Every year, members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences select a handful of performers they deem worthy of nominating in the categories of Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Supporting Actress. Surprisingly, some of the best and most acclaimed performers of our time have racked up numerous nominations without ever taking home the Oscar. The most nominated actor who still doesn’t have an Oscar, for instance, is the highly esteemed Glenn Close. (These are 25 of the Oscars’ most egregious snubs.)
Some years, there are clear favorites who do go on to win – but there have also been some major upsets. Back in 1975, for example, comedian Art Carney won the Best Actor accolade for his role as an old man traveling the country with his pet cat in “Harry and Tonto” – beating out Jack Nicholson (for “Chinatown”), Al Pacino (for “The Godfather Part II”), Dustin Hoffman (for “Lenny”), and Albert Finney (for “Murder on the Orient Express”). More recently, in 2021, “The Father” star Anthony Hopkins was named Best Actor over the late Chadwick Boseman (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”), shocking just about everyone, including Hopkins. (These are actors who won an Oscar before 30.)
To determine the actors and actresses with the most Oscar nominations who never won the award, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on the official website of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Oscar.
Only living performers were considered for this list. I might be interesting to note some now deceased stars of legendary status who were nominated but never won: Peter O’Toole (eight nominations), Richard Burton (seven nominations), Greta Garbo (four nominations), Kirk Douglas (three nominations), Cary Grant (two nominations), and Orson Welles (one nomination).
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