OSCAR Trivia: Actors With the Most Oscar Nods, Fewest Wins

AddThis Social Bookmark Button

leonardo dicaprio

Sometimes, even the biggest A-list celebrities in the world can’t catch a break. An Oscar is considered one of the highest honors a creative can receive in Hollywood, but if history has proven anything it is even the deserving sometimes go home empty handed.

Hollywood, past and present, is filled with demonstrably talented artists who still haven’t received the coveted golden statuette. Many think that every notable actor has an Oscar on his mantle, or, if she's been nominated more than few times, that surely she's won by now.

Unfortunately, as our numbers show, you can be an Academy Award nominee more than half a dozen times and still lack a golden statue.

PrettyFamous compiled data from Gracenote to find actors who have (unbelievably) never won an Oscar, sorted by how many times they’ve been nominated. In the event of a tie, we ordered the list by the number of Wikipedia page views for each celebrity. Fortunately, for many of these talents, there’s still time to break the curse, including at this year’s 88th Annual Academy Awards ceremony on Feb. 28.

Charles Boyer

Nominations: 4

  • Actor - 1938 - "Conquest"
  • Actor - 1939 - "Algiers"
  • Actor - 1945 - "Gaslight"
  • Actor - 1962 - "Fanny"

Charles Boyer had female audiences swooning from his heartthrob roles throughout the '30s and '40s, but in real life he was a more reserved man than the Don Juans he played onscreen. He elevated his status as a character actor in the 1950s on Broadway and in television, staring in shows like “The Rogues” and “The Dick Powell Show.” Boyer retired from acting in 1970 to care for his ailing wife.

Marsha Mason

Nominations: 4

  • Actress - 1974 - "Cinderella Liberty"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 1978 - "The Goodbye Girl"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 1980 - "Chapter Two"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 1982 - "Only When I Laugh"

Born in St. Louis, Mo., Marsha Mason was a prolific stage actress, acting in the daytime CBS drama “Love of Life” before really beginning her film career in 1973 in “Blume in Love.”

Over the next few decades she had career-defining roles in “The Goodbye Girl,” “Heartbreak Ridge” and “Drop Dead Fred.” Since 2004, she has resurged in television as a guest star on series like “The Good Wife” and “The Middle.”

Jane Alexander

Nominations: 4

  • Actress - 1971 - "The Great White Hope"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1977 - "All the President's Men"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1980 - "Kramer vs. Kramer"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 1984 - "Testament"

Though she never won an Academy Award, Jane Alexander was nominated for numerous Tony Awards, winning one. She was most known for her period pieces and biopics, delving into subjects such as Watergate in “All the President’s Men” and playing the iconic Eleanor Roosevelt in several ABC movies about FDR’s life and presidency.

Throughout her life she was an active philanthropist and activist, serving on the boards of Women’s Action Against Nuclear Disarmament and Wildlife Conservation International.

Claude Rains

Nominations: 4

  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1940 - "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1944 - "Casablanca"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1945 - "Mr. Skeffington"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1947 - "Notorious"

Claude Rains was one of old Hollywood’s most prolific and memorable character actors of the '30s and '40s, and delivered some of the most iconic roles in Hollywood history, including Renault in “Casablanca.”

In the latter part of his life he landed fewer prolific roles, but his career ended on a high-note with supporting roles in “Lawrence of Arabia” and “The Greatest Story Ever Told.”

Rosalind Russell

Nominations: 4

  • Actress - 1943 - "My Sister Eileen"
  • Actress - 1947 - "Sister Kenny"
  • Actress - 1948 - "Mourning Becomes Electra"
  • Actress - 1959 - "Auntie Mame"

After nearly every other A-list actress in Hollywood turned down the female lead role in “His Girl Friday,” Rosalind Russell took the part and propelled herself into fame for subsequent films like “Gypsy” and “Auntie Mame.” Though she continued to enjoy success on film, she found even-greater reward on Broadway, winning a Tony for “Wonderful Town.”

After being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, Russell all but abandoned acting to focus on charity work, for which she won the 1972 Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

Agnes Moorehead

Nominations: 4

  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1943 - "The Magnificent Ambersons"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1945 - "Mrs. Parkington"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1949 - "Johnny Belinda"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1965 - "Hush ... Hush, Sweet Charlotte"

Agnes Moorehead made the transition from radio to cinema as the titular character’s mother in Orson Welles’ “Citizen Kane,” establishing the cruel nature of many of the characters she would subsequently play.

