There is no award out there for film actors that is more prestigious than an Oscar. The actors, actresses, producers and directors who walk home with Academy Awards join an exclusive group of some of the best in film. However, there are plenty of outstanding actors and actresses who have had immensely successful and lucrative careers, but that Academy Award has eluded them time and time again. This list will look at 10 of the best actors and actresses out there who you won’t believe have never won an Oscar!
10. Joaquin Phoenix
This multi-talented Hollywood star has skills in a wide variety of areas. In fact, the man is not only a talented actor, director and producer, but is also an artist and musician who won a Grammy award for best soundtrack for his role in Walk the Line, in which he portrayed Johnny Cash. Phoenix is a huge supporter in various social activism causes and has been a vegan since the age of three. He is known by a lot of people for his sometime erratic and strange behavior, but there is no doubting he is one of the most talented and varied actors of our generation and definitely deserving of an Oscar.
9. Amy Adams
Despite flying under the radar for most people, she is undoubtedly one of the most talented actresses in Hollywood. Although she rarely plays the “lead” actress in a film, she has received critical acclaim and praise for a number of her films. This acclaim has translated to her name being thrown around a lot during awards season, as she has received some Academy Awards nominations but has not yet been able to win one. This is a travesty, as she has put on many memorable performances that have stolen the show from her higher profile co-stars. We think it is just a matter of time before she wins the elusive Academy Award.
8. Liam Neeson
Liam Neeson is without a doubt one of the most badass actors on the planet. The Irish-born actor has been in the business for nearly 40 years and has starred in some of the best movies out there. He first rose to prominence in the acting community for his role in the Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar winning film Schindler’s List. After that he starred in a number of different hits and is likely best known in recent years for his role in the Taken series. Throughout the years, Neeson has accumulated a number of nominations and accolades from some of the biggest awards shows out there, but the Academy Award has eluded him to this day.
7. Glenn Close
Glenn Close is one of the finest actresses of all time and has been active in the business since the early 1970s. Throughout her long and illustrious career, she has received almost constant critical acclaim for her versatility and talent as an actress. Her acclaim has translated into a plethora of award recognition as she has been nominated for 14 Emmy awards, 14 Golden Globes and six Academy Awards, which ties the record for the most nominees for an actress without winning an Oscar. She is also a proponent of getting rid of the stigma surrounding mental illness by founding BringChange2Mind.
6. Gary Oldman
Oldman is an acclaimed actor who is thought to be perhaps the best British actor of his generation. One of the highest grossing actors of all time, he has appeared in a number of blockbuster films such as The Dark Knight films and the Harry Potter series. He is praised in Hollywood and among fans and critics for his diversity as an actor and his “big” acting style. In fact, his command of accents is one of the best in the business. He has received numerous award nominations (including an Academy Award nod) and has picked up some wins, but has never been able to secure an Oscar throughout his illustrious and successful career.
5. Samuel L. Jackson
Samuel L. Jackson is one of the most recognizable figures in Hollywood and has appeared in an abundance of successful films. In fact, he is actually the highest grossing actor of all time with over $4.5 billion in total box office earnings for his films. He is known for his big personality with almost every character he portrays and for his intensity on screen. Jackson himself has said he prefers roles that are exciting to watch, which we agree with! He has been nominated for an Academy Award before (for his role in Pulp Fiction) but ultimately didn’t win. Though a guy with his resume and star power definitely deserves to get the ultimate prize an actor can win, we don’t think he worries too much about it as he is one of the most recognizable and successful stars out there and doesn’t need a piece of metal to prove it.
4. Leonardo Dicaprio
We know this one gets talked about all the time, but it had to be included because of how crazy it is that Dicaprio hasn’t won one. He has appeared in films from a wide range of genres and is known for his ability to play practically any type of character, since he is capable of adopting almost any accent. He has been nominated for a multitude of different awards and has had his fair share of wins, but hasn’t been able to turn his four Academy Award nominations into a victory. However, his role in the upcoming film The Revenant has people buzzing that it could potentially be his first Oscar win.
3. Johnny Depp
Depp is without argument one of the biggest movie stars of all time and is always near the top of the list of the highest paid actors in Hollywood. For the majority of his career, Depp has taken on mainly “larger than life” characters that are quite challenging and usually a bit strange, but he has also had numerous critically acclaimed roles and has been nominated for almost every award out there. Unfortunately for Depp, he has never been able to secure a win at the Oscars, but he doesn’t seem to mind as he has recently said that he doesn’t care to ever win one.
2. Tom Cruise
When you think of an action movie star over the past quarter century, you likely think of Tom Cruise. Cruise has been in many successful films throughout his career, including Top Gun and the Mission Impossible series. Throughout his career, he has been one of the most talked about and publicized stars in Hollywood, likely due to his ties to Scientology and related events. His films have grossed billions of dollars and he is near the top of the “highest paid actors” lists every year. But despite all of this success throughout his career, he has yet to win an Academy Award, although he has been nominated three times.
1. Will Smith
And the number one actor that you wouldn’t believe has never won an Oscar is none other than Will Smith. Smith is one of the most talented individuals in Hollywood. He began his career as a rapper and TV actor and soon went on to be one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. He is the type of actor that hasn’t made many bad movies during his career and has been called the most bankable star in Hollywood. In fact, as of 2014, 17 of the 21 films in which he is the lead have grossed more than $100 million, with five of those grossing over $500 million. He has done about all you can do in Hollywood, except win the Oscar, as he is 0-2 in his two Oscar nominations. But his buzzed about role in the upcoming film Concussion could finally be his ticket to a win!