Top 10 Actors that Failed to Win an Oscar

There are many stellar actors who, in spite of their impressive work, have failed to win the Oscar award. One cannot deny the impressive talent of actors such as Russell Crowe, Morgan Freeman, Jack Nicholson, Denzel Washington and the like. The following is a list of those actors who have not still won the elusive Oscar even though their work deserves true credit in the form of an Oscar award.

1. Johnny Depp

Depp, Johnny

This actor is a true icon in the field of acting who has earned three Oscar nominations but no wins whatsoever. His performances as a drug addict who yearns for his daughter in Blow, a homicidal barber in Sweeney Todd, a social misfit in Benny and Joon etc are fantastic. The actor has brought unparalleled depth, versatility and originality in the world of acting. He richly deserves the number 1 spot.

2. Edward Norton

Edward Norton

Even in his first role as “Aaron Stampler” in Primal Fear the actor grabbed everyone’s attention because of his acting prowess. Since then, the actor has played various roles, such as ex-con in Rounders, the gambling addicted, a drug dealer in The 25th Hour, the unnamed character and narrator of Fight Club and his most powerful role as “Derek Vinyard”, a young white supremacist.

3. Leonardo Dicaprio

Leonardo Dicaprio

This actor has given memorable performances in the movies such as Titanic, What is Eating Gilbert Grape?, This Boy’s Life, The Basketball Diaries, Gangs of New York, Man in the Iron Mask, Catch Me If You Can and lost more. The actor has earned three nominations but no wins.

4. Christian Bale

Christian Bale

It is hard to believe that this great actor has not won a single Oscar award. He gave a jaw dropping performance in the movie American Psycho where his role was simply amazing. He proved his versatility donning various roles such as Trevor Reznik in the Machinist, John Preston in Equilibrium and as Dan Evans in 3:10 to Yuma.

5. Djimon Hounsou


The dynamism, talent and authenticity of this actor is truly brilliant. He gave a superb performance as “Cinque” in Amistad. This was followed by a memorable yet small role in Gladiator. The actor earned his first Oscar nomination for his role as “Mateo” in the movie In America and the second nomination for his role as “Solomon Vandy” in Blood Diamond.

6. Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

This actor is a real “heartthrob” for many of his loyal fans. His role as a charismatic and sexy thief “J.D.”, in Thelma & Louise made him a well-known actor and lots of attention. He acted superbly in Detective Mills which made critics to sit up and take notice. He proved his talent in the movie’s climax scene. He earned his only Oscar nomination for his role as borderline insane “Jeffrey Gaines” in 12 Monkeys.

7. Will Smith

Will Smith

He is one of the wittiest and charming people to have made it to Hollywood. When he entered Hollywood as a new actor and launched onto the acting scene in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, nobody ever knew about the great acting talent he possessed. He experienced great success in the Bad Boys, which gave people some insight into his great acting talent.  Movies like Men in Black, Independence Day and Enemy of the State followed, heralding the actor’s position as a big star. His role as Muhammad Ali transformed him into a super star and earned him his first Oscar nomination. The Pursuit of Happiness gave Smith another nomination.

8. Joaquin Phoenix

Joaquin Phoenix

This actor became famous as “Garry Buckmann” in Parenthood (1989). He also had other equally impressive roles namely inventing the Abbotts and Walk the Line, “Commodus” in 2000’s Gladiator which earned him Oscar nominations. This actor truly deserves an Oscar and his fans might cry for the sheer joy of it if he wins one.

9. Tom Cruise

Tom Cruise

A native New Yorker, the actor’s popular works include Magnolia, Interview with the Vampire, Born on the fourth of July, Jerry Maguire, Collateral, Rainman and The Last Samurai. He earned Oscar nominations for three of these films, but failed to win any. Viewers who have seen Born on the Fourth of July or The Last Samurai have been floored by the actor’s superb talent.

10. Viggo Mortensen

Viggo Mortensen

This actor has been in many popular movies where he has given superb performances. His list of notable movies includes The Prophecy, Eastern Promises, A History of Violence, Crimson Tide and the truly impressive The Lord of the Rings trilogy. The actor pushing 50 years has a timeless charisma. He won his one and only Oscar nomination for his role of “Nikolai” in Eastern Promises, a nomination that was well-deserved.

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3 Responses

  1. caro

    it’s a good “sad” list! AA waited 6 nods to give a Oscar for Kate Winslet and Bale even never was nominated for anything(even Gloden Globe or Bafa)


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