Being a famous movie star usually equates to winning a lot of major awards, including the most coveted and most prestigious, The Academy Award. The actors on this list are all famous; they have done a lot of good work, both in drama and comedy, but they’ve never been truly rewarded for it. They’ve played roles in films that have won Best Picture Oscars, and they’ve watched their co-stars walk away with golden statues. There is no doubt that winning an Oscar validates an actor’s entire career. It’s obvious why some of these actors have never been nominated, but with others it’s just head-scratching why they’ve been overlooked, possibly more than once. Although they may win a score of other awards, without an Oscar nomination, we can’t help but wonder if they feel as though their careers hang in the balance.
10. Meg Ryan
With over 47 credits listed on IMDB, she has not a single Oscar nomination. When Harry Met Sally is her iconic role and it did garner her a Golden Globe nomination, but that seems to be as prestigious as it gets so far for Meg Ryan. Being the Rom-Com Queen definitely has its downside, though. She has done serious roles, like portraying an alcoholic in When A Man Loves A Woman, but that apparently wasn’t good enough for The Academy. Ryan hasn’t acted much in a while, but here’s hoping she returns to the screen and does something that The Academy notices.
9. Drew Barrymore
Yes, America’s Favorite Sweetheart has acted in a slew of pleasing rom-coms during her 30+ career, but she’s also done more serious roles. Drew Barrymore’s performance in the HBO movie, Grey Gardens won her a Golden Globe and got her an Emmy nomination. So, she has it in her to do more challenging work, yet, she sticks with duds like this year’s Blended, which will only likely get her a Razzie nomination. Try to stay away from Adam Sandler, Drew!
8. John Goodman
Best known for his character Dan Conner on the TV show Roseanne, John Goodman won many awards for it, except an Emmy (He was nominated seven times with no wins). Goodman had pivotal supporting roles in the two consecutive Best Picture winners: The Artist (won in 2012) and Argo (won in 2013) but somehow failed to get nominated, despite co-stars Alan Arkin (Argo) being nominated and Jean Dujardin (The Artist) winning. Maybe someday The Academy will stop overlooking his brilliant film work.
7. Scarlett Johansson
Some critics thought that her voice as the operating system, Samantha in Her, demanded an Oscar nomination, but alas, she was passed over. She’s not even 30 yet, but many ingenues younger than her already have a golden guy (ie: Jennifer Lawrence). She’s been nominated for four Golden Globes and won a BAFTA (The British equivalent to an Oscar) for Lost in Translation, a movie that won an Oscar for Best Screenplay and got Bill Murray nominated. The Oscars also overlooked her work in Woody Allen films, Vicky Cristina Barcelona (co-star Penélope Cruz won an Oscar) and Match Point. Lately, she’s been doing riskier roles, like in Under the Skin, but those types of roles may seem too strange for Oscar to consider.
6. Cameron Diaz
Diaz has been nominated for four Golden Globes, but has won a total of zero. Her most award-worthy work has been in Being John Malkovich and Vanilla Sky, the former got nominated for three Oscars, including a Best Supporting Actress nod to co-star, Catherine Keener. Diaz has at least won four out of four Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, several critics awards for Sky and has been nominated for a whooping 16 MTV Movie Awards. But, her new movie, Sex Tape probably won’t be Oscar bait.
5. Donald Sutherland
This master thespian has been around a long time—acting for over 50 years, in fact. Sutherland currently has 176 acting credits on IMDB, which is very impressive. You’d think for someone who’s been around long enough and has starred in Oscar-winning films like Ordinary People, Klute and MASH, he would at least have received one nomination. It’s in the odds, right? Ordinary People not only won Best Picture, but it garnered Mary Tyler Moore, Timothy Hutton (winner) and Judd Hirsch nominations.
4. Marilyn Monroe
The iconic actress died at the young age of 36 years old, so maybe if she would’ve lived longer, a Golden Guy would’ve been in her future. When she was alive, though, she was known as a blonde bombshell. She was sexy and funny but people didn’t take her seriously. She starred in Oscar-winning films like, All About Eve and Some Like It Hot—which actually won her a Golden Globe—and was working on Something’s Got To Give before she passed away. It’s unfortunate that we will never know what might have been.
3. Richard Gere
A prolific actor since the ’70s, Gere’s last recognition was a 2013 Golden Globe nomination for Arbitrage. What’s crazy is Gere starred in Chicago, a movie that won Best Picture and got cast members John C. Reilly, Queen Latifah, Renee Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones Oscar nominations (Zeta-Jones won). How could The Academy condone his fine work? Although, he has won an Independent Spirit Award, a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Hollywood Film Festival and an Ensemble SAG Award for Chicago, so let’s not feel too sorry for him.
2. Jim Carrey
Why The Academy overlooks him, time and time again, is a mystery. A lot of comedians (ie: Tom Hanks) transition to serious roles and rack up awards. The only conclusion is The Academy must not like him. Carrey turned method portraying Andy Kaufman in Man On the Moon (which won him a Golden Globe and many critics awards), and got semi-serious in The Truman Show (another Globe for Carrey). His work in the Oscar-winning Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind was glanced over, even though his co-star, Kate Winslet got a nomination. At least he’s won six Kids’ Choice Awards, a few MTV Movie Awards and he’s presented at the Oscars, so it’s not all bad. But, it’s understandable why he sticks to silly comedies these days.
1. Kevin Bacon
The irony is, everybody that Bacon has been connected to has been nominated or won an Oscar, except for him. The Following actor has made a tremendous career in just 78 acting credits, including appearances in Oscar-winning films Apollo 13 and Mystic River. He did win a Golden Globe for his performance in a TV movie called, Taking Chance. He also won two SAG Awards and has a Walk of Fame star, but still no Oscar nominations. Maybe if he played a mentally-challenged character, he’d finally get The Academy’s attention.