She was naturally a comedian, however, and it wasn’t until being cast in the role of Glendora on “Bewitched” that she was able to return to her roots. She died of lung cancer in 1974.

Barbara Stanwyck

Nominations: 4

  • Actress - 1938 - "StAlella Dallas"
  • Actress - 1942 - "Ball of Fire"
  • Actress - 1945 - "Double Indemnity"
  • Actress - 1949 - "Sorry, Wrong Number"

Born Ruby Catherine Stevens, Barbara Stanwyck was as unique in life as she was in her professional reputation. Known as one of the most versatile actresses in Hollywood’s golden era, and for playing some of the most memorable roles in cinema history (like Phyllis Dietrichson in “Double Indemnity” and Jean in “Lady Eve”), she became even more successful in television during the '50s and '60s.

After choosing some incredibly wise avenues to invest her earnings, Stanwyck became one of the richest women in the U.S. before her death in 1990.

Annette Bening

Nominations: 4

  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1991 - "The Grifters"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 2000 - "American Beauty"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 2005 - "Being Julia"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 2011 - "The Kids Are All Right"

Annette Bening was a Tony-nominated stage actress before ever stepping in front of the camera. Once in Hollywood, quickly established a reputation for delving into unexpected, emotional places with her characters, as seen in “American Beauty” and “The Kids Are All Right.”

As a rule, she never took on more than one project per year, allowing her to choose her films wisely and also balance her work with her family life. Bening sits on the Board of Governors for the Oscars.

Montgomery Clift

Nominations: 4

  • Actor - 1949 - "The Search"
  • Actor - 1952 - "A Place in the Sun"
  • Actor - 1954 - "From Here to Eternity"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1962 - "Judgment at Nuremberg"

Montgomery Clift was one of the first method actors to meet success in Hollywood. He avoided committing to any studio for nearly a decade, holding out for the right project — which would eventually become a starring role opposite film legend John Wayne in “Red River.”

Mickey Rooney

Nominations: 4

  • Actor - 1940 - "Babes in Arms"
  • Actor - 1944 - "The Human Comedy"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1957 - "The Bold and the Brave"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1980 - "The Black Stallion"

Mickey Rooney’s career began in the golden age of Hollywood, and was almost as long as his 94-year life. Born into a family of vaudeville performers, he worked prolifically for his entire life in an unbelievable array of films (from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” to “Night at the Museum”) until his death in 2014.

Ed Harris

Nominations: 4

  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1996 - "Apollo 13"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1999 - "The Truman Show"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2001 - "Pollock"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 2003 - "The Hours"

Ed Harris rose to A-list status at the end of the '80s and has enjoyed an incredibly versatile career, from deep character studies to big-budget blockbusters like “The Abyss,” raucous auctioneers like “The Rock” and even comedies. He starred in and directed the critically acclaimed “Pollock.” Harris has sat in the directing chair once more since for the sweeping Western film “Appaloosa.”

Ethan Hawke

Nominations: 4

  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 2002 - "Training Day"
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - 2005 - "Before Sunset"
  • Writing (Adapted Screenplay) - 2014 - "Before Midnight"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 2015 - "Boyhood"

Ethan Hawke is considered by some the quintessential Gen-X actor, starring in the generation-defining “Reality Bites” and favoring his own artistic explorations in small indie films, writing novels and founding his own theater company instead of going after big Hollywood paydays (though he occasionally went into this territory for films like “Gattaca” and “Training Day”). He is a frequent collaborator with director Richard Linklater.

Bradley Cooper

Nominations: 4

  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2013 - "Silver Linings Playbook"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 2014 - "American Hustle"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2015 - "American Sniper"
  • Best Picture - 2015 - "American Sniper"

Bradley Cooper has had an undeniable rise through the ranks in Hollywood, starting out as a commercial actor and working his way up through TV guest spots to memorable film roles like “The Hangover.” And even in that arena, he’s progressed from the leading man in a number of romantic comedies to serious, award-winning dramatic roles, including leads in “Silver Linings Playbook” and “American Sniper.” He’s been named one of People magazine’s Sexiest Men Alive, and is now expanding his role to be a formidable film and TV producer in his own right.

