You’ll Be Surprised These Actors Have Never Been Nominated For Academy Awards

The Academy Awards is the biggest show for Hollywood every year. Any actor or actress lucky enough to win an Oscar instantly joins the A-list. And anyone even nominated is rewarded with instant credibility. With so many movies coming out every year and only five nominees allowed in every category, some big-name actors have never had their name called. Can you believe that Alan Rickman was never nominated? Meg Ryan, despite her decades-long career, has never been nominated either. To learn about Rickman, Ryan and other actors left off the ballots, keep reading!

Alan Rickman Won A Golden Globe, At Least

alan rickman actor
Cambridge Jones/Getty Images
Cambridge Jones/Getty Images

Alan Rickman got a late start to his storied career in Hollywood. He was 41 years old when he made his big-screen debut as Hans Gruber in Die Hard. Near the end of his career, he was cast as Snape in the Harry Potter franchise.

In between starring in those major roles, Rickman starred in critically acclaimed movies, one of which even earned him a Golden Globe. That movie, Rasputin, was made for television though and was not Oscar eligible.

Bruce Willis Still Has A Chance

actor bruce willis posing for a picture
Theo Wargo/Getty Images
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Like his Die Hard co-star Alan Rickman, Bruce Willis has never woken up in January to learn he has been nominated for an Oscar. Despite working with Oscar-nominated directors like Wes Anderson, Willis has seemingly been snubbed by the Academy.

Does the nominating body have a grudge against the action star? Even Sylvester Stallone has been Oscar-nominated multiple times! The good news for Bruce is that he’s still getting plenty of roles, so there’s still a chance that one day he’ll get the Oscar respect he has deserved for so long.

Jim Carrey’s Career Deserves Recognition

actor jim carrey
Isa Foltin/WireImage
Isa Foltin/WireImage

It was early in Jim Carrey’s iconic career that he starred in The Truman Show, showing the world his dramatic range. The movie won him a Golden Globe, but the Academy didn’t seem to notice. His Golden Globe-winning performance in Man on the Moon was also given the blind eye by the Oscars.

Other notable films that the Academy has ignored are Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Liar Liar. Today, Carrey is focused more on art and acting in his television series Kidding than worrying about Oscar glory.

Meg Ryan Got Pigeonholed

actress meg ryan
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images
Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images

At the peak of her career, Meg Ryan was one of the most popular actresses in the world. She starred in When Harry Met Sally, creating a classic diner scene that fans still rave about today.

Unfortunately, becoming the queen of romantic comedies crushed Ryan’s chances of being nominated for any Oscars. Even when she has taken on more prestigious roles she has been largely ignored. Today, Ryan stays mostly out of the spotlight and hasn’t starred in a movie since Ithaca in 2015.

Adam Sandler Is Too Crude

actor adam sandler
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

When an actor gets their big break starring in movies like Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore, it becomes hard for the Academy to take them seriously. Adam Sandler, who was recently snubbed for his performance in Uncut Gems, knows the feeling well.

Sandler first surprised audiences with more dramatic skills in Punch Drunk Love before moving on to a more grounded story with Reign Over Me. Sadly, the voting body for the Oscars appears to have their minds made up about Adam Sandler.

There’s Just Something About Cameron Diaz Not Having An Oscar Nomination

actress cameron diaz
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images
Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images

In her career, Cameron Diaz has been nominated for four Golden Globes, starring in There’s Something About Mary, Being John Malkovich, Vanilla Sky, and Gangs of New York. Shockingly, none of those nominations led to further recognition by the Oscars.

Having officially retired from acting in 2017, Diaz won’t be getting a statue anytime soon. She said the decision to retire was because she was tired of traveling for filming. The end of her film career has allowed her to start a new one as an entrepreneur.

Robin Wright Has Been Wronged Her Whole Career

actress robin wright
Michael Tran/FilmMagic
Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Robin Wright is one of the most accomplished actresses of her generation but has never been given credit by the Academy. She first made waves in The Princess Bride and more recently became a critical darling for her role in House of Cards on Netflix.

In between her breakout movie and her big television role, Wright co-starred with Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump, which somehow didn’t net her a nomination. With two movies slated to come out in 2020, maybe 2021 will finally be the year of Robin Wright.

Mia Farrow’s Nine Golden Globe Nominations Don’t Add Up To One Oscar

actress mia farrow
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Time
Ben Gabbe/Getty Images for Time

Mia Farrow has been nominated for nine Golden Globes, winning one in 1965 for Guns at Batasi. Her most famous performance, however, was Rosemary’s Baby in 1968. Her most recent Golden Globe nomination came for Alice in 1991.

Farrow’s last film came out in 2011 and her career has been quiet ever since. While we doubt she will ever win an Oscar for any single role, we could see her winning an honorary Oscar once she finally retires, which does not require a nomination.

Ewan McGregor Just Needs A Brighter Smile

actor ewan mcgregor
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images
Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images

No matter how brightly Ewan McGregor smiles, the Academy just won’t give him a nomination. He has three Golden Globe nominations to his name, including one win for Fargo (the television adaptation).

Despite acclaimed performances in acclaimed movies year after year, the big prize has continued to evade McGregor. In the coming year, he has three movies on his schedule, and we’re hoping it finally brings him the cherry on top of his incredible acting career.

