The Oscars is one of film’s most prestigious awards and not everyone gets to win one. If they did, then it wouldn’t be so important. In fact, only two actors per year can win an Oscar for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor, meaning that the other eight walk home with nothing.
We have seen some really great actors grace our screens. In fact, these actors are so good at what they do that they have been nominated for the Oscars several times. The sad part is they’ve never won an award. Everyone remembers the winner, not the person who came in second or third.
So here’s a list of 11 actors who’ve never won an Oscar, despite the fact that they are great at what they do. Do you think they were overshadowed or completely robbed despite their outstanding performances?
11 Tom Cruise
1990: Best Actor, Born on The Fourth of July
1997: Best Actor, Jerry Maguire
2000: Best Supporting Actor, Magnolia
Tom Cruise is one of the most deeply religious actors we know. If you would have told him 39 years ago that he would become one of the most sought after actors, not to mention one of the highest paid, he would have laughed in your face and told you he was destined to become a priest.
In 1990, Cruise embraced the Church of Scientology and claimed that its teachings had cured him of dyslexia. Despite the furor in his personal life, we still think he is a legitimate actor.
10 Samuel L Jackson
1995: Best Supporting Actor, Pulp Fiction
So, Jackson never won an Oscar, despite several memorable roles, but there are a few more fun facts about him you probably didn’t know. For instance, he was suspended from Morehouse College in 1969 after holding Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King hostage together with several other board of trustee members during a protest at the University. Yes, you read that right. They were protesting the university's failure to have a black studies program and black trustee board members. Guess he is not just a badass in his movies, is he?
9 Liam Neeson
1994: Best Actor, Schindler’s List
Neeson had originally wanted to become a teacher and he even attended St. Mary’s Teaching College in Newcastle, England. But in 1976, he decided to join the Belfast Lyric Players’ Theater where he made his professional acting debut. Two years later, he moved to Dublin’s Abbey Theater where John Boorman, who cast him in the film Excalibur, discovered him. Since then he’s done quite well for himself by taking up high profile roles in bug budget films like Clash of the Titans and The A-Team.
8 Will Smith
2002: Best Actor, Ali
2007: Best Actor, The Pursuit of Happyness
Okay, so we all know him as the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, but very few people know that Will Smith once nearly became bankrupt after spending all his money buying cars, houses and jewelry. He also once held the Guinness World Record for making the most public appearances in 12 hours before two German actors, Daniel Bruhl and Jurgen Vogel broke it.
We bet that you also didn’t know that his character as Agent J in Men In Black wasn’t originally written for a black man. Smith also went on record saying that he regrets making the film The Wild Wild West as well as turning down the role of Neo in The Matrix. He is also the first hip-hop artist to ever be nominated for an Academy Award.
Smith reached his adult height, 6’2”, when he was 13 years old, and has never grown taller since then (but he’s added a couple of pounds for sure). Even though Will Smith has never won an Oscar, we still acknowledge that he is still one of the greatest actors to ever grace our screens.
7 Johnny Depp
2004: Best Actor, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
2005: Best Actor, Finding Never Land
2008: Best Actor, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
People magazine named him “sexiest man alive” in 2003 and he doesn’t deny his interest in Jack the Ripper. Depp also loves watching animated movies with his daughter. As a child, he was allergic to chocolate and when he turned 16, he dropped out of high school to pursue a music career. He has one rule about signing autographs…
He doesn’t allow fans to take pictures of his kids. He was good friends with Hunter. S Thompson and he helped make his dying wishes come true: Thompson wanted his remains to be shot out of a 150 foot long canon.
6 Leonardo DiCaprio
1994: Best Supporting Actor, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
2005: Best Actor, The Aviator
2007: Best Actor, Blood Diamond
2014: Best Actor, Wolf of Wall Street
We know how diverse DiCaprio’s acting career has been. He came from very humble beginnings, starting by acting in low-budget horror movies and grew to become the leading man in Hollywood blockbusters. At the age of 10, his agent advised him to change his name to sound more American…something like Lenny Williams. Thank goodness he never took that advice. Leonardo DiCaprio has a ring to it unlike Lenny Williams.
As a child, DiCaprio had obsessive compulsive disorder. He and his mother lived in what he described as the “ghetto of Hollywood,” which basically means he lived in the poor Hollywood neighborhoods. His first on-screen kiss was with David Thewlis in Total Eclipse. He also once bought a Chanel handbag for his mother when he outbid Paris Hilton for it at a Cannes charity auction.
5 Harrison Ford
1985: Best Actor, Witness
Before becoming a superstar, Harrison Ford used to be a master carpenter, something he still does to this day as a hobby. During his early days as an actor, he fell on a gun during a stunt for a TV appearance. He consequently lost some of his teeth and had some fake ones put in.
He is listed in the 2001 Guinness book of Records as the richest male actor. His divorce from his ex-wife, Melissa Mathison, is the fourth most expensive divorce in the history of Hollywood, but at the time of their divorce, it was considered the most expensive divorce ever. He’s also a close friend and golf partner with former President Bill Clinton.
4 Richard Gere
Richard Gere has never been nominated for an Oscar, let alone even win one, and we know why: He was banned from the Oscars after making anti-China comments on-air during the 1993 awards ceremony.
He became a father for the first time at age 50, naming his son Homer James Jigme. During the Kosovo crisis, he visited Kosovo fugitives in F.Y.R.O.M. Despite the fact that he hasn’t eaten red meat for over 30 years, he still maintains he is not a vegetarian.
Gere's middle name is Tiffany, which is his mother’s maiden name.
3 Hugh Jackman
We all know he starred in X-Men as Wolverine, but did you know that according to the comic books, Wolverine stands at 5'3" and Jackman is taller by a whole foot? Jackman wears contacts and has extremely blurry vision when he isn’t wearing them. His brother-in-law played his stunt double in Van Helsing and X-Men. He holds the record of playing the same comic book character more times than any other actor.
A 47-year-old woman once threw an electric razor at him while he was at his Greenwich Village gym. Jackman had noticed the woman lurking around his Manhattan apartment building, but didn’t think anything of it until the woman unleashed her craziness.
2 John Travolta
1978: Best Actor, Saturday Night Fever
1995: Best Actor, Pulp Fiction
Apart from being an actor, Travolta is also an author and a musician. He wrote the book John Travolta Staying Fit and Propeller One-Way Night Coach, A Fable For All Ages. He’s also released several albums. Because of his wife’s intense love for horses, he bought a home in Ocala, Florida. He married his wife Kelly Preston twice because their first wedding was declared illegal. Can you believe they let a French scientologist minister officiate their wedding?
1 Bruce Willis
Did you know that Bruce Willis was the first actor to ever act in a video game? Yep, that was him in the Apocalypse. He was the first actor to do voice work along with having his movements and likeness added to a game.
He declared several times that he will not be doing any more “save the world” or action type movies. The last time he said that was in 2013, and it seems like he has stuck to his word.
Willis was one of the few celebrities that openly supported the war in Iraq. He even offered $1 million to the man who would capture Saddam Hussein. It turned out military rules don’t allow troops to collect such rewards.