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Actors Who Haven't Won an Oscar But Should

Writer: Casey Lee


When will these actors win an Oscar?

After 26 roles, 5 nominations (4 of them for acting) and a CG bear, he has finally done it. Leonardo DiCaprio is now officially an Oscar winner!

While we all feel happy for him, now that he has joined the Oscar winners club, but he has left behind a little hole in our hearts. After so many years worth of hopes and memes, who do we have left to support to win an Oscar?

While there is obviously a long list of actors who have not won an Oscar, but we like to narrow it down to the actors who were in the same predicament as Leo just before the recent Oscars. These are the actors who came close to winning an Oscar, but have been foiled to this day to stand on that stage to make their acceptance speech.

So don't be dishearten meme-makers, here is a list of actors we can continue supporting through the use of pictures and words, so that we can demonstrate how powerful the internet is at helping these actors get their deserved Oscar due.

Will Smith

Coming off fresh as the Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will Smith came into the cinematic world starting out as a headliner as an action star for crowd-pleasing blockbusters such as the explosive "Independence Day" and "Bad Boys", and still plying a bit of his comedic shticks for "Men In Black". However, Smith has grown into a compelling actor when he played the legendary boxer Muhammad Ali in Michael Mann's biographical "Ali", that became a game-changer for the once bankable actor to worthy Oscar nominee with his first Best Leading nomination. Smith eventually showed his full range as an actor with the tear jerking story of "The Pursuit of Happyness" which gave him his second Oscar nomination, and since then we have been on the lookout for more dramatic roles by Smith like in "Seven Pounds", and the sadly overlooked "Concussion" that would have easily been his third Oscar nomination if not for #OscarSoWhite.

Nominated for:
1. Ali (2001)
2. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)

Bradley Cooper

A tumultuous career is what one would describe the acting career of Bradley Cooper; hopping gigs and stints between television and movies, it is harder to pinpoint his appeal that can go from charming to numbing. In the field of film, Cooper has his fair share of mainstream breakthroughs ("The Hangover") and upsets ("All About Steve"). Although he showed some promise in Derek Cianfrance's "The Place Beyond the Pines" but he would finally shape up to be a daunting Oscar contender when he started working with director David O Russell. Exploding with dramatic flair as the mentally unstable son and divorcee that converges with the just as enigmatic Tiffany, played by Jennifer Lawrence, in "Silver Linings Playbook", the actor raged to his first Oscar nomination as Best Leading Actor. Continuing his collaboration with Russell would yield even more Oscar results, as he snatched up his second Oscar nomination a movie later with Russell for "American Hustle", before revealing his darker sides to rack up his third for Clint Eastwood's "American Sniper".

All in all, Cooper has made an incredible achievement of being nominated for an Oscar for three years consecutively, signaling the capabilities when he is at the height of his acting career. While his angry chef persona for "Burnt" is probably leading down to another one of his slumps (but still maintaining his affable appeal as a talking space raccoon), we can't wait to see if his next peak will finally bring him that much closer to an Oscar win, if only to balance the Razzie that is already in his closet.

Nominated for:
1. Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
2. American Hustle (2014)
3. American Sniper (2014)

Brad Pitt

A bit of a cheat as Brad Pitt is technically already an Oscar winner for being one of the producers of 2012's Best Picture winner "12 Years a Slave", but Brad Pitt the actor is one of those veterans that we would like to say is long overdue for his Oscar glory.

Already a strong method actor, despite breaking out from the scene for his good looks, Pitt has dabbled in many dramatic and tough roles from the early stages of his film acting career. Although Pitt made his mark after he met with director David Fincher for "Seven", but it was his outing with Terry Gilliam in "12 Monkeys" that got the actor his first Oscar nomination.

Pitt has dished out solid performances even in his worst received movies since, with bright spots when he worked with acclaimed directors such as Fincher ("Fight Club"), the Coens ("Burn After Reading) and Quentin Tarantino ("Inglorious Basterds), but Pitt would not come in range of an Oscar until 2008's "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" (the best outcome he has had with Fincher to date). While his last acting nomination for "Moneyball" would most likely be his last nomination for a long time, we'd like to think that Brad still has somewhere in him that wants to be recognised as a Best Actor rather than a Best Picture producer.

