Top 10 Male Actors Who’ve Never Won An Oscar


As far as being acknowledged for a piece of work goes, an Oscar nomination is easily one of the most difficult to earn. That being said, year after year, there are front runners. The same, familiar faces we, as cinephiles, have come to expect great things from. And every year, as sure as the seasons change, one of these remarkable actors is fortunate enough to capture the gold statue. The talented men below, are not one of these lucky individuals. For whatever reason, the 10 men listed below can’t seem to close the deal. Granted, it isn’t for a lack of effort or quality, neither is it due to some misguided bias. It just so happens that every performance they’ve given that has eventually earned them this elusive recognition, has been trumped by another individual. Now, we may not unanimously agree on the winner yearly, but one thing we can all agree on, is the men listed below, should have some Oscar gold on their shelves.

The way I concluded on how to compile this top 10 is simple. Each actor mentioned in the top 10 has a performance I feel should have earned them an Oscar win. A lot of the men listed have been nominated, some more than once. Nonetheless, have yet to take home the hardware. As for the “still time” and “honourable mentions,” they might not have been nominated previously, but I still feel will win an Oscar in my lifetime.

Still Time:

Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Cillian Murphy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon.

Honourable Mentions:

Johnny Depp, John Travolta, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Ian McKellan, Joaquin Phoenix, Patrick Stewart.

Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!

10: Ed Harris – The Truman Show

A four-time Oscar nominee, Ed Harris just can’t seem to get the respect he deserves or be able to catch a break.


9: Edward Norton – American History X

“Fight Club,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “American History X,” Edward Norton has no shortage of great performances under his belt. Now, if he could just get that elusive win, we could all cross him off of our lists.


8: Bill Murray – Lost in Translation

His best chance to win the golden statue may have already passed with the release of “Lost in Translation.” But who knows, maybe he can surprise us once more and finally grab a victory.


7: Tom Cruise – Jerry McGuire

All Cruise craziness aside, he has stared in numerous films that should have garnered him at least one Oscar win, if not more.


6: Sam Rockwell – Moon

Many of you may not agree with this choice. Nonetheless, I feel Sam Rockwell has given the performance of our lifetime in “Moon” and should have been at least recognized for it, in my opinion, he should have been given the Oscar hands down.


5: Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction

Really? How did Jackson not win an Oscar for his performance in “Pulp Fiction?”


4: Liam Neeson – Schindler’s List

Another no-brainer. Liam Neeson is an outstanding actor, yet has not earned an Oscar.


3: Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

One of the most illustrious actors on this list, Mr. Oldman has only been nominated once. While it should have been more, his performance in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” should have gotten him the win.


2: Brad Pitt – 12 Monkeys

Now we are getting into ridiculousness. Take your pick, Pitt should have multiple Oscar wins, but has yet to receive his first, utterly insane.


1: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Aviator

Arguably one of the best actors to ever grace the big screen. Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar. WIth a plethora of performances that should have gotten him at least one win. We, as cinephiles can only hope he will be recognized for his work sometime in the near future.


Alright, that’ll do it for this week’s top 10, I sincerely hope you all enjoyed it. As always, if you feel I overlooked an actor or listed one that should have excluded from this list, please leave all comments and questions below. Everyone have an outstanding weekend!

About Joseph@thecinemamonster

Aspiring writer who absolutely adores film and television.

Posted on August 9, 2013, in Top 10s and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 36 Comments.

  1. Great post! Agree on most of your choices (not keen on Ed Harris; he’s good but never wowed me). But yeah, Oscars for Oldman, Neeson, Pitt, Jackson, Rockwell, Cruise, Norton and especially DiCaprio are LOOOONG overdue.

  2. Another awesome list, Joseph! I’d personally pick Sam Rockwell and Sam Jackson as my top 2, respectively. Funny thing is that I did not start liking DiCaprio until about Gangs of New York. He has certainly improved a lot as an actor since then. 🙂

    • Thanks so much! Another vote for Rockwell, we should start a petition or something :). DiCaprio always had it in him, just took some time to perfect. Nonetheless, he should have an Oscar already. One day hopefully.

  3. It’s mind-blowing that Tinker Tailor was Oldman’s FIRST nomination. Great list, though for sure. You all know how much I love Rockwell.

  4. Joaquin Phoenix , I am reallly surprised to not see him on the list, probably a mistake. James Woods (not dead), Paul Giamatti is the guy who got as robed as Ed Harris, Peter O’Toole (not dead either!), and Michael Shannon for everything Jeff Nichols.

    The sad parts for me are Jim Carrey and Bill Murray, the academy really doesn’t love comedy.

    • Yeah, I should add Phoenix to the honourable mentions. Completely forgot about him. Shannon should have won an Oscar for Take Shelter, 100%. Giamatti and Woods haven’t really done anything to garner a win, but that’s just my opinion.

      It truly sucks that Murray and Carey haven’t won. Carey should have won for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

      • Agree re: Carrey and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind; an Oscar-worthy performance from an actor who doesn’t seem in any hurry to produce anything anywhere near as good again.

  5. What do you think of Richard Gere? He definitely deserves an Oscar in my opinion. And I also think Sam Rockwell is one of the best actors around right now, he is extremely underrated. Great post, by the way!

  6. I agree with virtually every choice here, including Sam Rockwell. Great list.

  7. 1: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Aviator – I HATED DiCaprio until this movie – he was amazing – great pick.

  8. It’s Dave from Last Road Reviews. Can’t seem to login and the app is glitchy when I go to other people’s pages.

    I tried to comment yesterday doesn’t seem like it went through. Anyways great list. A lot of great picks. You could fill the entire list with DiCaprio. But his popularity and everyone knows he’s the best of his generation he doesn’t need the Oscar but would be nice.

  9. I wasn’t aware that Tinker Tailor was Oldman’s first and only nomination – give that man an Oscar now!! 😀
    Great list!

  10. Interesting list! Not sure ALL of them are deserving but the majority are. I’d love to see Leo get one one day. He’s never been a favorite actor of mine but I feel he’s unfairly overlooked, probably because he was once the “heart throb”. Would like to see Gary Oldman get one too. And Bill Murray in the right kind of role (please god not a Wes Anderson thing!).

  11. A very good list, I especially agree with Sam Rockwell. Though would also suggest Peter Sellers for ‘being There’. He was an enormously talented actor, and I feel should have finally got that fully deserved oscar for one of his final performances.

  12. I actually had a moment of confusion when I saw Cruise on the list because I was certain he’d won for Born on the Fourth of July, but I guess he was just lucky enough to be nominated. Damn shame about Oldman, I really feel that he should have nabbed one by now.

  13. For me, the fact that Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt and Jim Carrey don’t have Oscars is absolutely inexcusable. They practically define Hollywood!!! Very few are more famous, or more talented, than they are.

    Same goes for Liam Neeson and Gary Oldman too! Also, may I recommend that you add Richard Burton to your Honorable Mentions?

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