Note: Bradley Cooper was a producer for "American Sniper." Producers are the recipients of the best picture Oscar.

Arthur Kennedy

Nominations: 5

  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1950 - "Champion"
  • Actor - 1952 - "Bright Victory"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1956 - "Trial"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1958 - "Peyton Place"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1959 - "Some Came Running"

Originally discovered by James Cagney, Arthur Kennedy went on to perform in over 60 films throughout his illustrious career, including “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Elmer Gantry” and “The Man From Laramie.” Though he won a Tony Award for his work on the stage in “Death of a Salesman,” he never won an Oscar. He died on Jan. 5, 1990.

Irene Dunne

Nominations: 5

  • Actress - 1932 - "Cimarron"
  • Actress - 1937 - "Theodora Goes Wild"
  • Actress - 1938 - "The Awful Truth"
  • Actress - 1940 - "Love Affair"
  • Actress - 1949 - "I Remember Mama"

Though she hoped to become a famous opera singer, Irene Dunne’s singing, dancing and flair for comedy led her to a successful career on Broadway and the silver screen. She excelled in dramatic films like “Penny Serenade,” as well as musicals and comedies like “The Awful Truth,” making her one of the most multi-faceted performers of the '30s and '40s. Dunne is considered one of the finest American actresses never to have won an Academy Award.

Albert Finney

Nominations: 5

  • Actor - 1964 - "Tom Jones"
  • Actor - 1975 - "Murder on the Orient Express"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 1984 - "The Dresser"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 1985 - "Under the Volcano"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 2001 - "Erin Brockovich"

Albert Finney has been nominated for Academy Awards at every stage of his long and steady career. Originally known for being a sex symbol, the classically trained actor re-established himself as a serious performer when he transformed himself for the titular role for “Scrooge” in 1970. His career reached new heights at the turn of the Millennium, and led to roles in major studio films like “Erin Brockovich” and “Big Fish,” plus major roles in the Jason Bourne franchise with Matt Damon.

Kenneth Branagh

Nominations: 5

  • Actor in a Leading Role - 1990 - "Henry V"
  • Directing - 1990 - "Henry V"
  • Short Film (Live Action) - 1993 - "Swan Song"
  • Writing (Screenplay Based On Material Previously Produced or Published) - 1997 - "Hamlet"
  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 2012 - "My Week With Marilyn"

A true talent, Kenneth Branagh has had a great number of successes — as well as failures — both in front of and behind the camera. Once considered “the new Laurence Olivier,” whom he got to play in “My Week With Marilyn,” Branagh had a rocky early career as a director, his award-worthy projects equally matched with his unsuccessful turns.

His entire career rebounded after playing President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in HBO’s “Warm Springs.” His directing career has soared to new heights as well after directing the big-budget live-action adaptation of Disney’s “Cinderella.”

Amy Adams

Nominations: 5

  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 2006 - "Junebug"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 2009 - "Doubt"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 2011 - "The Fighter"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 2013 - "The Master"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 2014 - "American Hustle"

Hailing from Italy in a family of seven kids, Amy Adams first came to prominence for her work with fellow frequent Oscar nominee Leonardo DiCaprio in Spielberg’s “Catch Me if You Can.” Since then, she’s shined in a wide array of roles spread between dramatic, award-buzzy indies and big-budget studio blockbusters. She is currently playing the iconic Lois Lane in DC’s Extended Universe.

Thelma Ritter

Nominations: 6

  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1951 - "All About Eve"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1952 - "The Mating Season"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1953 - "With a Song in My Heart"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1954 - "Pickup on South Street"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1960 - "Pillow Talk"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1963 - "Birdman of Alcatraz"

Thelma Ritter enjoyed a long career as a supporting and memorable character actress in the golden age of Hollywood, especially for her performances in “Rear Window” and “All About Eve.” After enduring years onstage completely unrecognized for her work, she immediately shot to fame and success after her first onscreen role in “Miracle on 34th Street.” Far ahead of her time, she was a natural comedian and regarded as one of the best character actors to ever grace the screen.

