20+ Stars who’ve never won an individual Oscar

Here is a complete breakdown of the actors who were snubbed an Oscar despite giving great, memorable performances time and time again.
Sometimes, the academy’s decision does not reflect the opinions of the common folk. These celebrities are examples of those who have never won an individual Oscar, even though their movies were blockbusters.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper, who has been nominated twelve times without winning an Oscar, embodies the sentiment, “It’s just an honor to be nominated.”

His previous nominations include Best Actor for “Silver Linings Playbook,” “American Sniper,” and “A Star is Born,” as well as Best Supporting Actor for “American Hustle.”
Additionally, he lost four times as a producer for Best Picture nominees like “American Sniper” and “Joker,” and once for Best Adapted Screenplay for “A Star is Born.”

In 2024, Cooper hopes to break his losing streak with three nominations for “Maestro,” though he faces tough competition from “Oppenheimer.”

Amy Adams

Amy Adams

Amy Adams, despite six Academy Award nominations, has yet to win an Oscar.
Known for her remarkable performances and Golden Globe wins for “Big Eyes” and “American Hustle,” Adams has been overlooked by the Academy.
Her notable roles in “Arrival” and “Nocturnal Animals” also went unrecognized. Despite these snubs, she continues to deliver outstanding work, ensuring future opportunities for an Oscar win.

Samuel L. Jackson

Samuel L. Jackson

Another brilliant actor snubbed his Oscar. Samuel L. Jackson expressed disappointment about not winning the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor in 1995, believing he deserved it over Martin Landau (“Ed Wood”).
In an interview, Jackson felt robbed of another chance at an Oscar for his role in “A Time to Kill” (1996), where he played a father seeking justice for his raped daughter.
Jackson argued that crucial scenes were cut, altering the portrayal of his character and costing him a nomination.
He mentioned similar experiences with other films, including “Pulp Fiction” and “Django Unchained,” believing his performances were overlooked due to Hollywood biases.

Despite only one Oscar nomination and receiving an Honorary Oscar in 2022, Jackson remains critical of the Academy’s recognition of Black actors.

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman

Hugh Jackman has been involved in Oscar discussions for movies like “The Front Runner,” “Bad Education,” and “The Greatest Showman,” but none secured a nomination. The Australian actor did receive an Oscar nomination for his lead role in “Les Misérables” in 2013.

Nonetheless, Hugh Jackman used Instagram to humorously urge Academy voters not to nominate Ryan Reynolds for best song for “Good Afternoon” from “Spirited.”

In the video, Jackman said that Reynolds winning would make his life “insufferable” as they will be filming “Wolverine and Deadpool” together. He praised the movie but begged voters not to validate Reynolds. Reynolds responded on Twitter, joking that the deepfakes from the film should perform at the Oscars.
In a CNN interview, Jackman called their upcoming film “Wolverine 10” and mentioned his intense training regimen, jokingly warning chickens to start running.

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck

Ben Affleck won Best Original Screenplay that he shared with Matt Damon for “Good Will Hunting” in 1998.

Since then, Affleck has received only one other Oscar nomination, for Best Picture for “Argo” in 2013. The movie won Best Picture, and the award was as part of the producing team.
Despite his successes, he has faced Oscar snubs in acting categories.

He was vying for a Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in “Air,” though he is not among the top predicted nominees.

Affleck’s performance and directorial efforts in “Air” have been praised, but he remains outside the main Oscar predictions for 2024. Finally, he was snubbed from yet another Oscar.

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp, renowned for his diverse roles, has never won an Oscar despite nominations for “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Finding Neverland,” and “Sweeney Todd.”
Starting with “A Nightmare on Elm Street” in 1984, he transitioned from TV’s “21 Jump Street” to more eclectic films like “Cry-Baby” and “Edward Scissorhands.”
The Academy’s preference for dramatic and biographical films over Depp’s genre-defying works may contribute to his Oscar snubs.
Moreover, Depp himself disengages from the Oscar race, prioritizing roles he enjoys over accolades.
In a 2015 interview, he expressed no desire to win, preferring to avoid competition and focus on his craft.

Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

Despite being a dominant movie star, Tom Cruise has never won an Oscar, even though he has four nominations.

