The 88th edition of the Oscars, the reason for collective gasps and applauds, have concluded. As the Internet continues to swallow and vomit Leonardo DiCaprio memes, we can’t help but think of famous actors and directors who’ve never been honoured with the golden statuette in their respective categories.
Now the thing with such lists is that they can never be exhaustive and complete. Like DiCaprio memes, these lists will go and and on. Hence, we’ve decided to stick to only the most famous actors and directors who everyone’s familiar with. Of course there are plenty of others who won’t make the cut in this list, but hey, feel free to mention their names in the comments section.
So, all said and done, here are 25 deserving actors and directors who’ve never won an Oscar in their respective categories:
1. Jim Carrey
Stop everything you’re doing and start an online petition to get Jim Carrey an Oscar. If there’s one actor who we won’t mind receiving an undeserving Oscar, it’s Jim Carrey. The Truman Show, Eternal sunshine Of The Spotless Mind. Anyone?
2. Johnny Depp
You were waiting for it, weren’t you? Let’s say it out loud: JOHNNY DEPP HAS NEVER WON AN OSCAR, and the Internet is doing nothing about it. The guy from Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd has never won an Oscar. Where’s the meme-brigade now?
3. Robert Downey Jr.
He’s not just your regular Iron Man, he’s also the badass who convincingly played an African-American character in Tropic Thunder. Oh and in case you were wondering, he’s been nominated for 2 Oscars so far: Tropic Thunder and Chaplin, having won ZERO. Get your shit together, Academy.
4. Samuel L. Jackson
To quote Ted, “Have you seen any movie ever? He’s the black guy”. That analogy is as close to reality as his portrayal of the characters he plays. Not going to drop names but Pulp Fiction, motherf*ckers!
5. Brad Pitt
Apparently, dropping mad performances year after year making unbearable movies look decent isn’t enough talent to win an Oscar. When you’re Brad Pitt and the only Oscar you’ve won is as a producer of a movie, it’s just sad. I mean, did Fight Club or Se7en mean nothing to the Academy.
6. Will Smith
In case the Academy is reading this, three words: Pursuit of Happyness.
7. Bill Murray
Sometimes an actor is so good that he becomes bigger than awards. Such an actor is known as Bill Murray. Maybe the reason Murray hasn’t won an Oscar so far is because he’s still stuck in Groundhog Day. Since he hasn’t won an Oscar, we propose Bill Murray dollar bills.
8. Edward Norton
You know how life’s not fair? Yeah, Ed Norton would know a thing or two about that. You don’t get nominated for an Oscar in your first film. Not unless you’re Edward Norton in Primal Fear.
9. Tom Cruise
Imagine Shahrukh Khan never having won a Filmfare Award. Believe it or not, that’s how absurd it is to not have Tom Cruise win an Oscar despite having been nominated 3 times: Jerry Maguire, Magnolia and Born on The Fourth Of July. Can’t believe we’re saying this but sometimes the Academy Awards make us think Bollywood awards are fair.
10. Harrison Ford
In a world where Nicholas Cage has won an Oscar, it’s criminal for Harrison Ford to not have won any. What’s more embarrassing is the fact that at this point, he has more chances of getting an Honorary Academy Award than winning one in a competitive acting category. Indiana Jones, Blade Runner.. anything comes to mind, Academy?
11. Ralph Fiennes
Ralph Fiennes is probably the best actor to have never won an Oscar. He was The English Patient. They don’t call him a Shakespearean actor for nothing. After all, Shakespeare never won an Oscar either.
12. John Malkovich
Malkovich is the easiest actor in this list to be ignored at the Oscars, apart from being the finest actor on this list. Arguably, a poor man’s Al Pacino, Malkovich has twice been nominated for the golden statuette for In the Line of Fire and Places in the Heart.
13. Charles Chaplin
When you’re Charlie Chaplin and the only competitive Oscar you’ve won is for Best Music, you know there’s something wrong with the world, a world he so affectionately entertained for decades. For anyone who’s grown up watching The Kid or The Great Dictator, we feel you.
14. Woody Harrelson
Another time the Oscar jury refused to make any sense is when they overlooked Woody Harrelson for an Oscar on two separate occasions. Have you seen any Woody Harrelson movie, ever? He’s awesome!
15. Paul Giamatti
You know the thing with character actors? They’re bloody good and Paul is the best goddamn character actor working today. He plays a relatively less important character in all his movies and ends up owning the screen every time he shows up. Case in point: Sideways, Cinderella Man.
16. Annette Bening
She’s conveniently the next best female actor after Meryl Streep. Having been nominated 4 times, Annette has on multiple times been denied the recognition she deserves. If you’ve seen American Beauty or The Kids Are All Right, you know what I’m talking about.
17. Amy Adams
She’s a bench mark for female actors in Hollywood, delivering unbelievable performances one after the other. Her 5 Oscar nominations for Doubt, The Master, American Hustle, The fighter and Junebug are a testimony to her command as an actor. Unfortunately, she’s not as good at being lucky as she’s at acting.
18. Glenn Close
Before there was Meryl Streep, there was Glenn Close. She’s probably the only actor to have been nominated 6 times for an Oscar and not having won any. Calls for re-watching Dangerous Liaisons.
19. Michelle Pfeifer
Speaking of Dangerous Liaisons, Michelle Pfeifer is living proof that good things don’t always happen to good actors. We seriously wonder why she’s always ignored by the Oscar jury.
20. Quentin Tarantino
Moving away from actors, the list of directors can’t begin with anyone other than Tarantino. You would think that the man who has single-handedly changed Hollywood would get a Best Director Oscar. To the Academy’s credit, Tarantino has won 2 Oscars for Best Writing but who do we know Tarantino as: a director or a screenwriter?
21. Stanley Kubrick
The legend of Kubrick continues to inspire generations of filmmakers. However, sadly enough, the Academy will only remember him as the winner of Best Visual Effects for 2001: A Space Oddyssey. That’s as absurd as Johnny Depp winning an Oscar for Best Cinematography.
22. David Fincher
Every now and then, Fincher makes a movie that raises the bar so high, everybody else falls short. The guy who directed Se7en, Fight Club, Zodiac, The Social Network, Gone Girl and many more has never won an Oscar. Go figure.
23. Ridley Scott
What Fincher is doing now, Scott has been doing for the last 40 years. His filmography includes: Blade Runner, Black Hawk Down, Thelma & Louise and Gladiator. Four decades of making path-breaking films. How many Oscars so far? Nada.
24. Alfred Hitchcock
Nobody does suspense like Hitchcock. His movies are subjects of discussion in various film schools around the world. Psycho, Dial M For Murder, Vertigo, North By Northwest, Rear Window, Rope and like 57 more. How many Best Director Oscars has he won? As many as me.
25. Christopher Nolan
Saving the best for the last. Christopher Nolan is a self-taught filmmaker who learnt the rules of filmmaking only to reject each of those rules while making his movies. No one has been immune to Nolan’s cinema. It would be a shame to list down Nolan’s filmography to establish his credibility, a bigger shame than not awarding him an Oscar yet.