Deborah Kerr

Nominations: 6

  • Actress - 1950 - "Edward, My Son"
  • Actress - 1954 - "From Here to Eternity"
  • Actress - 1957 - "The King and I"
  • Actress - 1958 - "Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison"
  • Actress - 1959 - "Separate Tables"
  • Actress - 1961 - "The Sundowners"

Deborah Kerr's career in performance began as a ballet dancer, but she was drawn to Hollywood early in her career. “It rhymes with star!” is how MGM introduced this ingénue to America. Originally from Scotland, Kerr’s beautiful red hair made for a stunning feature in director Michael Powell’s many Technicolor masterpieces, such as "The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp" and "Black Narcissus.” Her most enduring role was her work in “The King And I.”

Note: Deborah Kerr was awarded with an honorary Oscar by the academy.

Glenn Close

Nominations: 6

  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1983 - "The World According to Garp"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1984 - "The Big Chill"
  • Actress in a Supporting Role - 1985 - "The Natural"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 1988 - "Fatal Attraction"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 1989 - "Dangerous Liaisons"
  • Actress in a Leading Role - 2012 - "Albert Nobbs"

After her role in “The World According to Garp,” Glenn Close has spent her entire career at the top of Hollywood’s A-list, seamlessly moving from major film roles to Broadway, and even winning Emmys and Golden Globes for her roles in television series like “The Shield” and “Damages." Close intensely embodies the unusual characters she portrays, drawing from her own life to flesh out her performances.

Leonardo DiCaprio

Nominations: 6

  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1994 - "What's Eating Gilbert Grape"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2005 - "The Aviator"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2007 - "Blood Diamond"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2014 - "The Wolf of Wall Street"
  • Best Picture - 2014 - "The Wolf of Wall Street"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2016 - "The Revenant"

Leonardo DiCaprio’s career has gone through many phases, seeing him as a child actor destined for greatness in “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” a bonafide teen heartthrob, and now one of the boldest actors of our time who's led the cast of some stellar films like “Catch Me If You Can,” “J. Edgar” and “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Though he’s been nominated for six Oscars, he still hasn’t taken home an award from the academy. Given that he got a Golden Globe and SAG Award this year, many expect this curse to finally pass with his role in "The Revenant."

Note: Leonardo DiCaprio was a producer for "The Wolf of Wall Street." Producers are the recipients of the best picture Oscar.

Richard Burton

Nominations: 7

  • Actor in a Supporting Role - 1953 - "My Cousin Rachel"
  • Actor - 1954 - "The Robe"
  • Actor - 1965 - "Becket"
  • Actor - 1966 - "The Spy Who Came in From the Cold"
  • Actor - 1967 - "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?"
  • Actor - 1970 - "Anne of the Thousand Days"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 1978 - "Equus"

Classic literature provided much solace for Richard Burton during his rough start in Wales, and is what eventually propelled him into fame and fortune. Burton became known as one of the world’s foremost Shakespearean interpreters, a skill set that informed his work in other films like “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” His reputation as a dramatic actor was matched only by his notoriously stormy marriages to Elizabeth Taylor.

Peter O'Toole

Nominations: 8

  • Actor - 1963 - "Lawrence of Arabia"
  • Actor - 1965 - "Becket"
  • Actor - 1969 - "The Lion in Winter"
  • Actor - 1970 - "Goodbye, Mr. Chips"
  • Actor - 1973 - "The Ruling Class"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 1981 - "The Stunt Man"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 1983 - "My Favorite Year"
  • Actor in a Leading Role - 2007 - "Venus"

Peter O'Toole rose to stardom in one of the most legendary movies of all time, “Lawrence of Arabia.” Throughout his career, many of his roles were in stunning period pieces, and he most recently took this propensity to the small screen in Showtime’s “The Tudors.”

Note: Peter O'Toole was awarded with an honorary Oscar by the academy.

Overview of Actors Who've Never Won an Oscar

Compare Celebrities on PrettyFamous

Haute Tease

  • Please Stand By Review – Unexpectedly Charming, Uplifting, A Trekki Fan Finds Hope and Courage

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Please Stand By, from Magnolia Pictures, presents the story of an functional autistic girl obsessed with Star Trek who decides to enter the script writing contest and her journey to make the deadline despite her beliefs of limitation.