His mainstream appeal may have hindered his recognition by the Academy, as his blockbuster roles overshadowed his diverse performances.
Cruise’s work with esteemed directors like Paul Thomas Anderson and Stanley Kubrick showcased his acting depth, notably in “Magnolia,” where he portrayed a complex character. However, he lost to Michael Caine in “The Cider House Rules.”
Additionally, standout performances in “Collateral” and “A Few Good Men” went unnoticed by the Oscars.

Cruise’s personal life, including his association with Scientology and public incidents like the infamous Oprah couch-jumping moment, may have also influenced Oscar voters’ perceptions. Despite this, Cruise remains dedicated to his craft and may transition to character-driven roles, potentially leading to Oscar success in the future.

Jake Gyllenhaal

Jake Gyllenhaal 

Jake Gyllenhaal, one of the most prolific American actors of the 21st century, has starred in numerous award-winning films and a few blockbusters.
Despite his undeniable talent, he has been consistently snubbed by the Academy Awards. Gyllenhaal has received only one Oscar nomination for his role in “Brokeback Mountain” (2005). He has been overlooked for many standout performances, including “Donnie Darko” (2001), “Prisoners” (2013), and “Nightcrawler” (2014).
Nevertheless, Gyllenhaal remains one of the most underappreciated talents in Hollywood.

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt

Emily Blunt is long overdue for an Oscar, a sentiment that has persisted since her performance in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Her role in “A Quiet Place” was particularly snubbed, though she was recognized at the 2019 SAG Awards.
In 2023, the competition for supporting actresses is fierce, but Blunt’s performance in “Oppenheimer” stands out.
As Kitty Oppenheimer, Blunt delivers a powerful and nuanced performance, conveying deep emotions with subtlety. Her talent ensures that she embodies each character she plays, making them unforgettable.

It’s time Hollywood acknowledges Blunt’s remarkable contributions and awards her the recognition she deserves.

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey created a unique identity by playing quirky and later deeper characters, yet he never won an Oscar for his exceptional performances.
In his classic Jim Carrey demeanor, he has no hard feelings about not receiving an Oscar nomination for his performance in “The Truman Show.” Speaking at the Television Critics Association, Carrey shared that he doesn’t feel “left out or passed over,” as these sentiments are imposed by others. He values creative and personal fulfillment over awards.
Carrey stated, “The Truman Show is its own gift,” emphasizing the truth behind the film and the honesty of the actors. The 1998 film was nominated for three Oscars, but Carrey believes its impact transcends awards.
Carrey seeks projects that are meaningful and creatively satisfying.

Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter

Helena Bonham Carter, who played Elizabeth Taylor in the BBC’s “Burton & Taylor,” got her start in a television commercial at 16.
She gained prominence in the 1985 film A Room with a View as “Lady Jane Grey”.
To avoid period-piece typecasting, Bonham Carter took on diverse roles in “Fight Club” (1999) and several Tim Burton films, including “Planet of the Apes,” “Corpse Bride,” and “Sweeney Todd.”
A SAG and BAFTA award winner, she has received Primetime Emmy nominations for “Merlin” (1998) and “Live from Baghdad” (2003), and Oscar nominations for “The Wings of the Dove” (1998) and “The King’s Speech” (2010).
With many huge accolades under her belt, she still never won an Oscar.

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston

Jennifer Aniston, a Hollywood icon, has spent most of her adult life in the spotlight and was reportedly eager to take on a more serious role to earn an Oscar nomination.

Aniston was at a high point in her career. She returned to her role as Audrey Spitz in “Murder Mystery 2” alongside Adam Sandler, for which she reportedly earned $10 million.

Aniston remained busy, starring in the hit Apple TV show “The Morning Show” with Steve Carell and Reese Witherspoon, earning $1.25 million per episode.

Despite her success, Aniston is reportedly determined to secure a prestigious Oscar-type role, with insiders claiming she has been “playing hardball” to achieve this goal.
Some close to her have suggested she needs a reality check, accusing her of wanting substantial rewards without taking significant risks.
Nonetheless, with a net worth of $300 million, Aniston continues to seek new challenges in her illustrious career.

