It is hard to believe but an Oscar award was once only a $5 private dinner. Today winning an Oscar is an honor for a film star. Only two actors per year can pick this prestigious award. And there are brilliant and respected Hollywood actors who have earned Oscar nominations, but never won to everyone’s surprise. They never got one of the coveted golden statuettes despite delivering their spectacular performances. Is it bad luck? Nevertheless, many amazing actors never achieved this milestone.
Brilliant Living Actors Who Never Won An Oscar
Here is the list of five outstanding actors without an Oscar for all the movie buffs among our readers.
Sir Ian McKellen
Best known for his roles as Gandalf the Grey and Magneto, Sir Ian McKellen never received an Oscar award. His acting career spans seven decades and includes many memorable film roles in such films as King in Richard III, Gods and Monsters, as well as The Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit, and X-Men franchises. Even the people who aren’t movie buffs and rather gamble at Hellspin Casino would remember Sir Mccellen’s portrayal of Gandalf.
It is no wonder that he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his outstanding performances and has numerous awards, including a Golden Globe Award and six (!) Olivier Awards. He was also nominated for an Oscar in 1999 and 2002 as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor, but never picked the award. With so many awards and films Sir McKellen has undoubtedly proven to be an outstanding actor, and we hope the one will come his way.
Tom Cruise is arguably one of the biggest Hollywood stars and highest-paid actors. He starred in an incredible number of films, including such films as Mission Impossible, Top Gun, War of the Worlds, Rain Man, and Vanilla Sky. Since his first Oscar nomination in 1990 for the main role in Born on the Fourth of July, Tom Cruise was nominated for an Oscar as Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor in 1997, and 2000. These were his iconic performances in Jerry Maguire and Magnolia. But none of these portrayals gave him an Oscar. However, here’s hoping that Cruise gets his much-deserved Oscar soon.
Robert Downey Jr.
“Iron Man” of Hollywood, Robert Downey Jr. was twice almost one step away from the Oscar award, but he never won it. He was nominated for Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards in 1992 and 2008 for Chaplin and Tropic Thunder. Surprisingly stunning and touching performances by Robert Downey Jr. were never recognized by the Academy although Robert’s acting deserves much respect. But the actor does not give up: in 2024 he must be one of the Best Supporting Actor nominees for his portrayal of Lewis Strauss in Oppenheimer.
Nominated for the Best Actor three times, Johnny Depp also never nabbed a win for his charismatic portrayals. He gained recognition after his debut performance in the 1984 horror film A Nightmare On Elm Street and continued pleasing millions of fans with iconic roles. He got an award in 2003, 200and 5, 2008 for his roles in Pirates Of The Caribbean: The Curse Of The Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, and Sweeney Todd, a demon barber from Fleet Street.
Known for memorable comic roles and overly dramatic performances, Jim Carrey never won an Oscar. This Golden Globe winner also had never been nominated for an Oscar. This is after so many memorable roles in The Mask, The Truman Show, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and other films.
Many other amazing actors have not been honored with the prestigious Oscar. Other great actors without Oscars include John Malkovich, Ralph Fiennes, Liam Neeson, Harrison Ford, Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, Edward Norton, Steve Buscemi, Gary Oldman, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Bacon, Dennis Quaid, and Kurt Russell.
How these people never won an Oscar will always be a mystery! It remains only to wish all the talented actors creative success and an Oscar award.