  • LONDON TERROR ATTACK: SKY News Reports Suspect ID; Nineteen Injured in Early Morning Explosion

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A crude, partially detonated, bomb exploded on the Parsons Green Tube Line in London, injuring nineteen people and causing mass panic and a stampede as terrified commuters rushed out the open doors to escape the fireball.

  • Beltway Insider: G-7 Leaders Present United Agenda; U.S. Ukraine Pledge Loyalty; May Job Numbers

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and the leaders of the G-7 met this week to discuss Climate, Food Scarcity, Energy, and Terrorism issues central to all nations in the search for solutions to these long term concerns that erode mankind's hope and the pursuit of betterment.

  • Beltway Insider: Clinton to Testify; December Job Numbers; Lawmakers Buy Time with Soft Deal; Sandy Hook Students Back

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    The Obama White House, led by Vice President Biden, and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, rejoiced over bi-partisan deal that averted the possibility of a fiscal cliff tumble and government meltdown.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Wins; Putin; Greece; Tunisia; Boston Bomber; James Taylor; James Horner

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama and German Chancellor Merkel reacted swiftly in a rare Sunday call to the news of the impending bank failure in Greece and agreed to assist the Eurozone to bring the nation back from the brink of financial failure.

  • 'Tis The Season New York Review - A Lovely Holiday Visit To New York City

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    'Tis the Season New York, by Betsy Pinover Schiff and published by Schiffer Books, presents a holiday lovers view of Manhattan and the surrounding five boroughs during the most festive and colorful time of the year.

  • Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger Review – Explosive, Stunning, Powerful

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    "Whitey: United States of America v. James J. Bulger," from Magnolia Pictures and CNN Films, presents a haunting account of DOJ corruption that enabled the most notorious mobster in recent history to rule South Boston for more than three decades.

  • London Tour Dates for Wendy James, Feral Love, Winter 1982 & The Stone Roses Drop New Tunes

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    A quick look inside, Wendy James tour dates begin in London’s Brooklyn Bowl, Feral Love and Winter 1982 both released singles and Simon Wolstencroft is busy with both memoir and new music with former bandmates The Stone Roses.  

  • Beltway Insider: Obama, Romney Meet for Lunch; US Headed for Fiscal Cliff; UN Votes in Favor of Palestinian State

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Barack Obama played host, this week, to former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney during a private lunch that brought the once political foes together for the first time since the November 6 election.

  • 21 AND OVER Review - Boys Gone Wild College Style

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    21 AND OVER, from Mandeville Films, Virgin Produced and Relativity Media, brings to the screen a boys gone wild college style sophomoric romp from Directors Jon Lucas and Scott Moore.

  • The Tonight Show Transition: Ageism versus Popularity

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Well, its official, after no less than the second major late night shake-up in almost as many years, Jimmy Fallon will in fact be taking over NBC’s The Tonight Show from Jay Leno as of 2014. Of course, to call its departing host of more than twenty years anything less than polarizing would be inaccurate, but still, this just feels a bit wrong.

  • Peter Lord, Director of Sony's The Pirates! Band of Misfits, Talks on Upcoming Release

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    THE PIRATES! Band of Misfits, a Sony Pictures Animation, Columbia Pictures and Aardman Animation film, directed by Peter Lord is hoisting sails preparing to launch for its upcoming spring release.

  • Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children Review – An Oddly Inviting Trip From the Genius of Tim Burton

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children, from 20th Century Fox and Chernin Entertainment, brings to the screen an odd tale of gifted children, their unique house mistress, a wayfaring, time traveling, stranger and a race against the clock.

  • JOY Review - Inspiring, Hopeful, A Triumph

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    JOY, from 20th Century FOX, presents the true story of Joy Mangano, a divorced single mother and brilliant inventor trapped by circumstance creates, markets and sells the Miracle Mop while enduring tremendous personal, emotional and financial setbacks.

  • Beltway Insider: Obama Heads to Middle East; Senate To Vote On Gun Control; CPAC Meets; Sequester Impacts Until 2021

    AddThis Social Bookmark Button

    President Obama departs this week on his first foreign trip of his second term and will meet with several heads of state including the newly formed leadership of the now recognized Palestinian State.