Saoirse Ronan

Saoirse Ronan oscar nominations

Saoirse Ronan has been nominated for an Oscar four times but has yet to win.
She first gained attention for her role in “Atonement” (2007) at age 13, earning a nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
Over the years, Ronan has received critical acclaim, including 5 BAFTA nominations, 4 SAG nominations, and a Golden Globe win in 2018.
Her four Oscar-nominated performances showcase her versatility: “Atonement,” “Brooklyn” (2015), “Lady Bird” (2017), and “Little Women” (2019).
Despite facing tough competition, Ronan’s consistent talent suggests she will eventually secure an Oscar victory, hopefully.

Scarlett Johansson

Scarlett Johansson

An actress’s career is filled with pivotal decisions, some leading to success and others to regret.
In 2012, Scarlett Johansson, then a prominent actress, was excited about auditioning for Fantine in “Les Miserables.”
Despite her efforts, including auditioning with laryngitis, the role went to Anne Hathaway, whom Johansson praised for a stellar performance.
Hathaway’s casting sparked a wave of social media hate, particularly after her Golden Globes speech.
Defending herself, Hathaway later reflected on the experience, stating that enduring public backlash ultimately empowered her. She advised others to embrace and learn from adversity.

Nonetheless, Johansson continues giving memorable performances and still has an impactful screen presence. Her two Oscar nominations still put her into an elite group of actors.

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz, despite her immense popularity and success at the box office, has never received an Academy Award nomination.
From her breakout role in “The Mask” to iconic performances in “There’s Something About Mary” and “Being John Malkovich,” Diaz has consistently delivered memorable characters.
Her versatility, from romantic comedies to dramatic roles in films like “Gangs of New York” and “In Her Shoes,” showcases her range and talent. Despite critical acclaim, including Golden Globe and SAG nominations, Diaz remains overlooked by the Oscars, reflecting broader challenges Latinas face in Hollywood recognition. Her impact on cinema is undeniable, yet the elusive Oscar nomination continues to evade her.

Mark Ruffalo

Mark Ruffalo oscar nominations

Mark Ruffalo expressed his desire to win his first Oscar at this year’s ceremony but stated he wouldn’t mind losing to longtime friend Robert Downey Jr.
Ruffalo, 56, received his fourth Best Supporting Actor nomination for his role in Yorgos Lanthimos’s absurdist comedy sci-fi, “Poor Things.”
His competitors include Sterling K Brown, Ryan Gosling, Robert Downey Jr, and Robert De Niro.
Ruffalo praised Downey Jr’s talents and their collaboration in Marvel films and David Fincher’s Zodiac. This nomination places Ruffalo alongside Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino for the most Best Supporting Actor nominations. His film “Poor Things” leads with 11 Oscar nods this year.
Nonetheless, he still hasn’t managed to win a single Oscar throughout his prolific acting career.

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried received her first Oscar nomination for her role as Marion Davies in David Fincher’s “Mank,” which garnered 10 nominations, including Best Picture.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter after the news broke, Seyfried revealed she was in Georgia when she heard about the nominations.
Despite being a good sleeper, she stayed awake due to excitement and nerves. She described the nomination as a significant moment in her career, highlighting the recognition from her peers as affirming her career choices.
She had a more optimistic approach, even though she has become a household name, yet has never won an Oscar.
Seyfried emphasized her evolving preference for roles with strong scripts and skilled directors as she matures in her career and embraces more complex characters like mothers.

Ethan Hawke

Ethan Hawke oscar nominations

Ethan Hawke shared that after losing the Oscar for “Training Day,” Denzel Washington reassured him that not winning was actually better. Washington, a celebrated actor with ten nominations and two Oscars, told Hawke that losing helps elevate the prestige of the award. Washington’s advice was that an actor should enhance the award’s status, not the other way around.

Despite losing to Jim Broadbent in 2002, Hawke felt honored to compete alongside esteemed actors.

Hawke has since received multiple nominations, including Best Adapted Screenplay for “Before Sunset” and “Before Midnight,” and Best Supporting Actor for “Boyhood.”
He has also stepped behind the camera to direct and co-write films like “Wildcat.”

