Actors who have never won an Oscar (but deserved it)

The Academy Awards, otherwise known as the Oscars, has traditionally been considered one of the most coveted awards an actor can receive. Numerous actors have received recognition from the Academy, and yet some, despite all expectations and their talent, are still waiting for their award. It has become a long-standing joke among actors such as Leonardo DiCaprio, who was notoriously deprived of the award until his performance in The Revenant earned him his first Oscar in 2016. Although many famous actors receive recognition at other ceremonies, it is still confusing to see those who did not receive an Oscar award. This is a list of brilliant, well-deserved actors who have come close in the last few years, or deserve to win.

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8 Bradley Cooper

Bardley Cooper spray on tan - A Star Is Born

Bradley Cooper has certainly earned Oscar buzz through his career, but has unfortunately not taken one home yet. He was nominated for eight Oscars, many stemming from his directorial debut with Lady Gaga, A star is born in 2019. He makes his film debut in the 2001 comedy, Wet hot American summer, Cooper has been on the scene for two decades. He was nominated for Best Actor for his roles in Silver Edge Playbook and A star was born. He also received a nomination for best supporting actor in American pressure in 2014.

7 Salma Hayek

pink window

Salma HayekCarolina’s “breakout role” was in the 1995s Desperate. After starring in several films, Hayek was nominated for an Oscar for her portrayal of Frida Kahlo in Frida. The film achieved success through other ceremonies and received Oscar awards for best original score and makeup. As this Oscar is considered one of Hayek’s most notable roles and for her beautiful rendition of Kahlo, this Oscar feels cut off. Still active on screen, most recently appeared in Gucci House, we hope to see Hayek earn her first Oscar soon.

6 Michelle Yeoh |

Columbia Photos

After years of popular action movies in Hong Kong, Michelle Yeoh | made her Hollywood debut in 1997 in Tomorrow never dies as Wai Lin. In 2000, Yeoh Yu Shu Lien portrayed in the ten-time Oscar-nominated film Squatting tiger, hidden dragon, which had the most nominations for a non-English film ever in its time. Most recently, Yeoh Eleanor portrayed Sung-Young in 2019s Crazy rich Asians. The film was unfortunately not nominated for any Oscars, which comes as a disappointment especially due to Yeoh’s memorable role as an arrogant, villainous mother in the film. Yeoh is going to appear in the new Avatar prosecutewhich will surely collect nominations.

5 Naomie Harris


After appearing in more than twenty feature films in less than fifteen years, Naomie Harris made a name for herself after winning a Black Reel Award for Outstanding Breakthrough Performance for her role as Selena in 28 days later. Harris was finally nominated for her first Oscar award for her role as Paula in 2016’s Moonlight. Her nomination was for Best Supporting Actress and was definitely worthy of the award. Her crushing performance of a drug-addicted mother whose abusive tendencies damage her relationship with her son still stings in the hearts of audiences. We hope Harris will draw more nominations again and eventually get her award.

4 Johnny Depp

Via IMDb

Having starred in numerous iconic films and for his diverse portrayals of funny characters, it is truly amazing that Johnny Depp has no Oscar wins on his shelf. Depp made his 1984 debut A nightmare on Elm Street, and played memorable roles such as Jack Sparrow, Willy Wonka, Sweeney Todd, and more. Although Academy was nominated for Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Finding Neverland, and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, Depp said he never wants to win an Oscar. However, he is honored by the nominations he has received and says it is enough.

Related: Johnny Depp plays King Louis XV in Maiwenn’s next film

3 Samuel L. Jackson

Jules in Pulp Fiction (1994)

One of the most deserving actors of all time, Samuel L. Jackson has starred in numerous award-winning films. In 2021 it was announced that he would receives an honorary academy award. So close to the right thing. Prior to that, he was the only Academy Award winner for his role as Jules Winnfield in Pulp Fiction. Despite receiving his honorary academy award, we are interested to see if Jackson can still acquire the classic, golden man in the future.

2 Willem Dafoe

At Eternity's Gate poster has first look at Willem Dafoe as Vincent Van Gogh

Willem Dafoe received his first Oscar nomination for his role as Sergeant Elias Grodin in Peloton back in 1986. Thirty-six years later we are still waiting for Dafoe’s first award. Dafoe received a second nomination for Best Supporting Actor as Max Schreck in the 2000 film Shadow of the Vampire. Since then, Dafoe has portrayed several notable characters in films such as At Eternity’s Gate, for which he received a nomination for best actor, The Florida Project, he again received a nomination for best supporting actor, and The lighthouse. There seems to be no stopping Dafoe as he is still being portrayed in various films across all genres so there is hope for him in the near future.

1 Kristen Stewart

Spencer Kristen

Kristen Stewart‘s acting style was heavily criticized after her breakthrough role as Bella Swan in the Dusk franchise. Her breeding attitude only needed to be placed in new environments where it could flourish. Since then, her style has taken shape and come to fruition, as seen in her role as Sabina Wilson in 2019’s Charlie’s angels. Stewart is one of the most resilient actresses in Hollywood and recently had Oscar buzz for her portrayal of Princess Diana in Spencer. After winning several awards and receiving more than thirty nominations so far, many believe that Stewart was nominated for her first Oscar nomination this year. Only time will tell if she really wins the coveted statue at the March 2022 awards ceremony.

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