Nominated for:
1. 12 Monkeys (1995)
2. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
3. Moneyball (2011)

Johnny Depp

For an actor as quirky as Johnny Depp, it's probably hardly surprising that his best performances are the ones that we find out of the box and unconventional. That's a shame because for every serious attempt he makes to distinguish himself as a genuinely fine actor (most recently in "Black Mass"), they tend to fall flat over the sunnier side of him that makes him more memorable. Depp is probably the only Oscar candidate here that has won more hearts and nominations with his characters that relies more on his charisma rather than his acting craft, but it makes them entertaining as well. Though it seems Depp's weirdly charms has gone a little stale of late, but we would like to see what kind of performance that would be necessary for Depp to pull for that Oscar trophy.

Nominated for:
1. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
2. Finding Neverland (2004)
3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Joaquin Phoenix

Conversely, there are actors who are all about the tiniest of nuance and the strictest of method that makes for an Oscar-worthy actor. Ever since his maniacal hiatus after his first acting nomination for "Gladiator", Joaquin Phoenix has almost never played a role to a mainstream audience, brooding in independent outings that takes itself as seriously as the serious craft that is acting. Coming ever so close to an Oscar win for "Walk the Line", the resulting fallout after the failed Oscar campaign had probably destroyed all of his ambitions to win an Oscar. When he was nominated again for "The Master", he famously decried against the Academy with a spiel that probably not just cost him his last shot for an Oscar, but of him being nominated ever again (even his performance for "Her" didn't win him any favors). For that, we think that he deserves the biggest support after Leonardo and perhaps someday we will see the Academy awarding this actor for his serious dedication to the craft, rather than how much he is liked by its members.

Nominated For:
1. Gladiator (2000)
2. Walk the Line (2005)
3. The Master (2012)

Ed Harris

Not all great actors have to be standing in the spotlight, sometimes the best actors are the ones quietly lurking in the background, before they come out and steal the show on their own. Ed Harris certainly belongs in that category of actors and his vast experience on stage, television and movies has honed his screen presence to be as powerful as any leading man. Although only one of his four Oscar nominations are for a leading role, Ed Harris had also self-directed his way to earn that leading actor nomination with "Pollock", proving his mastery in reading and owning the scene that he finds himself in.

The 65 year old actor hasn't really stopped in bringing down the house with his powerful performances since his last acting nomination for 2002's "The Hours", and has continued extending his already prolific career in both television and film. It would only seem like a matter of time before his efforts, whether being in the background or the forefront of it, would nab him that Oscar that has eluded him thus far.

Nominated for:
1. Apollo 13 (1995)
2. The Truman Show (1998)
3. Pollock (2000)
4. The Hours (2002)

Albert Finney

Albert Finney may be a name that you haven't really heard of, but if his list of nominations is to go by, he is one of those timeless talents that still stands to amaze regardless of whatever era the business of acting and Hollywood (at least when you are talking about the Academy) has changed over the years. Good acting is just good acting.

Scoring his first Oscar nomination for Best Leading Actor since 1963's "Tom Jones", Finney continued to soar in the 70s and 80s where he took another 3 more nominations, with his starring role in 1974's "Murder on the Orient Express" being his most defining achievement (and his most regretted).

Even as he has mainly worked on stage and television, more contemporary audience would still have seen this actor at work in recent hits such as the Bourne trilogy, "Big Fish" and most recently in "Skyfall", but it was his role as Juliet Robert's mentor, both on set and on screen, in "Erin Brockovich" that gave him his latest Oscar nomination.

While we are afraid that we won't be seeing much of Finney since his diagnosis for cancer (unless he surprises us with a cameo in the upcoming Bourne), but we think that he does not deserve to walk down the path of great actors without an Oscar win like so many before him. Here's to hoping that there would one last hurrah from the British actor before he takes his bow.

Nominated for:
1. Tom Jones (1963)
2. Murder on the Orient Express (1974)
3. The Dresser (1983)
4. Under the Volcano (1984)
5. Erin Brockovich (2000)

Cinema Online, 09 March 2016


Related Movies:
The Revenant (04 Feb 2016)
American Hustle (26 Dec 2013)
The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button (05 Feb 2009)

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