Keira Knightley

Keira Knightley oscar nominations

The talented actress has been a strong contender for the Oscar, being nominated twice, but she never won the prestigious award.
Keira Knightley is an actress and model from Britain.
She started her acting career as a child on television and appeared in her first film in 1995. She became well-known in 2002 after her role in the movie Bend It Like Beckham and attained global fame in 2003 through her roles in the Pirates of the Caribbean film series.
She was nominated for her lead roles in  Pride and Prejudice and The Intimation Game.

Liam Neeson

What is Liam Neeson Net Worth?

Liam Neeson was born on June 7, 1952, in Ballymena, Northern Ireland. He worked various jobs before pursuing acting, including as a forklift operator and an amateur boxer.
Initially aiming to become a teacher, he attended St. Mary’s Teaching College but switched to acting in 1976, joining Belfast Lyric Players’ Theater.
His breakthrough came in the film Excalibur (1981). Neeson gained Hollywood recognition with Darkman (1990) and Schindler’s List (1993), earning an Oscar nomination. Notable roles followed in Rob Roy (1995), Michael Collins (1996), and Star Wars: Episode I (1999).
He later became an action star with Taken (2008). Neeson was honored with an OBE in 1999 but never won an Oscar.

Sigourney Weaver

Sigourney Weaver oscar nominations

Sigourney Weaver lost the 1987 Best Actress Oscar to Marlee Matlin, reflecting the Academy’s bias against genre films.
Despite Weaver’s standout role in the sci-fi horror blockbuster “Aliens,” Matlin won for “Children of a Lesser God.” This loss highlighted the Academy’s longstanding reluctance to honor horror or sci-fi performances.
Weaver later commented on this prejudice in a 2022 interview. Her portrayal of Ripley in “Aliens” remains influential, proving that a well-crafted, female-centered action hero can inspire and endure.
Although the franchise’s success is due to many contributors, Weaver’s performance was crucial to its longevity and impact. She never won an Oscar, even though she gave commendable performances throughout her acting career.

Bill Murray

Bill Murray oscar nominations

Bill Murray, known for his comedic roles and hilarious movies, rarely takes on the serious roles that attract the Academy’s attention. However, he did receive a Best Actor nomination in 2004 for “Lost in Translation,” losing to Sean Penn. He hasn’t been nominated since.
But Murray has no desire to pursue an Oscar. In an interview, Murray stated he won’t campaign for his film “St. Vincent,” even if producer Harvey Weinstein wants him to.

“I’m not that way,” he said, likening the desire for awards to a virus. Though he hasn’t won an Oscar, Murray recalled being “infected” during his 2004 Best Actor nomination for “Lost in Translation.” He believes not winning was beneficial, noting that Oscar winners often struggle with their choices afterward, feeling compelled only to take on “Oscar-worthy” roles.

Glenn Close

Glenn Close oscar nominations

Glenn Close has been nominated for multiple Oscars over 40 years but has never won. She began her film career with a breakthrough role in “The World According to Garp” (1982), earning her first Oscar nomination. Despite her versatile talent in comedy and drama, Close has been nominated eight times without a win.
Some of her notable nominated performances include “The Big Chill” (1983), “Fatal Attraction” (1987), and “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988). Her latest nominations were for “Albert Nobbs” (2011), “The Wife” (2017), and “Hillbilly Elegy” (2020), where she lost to actors like Jessica Lange, Cher, and Youn Yuh-Jung.
Thus, making her the most Oscar-snubbed celebrity on our list.

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, despite her fame, was never nominated for an Academy Award. She longed to be recognized for her acting talent in both comedy and drama. Many don’t realize that the bubbly “Marilyn” persona was an act; she was incredibly intelligent. Her deep-seated need for love, stemming from childhood abandonment issues, was her main struggle. On the 48th anniversary of her death, she is still deeply missed.

Her performance as Pola Debevoise in “How To Marry a Millionaire” (1953) showcases her comedic skills. She is hilarious as the ditsy gold-digger, with impeccable comic timing. It’s sad that her abilities as a comedienne are often overshadowed by her hot image.

