11 Underrated Actors Who Never Won an Oscar (but Should)

These are some of the actors who never won an Oscar:  

Since there is huge hype about the Oscars, we couldn’t stop writing about this topic. While more actors have a full collection of Oscars in their homes, others never won one, even if they were nominated a bunch of times, and that’s a pity!

You may be surprised to learn that despite their talent, some actors from movies and TV shows have never experienced the joy of winning. We have a couple of favorites on this list, so if you’re curious, keep reading. Who knows, maybe this year some of them won’t be among the actors who never won an Oscar.

actors who never won an Oscar
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1. Glenn Close

Do you remember 101 Dalmatians and the badass Cruella? Oh well, one of those actors who never won an Oscar is the amazing Glenn Close who played Cruella in the movie. Even though Glenn Close has received eight Academy Award nominations but has yet to win, she continues to come close to making the big breakthrough.

Her four nominations for Best Supporting Actress were from The World According to Garp in 1983, The Big Chill in 1984, The Natural in 1985, and Hillbilly Energy in 2021. Additionally, she has been nominated four times for Best Actress: for the film Fatal Attraction in 1988, Dangerous Liaisons in 1989, Albert Nobbs in 2012, and The Wife in 2019. Glenn Close stated in 2021 that she didn’t consider herself a “loser” even though she hadn’t yet succeeded.

But we have our fingers crossed for her because it’s about time for her to win an Oscar!

2. Michelle Pfeiffer

No, this ain’t right! We had to double-check this information, but unfortunately, the beautiful Michelle Pfeiffer is among the actors who never won an Oscar. She hasn’t yet won any of the three prizes for which she has been nominated. On the big screen, though, she’s still having fun; most recently, she starred alongside Michael Douglas in “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania.”

3. Ralph Fiennes

Apparently, not even Lord Voldemort can live forever! Jokes aside, Ralph Fiennes, the actor who played Voldemort in the Harry Potter franchise, is one of the actors who never won an Oscar, but he should have.

Ralph Fiennes received two Academy Award nominations: one for Best Supporting Actor in 1994 (for his performance in Schindler’s List) and another for Best Actor (for his performance in The English Patient) in 1997.

4. Willem Dafoe

Dafoe, another actor you may have expected to have won an Oscar already, is renowned for his capacity to wow both Spider-Man fans and arthouse audiences. His role as a well-meaning motel manager in Sean Baker’s understated The Florida Project is probably the one that hurts the most out of his four near-misses (Platoon, Shadow of the Vampire, The Florida Project, and At Eternity’s Gate). Fingers crossed for him to lose at least one Oscar because he definitely deserves it!

5. Angela Bassett

Who watched Black Panther: Wakanda Forever? We are huge fans of it, and if you are a fan too, then you will be disappointed to find out that she is among the actors who never won an Oscar. Her portrayal in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress in 2023, making her the first woman, person of color, and performer from Marvel Studios to receive a nomination for a comic book adaptation.

When Jamie Lee Curtis won the Oscar in 2023 for Everything Everywhere All at Once, many believed that Angela Bassett should have won. At the Governor’s Awards in 2023, she went on to win an Academy Honorary Award.

6. Helena Bonham Carter

For many people, actors who were fortunate and talented enough to win an Oscar are pure gold. But in the grand scheme of things, we must agree that even those who have never won an Oscar before can be pretty brilliant too. Helena Bonham Carter, known for her roles in Tim Burton’s movies and the Harry Potter franchise, never won an Oscar despite being nominated twice.

It’s such a shame that she’s often overlooked, considering she’s undeniably one of the top actors in all of Hollywood.

actors who never won an Oscar
Photo by Tinseltown from Shutterstock

7. Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver has added her name to the list of celebrities with three Oscar nominations. Her 1987 film Aliens earned her a nomination for Best Actress. Notably, she was nominated in 1989 for two awards: Best Supporting Actress for Working Girl and Best Actress for Gorillas in the Mist, respectively. Though there’s still time, she hasn’t yet achieved success. After captivating viewers in “Alien,” she most recently portrayed distinctive characters in “Avatar” and its 2022 follow-up.

8. Scarlett Johansson

Another actress for whom we had to look twice to see if the information was correct is Scarlett Johansson. Even if it’s hard to believe, she is one of the actors who never won an Oscar. Known for roles in the MCU as the badass Black Widow, Marriage Story, and Asteroid City (2023), Scarlett Johanson was nominated in 2019 for best actress, but we are still waiting for her to win at least one Oscar.

Who else is curious to know who is going to win the Oscar this year? We are, for sure! But what else is suitable for an Oscar ceremony? Invite a few friends over for a night in with popcorn and your preferred drink of choice. And why use the microwave for that when you can have an Air Popcorn Popper Maker? It’s available on Amazon for the amazing price of just $19.99.

9. Edward Norton

Edward Norton has had three nominations for gold statues, although he has not yet received one. Primal Fear brought him a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 1997; American History X brought him a nomination for Best Actor in 1999; and Birdman brought him another nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2015. Amazingly, his debut film role earned him his first Oscar nomination.

10. Bill Murray

Oscar Awards, you’re not being fair! Really now! Unbelievably, despite his illustrious career in movies, movie star Bill Murray has only been nominated once (for Lost in Translation). Can you name some of your favorite movies starring Bill Murray? We can’t get enough of Ghost Busters.

11. Tom Cruise

Take my breath away, or what? We honestly can’t believe Tom Cruise is one of the actors who never won an Oscar. Despite his four nominations, he has not yet been victorious. In 1990, he received a nomination for Best Actor for Born on the Fourth of July, and again in 1997 for Jerry Maguire.

As a producer, he received nominations for Best Supporting Actor for Magnolia in 2000 and for Best Picture for Top Gun: Maverick in 2023. Furthermore, Cruise didn’t even attend the awards ceremony in 2023—or win—despite all the hype surrounding Maverick. Good movie, by the way!

How do you feel about these actors and the fact that they never won an Oscar? Tell us in the comments and tell us who is your favorite. And if you are interested in more celebrity stuff? We got you covered! Check out which are the 8 Films That Made Audiences Hurry Out of Theaters.

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