freakin Hill has more nominations than GARY OLDMAN. It’s absolutely ridiculous…

    Think about that…

    • Michelle

      I’ve rewatched best picture movies plenty of times.

    • Heather

      I personally rewatch quite a few of the Best Picture winners… I’ve watched Argo several times, and absolutely love The Hurt Locker. The King’s Speech is one I’ve watched many times and do rather enjoy (if not enough to win BP). Also, Titanic is just awesome. And some I definitely feel the need to rewatch.

      Though I do agree it’s quite sad Jonah Hill has more nominations than Gary Oldman (or even over other quality actors like Carey Mulligan, Keira Knightley, Stanley Tucci)

      • Liderc

        I can’t not watch Titanic if I see it on. It’s like magic, I don’t even love it anymore but it forces me to watch it lol.

    • Liderc

      I’ve rewatched a couple, but you’re right something like the king’s speech makes me want to scratch my eyeballs out. Terrible film, which happens sometimes the academy awards the oscar to a film that just does not resonate with normal audiences. I’d like to think Argo isn’t a one off for most people, but it probably is. That’s worth watching a few times.

    • Lindsey

      Slumdog is SO rewatchable. Brilliant movie!

    • Lindsey

      Oh and Jonah Hill is a great actor. He has really come far in his career.

  • TheOscarSnub

    Does no one care about other actors who’ve been nominated for Best Actor/Actress and never won just because they’re dead? Cary Grant? Richard Burton? Peter O’Toole? Raymond Massey? Cornel Wilde? Michael Redgrave? James Dean? Kirk Douglas? Charles Boyer? Richard Harris? Peter Sellers? Gloria Swanson? Greta Garbo? Marlene Dietrich? Rosalind Russell? Barbara Stanwyck? Anne Baxter? Judy Garland? Ava Gardner? Lynn Redgrave? Edith Evans?

    Show a little love to the Golden Age of Hollywood, Hypable.

    • Lisa

      Their audience is probably age 15-30, somehow I doubt most people would even remember those actors. Not that they aren’t important, but it’s about discussing relevant actors and actors of the past aren’t as relevant right now.

      • TheOscarSnub

        It’s more of an injustice Richard Burton never won an Oscar than it is that Leonardo DiCaprio – who is still alive and likely to receive one before he dies – hasn’t.

        • Bradley

          well it doesn’t look like the title is “the oscars biggest injustices” so you may be barking up the wrong tree.

    • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

      Good point on those classic Hollywood actors. One of my all time favorite Emmy acceptance speeches was given by Barbara Stanwyck! So gracious as she pays tribute to who she thinks should have won the award http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGAVmOyBaQI

    • Gavin Walsh

      Kirk isn’t dead

  • xiku

    Yep. People just keep ignoring Julianne Moore…
    (I’m personally also quite fond of Jessica Chastain)

  • Caroline J.

    lots of white dudes and a few white gals.

    • Blake

      Welcome to Hollywood.

    • David Whiteknight

      Because all the black ones won Oscars so they aren’t on the list?

  • Ennur

    Not really surprised that most people in this list haven’t won the oscar.

  • Nick

    Michelle Pfeiffer has been nominated three times and never won.

    • Marina


  • alexa

    how my main man Gary Oldman never one will never be okay to me

  • http://www.hypable.com/author/lauracristiano/ LauraBC

    Another one who is long overdue is Laura Linney. Constant amazing work and no wins yet despite 3 nominations and being a highly sought after actress with 4 Emmys and counting.

  • JC


    • Charmaine Bird

      Whomever you are, I love you.

  • ni johns

    Hmmm weid i feel like they all did can’t believe amy adams and samuel l jackson haven’t won one i could have sworn they did

  • CB

    Keira Knightley. She was amazing in Pride & Prejudice and deserved the win in my opinion.

    • http://www.hypable.com/ Joshua Nealey

      I completely forgot about Keira somehow, which is quite disturbing considering she is one of my favorite actresses. She will win an Oscar at some point, I have no doubt.

  • Tamtam

    The thing to remember is an Oscar is awarded to a performance not a body of work and in any given year there are many performances to choose from.I love Leo and he should already have an Oscar for any one of his past roles, but I’m sorry it was a no brainer that Matthew was going to win for this year.His role was transformative and like it or not those always get the recognition.I remember when Denzel Washington won for Training Day.It was great but how many votes did he get that year because he was robbed out of not winning for Malcolm X.I wouldn’t be surprised if there are certain roles that actors would have preferred to be recognized for and they may be secretly pissed that the role they actually win for was not their best work or the one they put the most effort in. There are so many things at play when making a decision; Hollywood politics, that years competition, dream roles, votes cancelling each other out, anti-voting (voting for the underdog) etc.Its why for the most part awards are BS and the nominations are really what matters and not who the Oscar ultimately goes to.

    One day Leo will get his and Amy will get hers, but it may not be for the one they really deserved it
    for and it may just be politics or making up for past oversights.Its a shame but its the way it works.

  • Kevin Slechta

    It’s a shame most of those actors did great award worthy work in their prime, but recently most of them have only done action oriented movies that rarely get stellar performances.

  • Eric Faulkner

    It would have been nice for Mel Blanc to get at least an Honorary Oscar. Chuck Jones did get an Honorary one in 1996.

  • Lee

    at least they all were nominated at least once, Jim Carrey and Guy Pearce never get a single nomination in their acting career so far, how about that?

  • LUL

    I’m reasonably sure that winning an Oscar is a bad thing! Look at all the amazing actors who haven’t won one and then look as some of the average talent that have. I think its safe to say that a Oscar is the ‘participation badge’ of awards!

  • jess

    J.Depp is da most deserving i suppose

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