Her role as Sugar Kane Kowalczyk in Billy Wilder’s “Some Like It Hot” (1959) is one of her most iconic. Despite winning a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy, the Academy overlooked her performance. Her naive sexuality and excellent acting made this role unforgettable.

In “The Misfits” (1961), written by her then-husband Arthur Miller, Monroe gave a luminous and haunting performance. As a recently divorced woman among broken men, this final role allowed her to truly excel despite her mental health struggles.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams
Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams revealed that her first Oscar nomination for “Brokeback Mountain” at 25 left her creatively frozen due to the overwhelming attention.

Known for “Dawson’s Creek,” her role as Alma Beers Del Mar in the acclaimed film marked her as a serious actress.

The spotlight made her fearful of mistakes. Since then, Williams earned four more Oscar nominations for “Blue Valentine,” “My Week with Marilyn,” “Manchester by the Sea,” and “The Fabelmans.”

Playing a character based on Steven Spielberg’s mother in “The Fabelmans” was a significant honor, marking a pinnacle in her career. Yet she was consistently deprived of an Oscar win.

Jane Alexander

Jane Alexander oscar nominations

Jane Alexander (born 1939) is a distinguished American author, actress, and former chair of the National Endowment for the Arts.
Renowned for her theater career, she won a Tony Award for her Broadway debut in “The Great White Hope” (1968) and received seven Tony nominations.
Alexander also excelled in film, earning Academy Award nominations for roles in “The Great White Hope” (1970), “All the President’s Men” (1976), “Kramer vs. Kramer” (1979), and “Testament” (1983), showcasing her versatility and depth as an actress.

Her television work includes Emmy-winning performances in “Playing for Time” (1980) and “Warm Springs” (2005). A passionate conservationist, she authored “Wild Things, Wild Places” (2016), advocating for wildlife conservation globally. But the highly esteemed actress could never bag an Oscar.

Annette Bening

Annette Bening oscar nominations

Annette Bening, a veteran actress celebrated for her versatility, is anticipating her fifth Academy Award nomination for her role in “Nyad.” Reflecting on her journey since her first nomination in 1990 for “The Grifters,” Bening remains grounded despite accolades.
She’s known for her acclaimed performances in theater and film, with a notable legacy in Hollywood.
Despite being a versatile actress and humanitarian, she never won an Oscar award.
Her project, “Apples Never Fall,” showcases her dynamic range. Beyond her career, she addresses societal changes in Hollywood, emphasizing the importance of diversity and privacy. Bening’s outlook remains focused on her craft, her family, and gracefully navigating the evolving landscape of her profession.

Marsha Mason

Marsha Mason oscar nominations

Marsha Mason, originally focused on theater, stumbled into a Hollywood career with her breakout role in “Cinderella Liberty” (1973). Over a decade, she earned acclaim with three Golden Globe and four Oscar nominations, starring in films like “The Goodbye Girl,” “Chapter Two,” and “Promises Dark.”
Despite challenges, including a marriage to Neil Simon and navigating Hollywood’s youth-centric shift, Mason persisted. After exploring other passions like car racing and natural products, she returned to acting, finding renewed success on shows like “Grace and Frankie” and “The Middle.” Mason remains optimistic about industry changes and continues to thrive, even directing plays like Tennessee Williams’ “Talisman Roses.”
Yet, she was never awarded an Oscar.

Irrespective of the most heartbreaking Oscar snubs in Hollywood’s history, we are still hopeful that these well-deserving actors will get their due appreciation. Just like we were rooting for Leonard DiCaprio and Angela Bassett, who finally won their long overdue Oscar awards recently.
Even if the above mentioned stars don’t win, their movies and contribution to the industry have already left a significant mark!

Kanza Panhwar
Kanza Panhwar
Dr. Kanza Panhwar, the dynamic online writer, captivates readers in the digital realm. Armed with an MBBS degree, she crafts engaging content on diverse topics, from tech-savvy reviews, and insightful medical analysis to thought-provoking opinion pieces. With a conversational tone and colloquial expression, Jessica fosters a strong connection with her audience, while her adaptability keeps her at the forefront of the ever-evolving internet landscape for the past six years. Embracing the digital era's opportunities, she leaves an indelible mark on the virtual world, one captivating article at a time.

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