Oscar Losers – And the Nominees are…

Oscar Losers – And the nominees are…
Actors that Never Won

February 28th, 2016: a day that will live in infamy. After years of struggle and loss – a lifetime of being denied what seemed to be his over and over again – Leonardo DiCaprio finally won an academy award.

Leo screams memeAnd the internet lost one its most beloved memes

Yes, when Leo finally walked away with that Oscar gold, it seemed as if good finally triumphed evil. From his debut in television commercials in the early 1990s to his first nominated performance in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, to Titanic and beyond, Leo’s Best Actor award for his performance in The Revenant  was the culmination of a  lifetime of hard work was rightly rewarded. You can basically think of it as a modern fairy tale. Life, however, isn’t always a fairy tale and sometimes those who deserve recognition simply do not win. Sure, Leo may have finally gotten his time in that glorious golden spotlight, but for every Leo, there’s plenty of others in the business – wonderfully talented people – who left Hollywood without a competitive Oscar to call their own. Although, to be fair, some did manage to snag a Lifetime Achievement Award before  their time was up.

So, let’s hear it for all of the deserving losers out there. All of those actors and actresses who put their all into their work and yet somehow the Academy left them hanging. That said, here’s to some of our beloved losers…


Angela Lansbury

Angela Lansbury The Manchurian CandidateLansbury in The Manchurian Candidate (1962, director John Frankenheimer)


Best Supporting Actress: 1945, Gaslight

Best Supporting Actress: 1946, The Picture of Dorian Gray

Best Supporting Actress: 1962, The Manchurian Candidate


Richard Burton

Ricahrd burton whos afradi of V WBurton with Elizabeth Taylor in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf (1966, director Mike Nichols)


Best Supporting Actor: 1953, My Cousin Rachel

Best Actor: 1954, The Robe

Best Actor: 1965, Becket

Best Actor: 1966, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold

Best Actor: 1967, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf

Best Actor: 1970, Anne of the Thousand Days

Best Actor, 1978, Eqqus


 Montgomery Clift

Montgomery Clift A Place in The SunMonty in A Place in the Sun (1951, director George Stevens)


Best Actor: 1949, The Search

Best Actor: 1952, A Place in the Sun

Best Actor: 1954, From Here to Eternity

Best Supporting Actor: 1962, Judgment at Nuremburg


 Deborah Kerr

Deborah Kerr The King and IKerr in The King and I (1956, director Walter Lang)


Best Actress, 1950, Edward, My Son

Best Actress: 1954, From Here to Eternity

Best Actress: 1957, The King and I

Best Actress: 1958, Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison

Best Actress:  1959, Separate Tables

Best Actress: 1961, The Sundowners


 Peter O’ Toole 

Peter O'Toole Lion in WinterO’Toole In The Lion in Winter (1969, director Anthony Harvey)


Best Actor: 1964, Lawrence of Arabia

Best Actor: 1965, Becket

Best Actor: 1969, The Lion in Winter

Best Actor: 1970, Goodbye, Mr. Chips

Best Actor: 1973, The Ruling Class

Best Actor: 1981, The Stunt Man

Best Actor: 1983,  My Favorite Year

Best Actor: 2007, Venus


 Robert Mitchum

Robert Mitchum The Story og G.I JoeMitchum in  The Story of G.I Joe (1945, director William A. Wellman)


Best Supporting Actor: 1946, The Story of G.I Joe


 Thelma Ritter

Themla Ritter All About EveRitter In All About Eve (1950, Joseph L. Mankiewicz)


Best Supporting Actress: 1951, All About Eve

Best Supporting Actress: 1952, The Mating Season

Best Supporting Actress: 1953, With a Song in My Heart

Best Supporting Actress: 1954, Pickup on South Street

Best Supporting Actress: 1960, Pillow Talk

Best Supporting Actress: 1963, Birdman of Alcatraz


Cary Grant

Cary Grant None but the Lonely HeartGrant With Ethel Barrymore in None But the Lonely Heart (1944, director Clifford Odets)


Best Actor: 1942, Penny Serenade

Best Actor: 1945, None but the Lonely Heart


Fred Astaire

Fred Astaire Towering InfernoAstaire with Jennifer Jones in Towering Inferno (1974, director Irving Allen)


Best Supporting Actor: 1975, Towering Inferno


Myrna Loy 

Myrna LoyLoy in the studio. Because she was never nominated

Never even nominated. Not even for The Best Years of Our Lives. SMH.


Minoo Allen for Classic Movie Hub

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9 Responses to Oscar Losers – And the Nominees are…

  1. robert falls says:

    there were two actors left out that got nominations and didn’t win-james dean and john garfield.

  2. Edward G. Robinson – so many deserving nominations – well, anyway, so many deserving performances.

  3. tom says:

    To me, the most egregious omission is Glenn Close. She’s largely gone from movies now, and doing quite well on television, but during the mid-Eighties, she was one of the best around. Seriously: Fatal Attraction? Dangerous Liaisons (my personal favorite)? Amazing performances. No Oscar.

    Another fun game is, “Wait, _____ has an Oscar, but _______ doesn’t??” That’s especially fun when you look at Best Director. Actors Redford, Costner, Gibson, Eastwood, and Beatty all won Best Director Oscars before Martin Scorcese. (Depressing bonus points if you consider that neither Stanley Kubrick nor Orson Welles ever won Best Director (Screenplay and Visual Effects, respectively, but not the big one))

    I’ll give Warren Beatty and Clint Eastwood theirs–Reds is a severely underappreciated epic, and The Unforgiven was one of many excellent Eastwood films. But Redford’s “Ordinary People” over Scorcese for “Raging Bull?” Ummm. That’s kind of a tough one, because Ordinary People is truly an excellent film. But ye gods, Kevin bloody Costner’s new age social studies lesson “Dances with Wolves” over Scorcese for “Goodfellas”? Ridiculous. Nobody has mentioned “Dances with Wolves” in years, and “Goodfellas” appears regularly on Top Ten lists. Oops.

    Plus, Cher, Whoopi Goldberg, and Marisa Romeo have acting Oscars they hardly deserve. Yuk.

    Hollywood can be very political when it comes to the little golden guy. Denzel Washington won for Training Day, which was a fine, if not Oscar-worthy, performance. But he beat out Russell Crowe for “A Beautiful Mind,” possibly his greatest performance, and really, one for the ages. Why? Because this was when the Oscars were later in the season. Oscar voters made their selections after the BAFTA’s were awarded, and the temperamental Mr. Crowe ended up in a physical altercation with a BAFTA producer who cut him off while Crowe read a poem. I have no doubt this is why he was snubbed here. “A Beautiful Mind” won Picture, Director, Screenplay, and Supporting Actress, but the entire movie hinged on his performance. He was robbed.

    Jack Nicholson has three Oscars, but how could he not win for A Few Good Men?

    Sometimes, I think the Oscars’ main reason for existence is to give movie geeks like us something to argue about.

    I agree with your list, especially Peter O’Toole. We’ll see what horrors await us this year. Thanks for the post.

  4. Chris Teel says:

    All were deserving of the award, however O’Toole losing for Lawrence Of Arabia was an absolute travesty.

  5. Shelia says:

    Richard Burton and Cary Grant were my surprises…well and Leonardo. But as we know, popularity does not equal Academy deservement…well except amongst their circle.

  6. M.T. Fisher says:

    Lansbury’s non-win for 1962 was criminal.

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