John Goodman Is Bad For The Oscars

actor john goodman
Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment
Tyler Kaufman/Getty Images for Sony Pictures Entertainment

A versatile actor who can move seamlessly from television roles to theatrical ones, John Goodman has one of the most storied careers in Hollywood. Since the ’80s he’s accomplished a lot, but he has never been nominated for an Oscar.

A staple of the Coen Brothers’ films, Goodman has seen co-stars get nominated and win but has not been able to taste the glory himself. With his current focus back on television as Dan Conner in The Conners, the Academy won’t be calling anytime soon.

Richard Gere Might Get A Legacy Oscar One Day

actor richard gere
Franco Origlia/Getty Images
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Richard Gere was one of the biggest actors of the ’90s, starring in Pretty Woman and An Officer And A Gentleman. Both films were critical and commercial darlings, but neither netted Gere an Oscar nomination.

In recent years, Gere has taken on less acting projects and even moved onto more television roles. In 2019, he starred in the mini-series MotherFatherSon on BBCTwo. He currently has no new projects in the works, meaning there is no nomination in his near future unless it’s an honorary one.

Steve Buscemi Is Too Close To Adam Sandler

actor steve buscemi
Dominique Charriau/WireImage
Dominique Charriau/WireImage

Steve Buscemi made his acting debut in The Way It Is in 1985 and has been working consistently ever since. He’s a versatile character actor who can jump seamlessly from comedy to drama. It’s the comedy side of his career that we think might be holding him back form the Academy, though.

Buscemi has co-starred or shown up in just about every Adam Sandler comedy and is even set to appear in Sandler’s next film, Hubie Halloween.

Hugh Grant Deserves A Proper Award

actor hugh grant
Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images
Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

In 1994, Hugh Grant won a BAFTA Award and a Golden Globe for his lead role in Four Weddings and a Funeral. And somehow, he wasn’t nominated for an Oscar that year. Over the next 25 years, Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations would continue to roll in, but the Academy never came calling.

Most recently, Grant has signed up for the HBO series The Undoing, which won’t be Oscar eligible. We won’t be surprised if the show nabs the talented actor another Golden Globe, though.

John Cusack Has A Boombox For The Academy

actor john cusack
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

John Cusack first flirted with the Academy Awards after writing and starring in High Fidelity. The film earned him a BAFTA nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay and a Golden Globe nomination for his performance. When the Oscars announced their nominees, however, Cusack’s name was nowhere to be found.

Since then, Cusack has continued to act in prestigious films, although his more recent role choices have been questionable at best. In 2020 he was will star in the television show Utopia, continuing the current trend of A-list actors moving to the small screen.

Steve Martin Has Won A Grammy

actor steve martin
Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images
Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images

Steve Martin has made a career out of being nominated for and winning awards. He has won Grammies for his music and has been nominated for several Golden Globe awards for acting.

Still, the Oscars have never recognized his comedic brilliance. Whether it was his work in Father of the Bride Part II, Parenthood, or Roxanne, Martin has lived on the fringe of getting a nomination, but not quite crossing the finish line.

Donald Sutherland Has Been Shutout For Half A Century

actor donald sutherland
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Donald Sutherland has been nominated for eight Golden Globes, winning twice, but has never been nominated for an Oscar. Of course, unlike others on this list, he has been awarded an Honorary Oscar (no nomination required), but that’s what happens when the Academy shuns an actor for half a century.

Most recently Sutherland has won over a whole new legion of fans with his role in The Hunger Games franchise. He will also be starring alongside Hugh Grant in The Undoing on HBO.

Kiefer Sutherland Is Following In His Father’s Footsteps

actor kiefer sutherland
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

Like his father Donald, Kiefer Sutherland is still waiting to wake up in January and find out he’s been Oscar-nominated. He’s been acting since the ’80s and has built up quite the filmography, but the most success he’s had has actually been on television.

Sutherland started the trend of movie stars moving to the small screen when he signed up to play Jack Bauer in 24. In 2016 he returned to television to play the President in Designated Survivor on ABC.

Idris Elba Is A Man Of Many Talents

actor idris elba
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Idris Elba had been acting for a long time before he finally received critical acclaim for his role on The Wire on HBO. The show put him on the map, and movie offers came flying in.

For his theatrical roles, Elba has been nominated for two Golden Globes, the first for Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom and the second for Beasts of No Nation. With four films currently in production, Elba might finally earn that Oscar nomination that has evaded him for so long.

Jamie Lee Curtis Has Been Cut Out By The Academy

actress jamie lee curtis
Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images
Aaron Rapoport/Corbis via Getty Images

Getting her big break in the horror genre sure hasn’t helped Jamie Lee Curtis get respect from the Academy. The Halloween actress has won two Golden Globes, one for Anything But Love and another for True Lies.

Curtis has also been nominated for two BAFTAs, winning one in 1983 for Trading Places. The battle for an Oscar nomination isn’t over yet as Curtis has five films currently in production, although two of those films are Halloween sequels.

Danny Glover Will Have To Settle For Emmys

actor danny glover
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage
Tommaso Boddi/WireImage

Danny Glover has been working in Hollywood for a long time. He made his first big-screen appearance in Escape from Alcatraz in 1980 as “Inmate,” and got his breakout role a year later on the television series Hill Street Blues.

Glover found his way back to the big screen with the Lethal Weapon franchise but has never been nominated for an Oscar. He does have several Emmy nominations to his name but has not yet taken home the statuette.