For anyone involved in movies, winning an Academy Award (an Oscar) is the greatest honor one can receive.
On May 16, 1929 the first Academy Awards were presented at a private dinner at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Fifteen statuettes were awarded that night, honoring actors, directors and other people involved in the film-making industry of the time for their works during the year 1927. The ceremony only ran for about 15 minutes.
Since then this event has grown to become one of the biggest awards shows year in and out. Not only is the award ceremony a huge deal but for the past decade or so simply walking into the theater is a big deal. Much like a pregame for sporting events, the red carpet is the time when you see and hear from all of the celebrities.
This just goes to show how big of a deal this event is and the fact that all the actors on this list have never won an Oscar will surprise most people. So without any further ado, the ten best actors who have not yet reach immortality.
[new page = Notables:]
Will Smith- Nominated twice Will Smith is a very good actor but in most cases has never been given a role to thrive in. While a lot of his films are box office hits, most of them would never been seen as a great movie like Pulp Fiction.
Liam Neeson- Coming very close earlier in his career Neeson just missed winning an Oscar for Schindler’s Listr (1994).
Robert Downey Jr.- He is one of the few actors that has ever been nominated for an Oscar for a role in a comedy. And get this, that very role had him playing an Australian actor pretending to be an African American man for the movie they were filming within the movie – Tropic Thunder (2009).
[new page = 10. Gary Oldman]
Best known for his role as Commissioner Gordon from the Dark Knight trilogy Oldman is special type of actor. While he hasn’t gotten many academy award worthy roles, he does his best to take on every role as if it were. Much like his co-star in the Dark Knight trilogy, Christian Bale, Oldman transforms himself for each of his roles. With that said, he almost won for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011).
[new page = 9. Tom Cruise]
Cruise of late has become a basic action star and hasn’t taken on many tough roles in a while. However, he has been a part of several classics including Jerry Maguire (1996) and A Few Good Men (1992). It is certainly a shock that he has never won an Oscar but it gets easier when arguably two of his most famous movies are famous because of his co-stars lines – “Show me the money!” (Cuba Gooding Jr.) and “You can’t handle the truth” (Jack Nicholson).
[new page = 8. Albert Finney]
Finney is the oldest actor on this list and he has been a part of countless great films including five Oscar nominations but has never won. It’s certainly not for a lack of trying. His part in the likes of Erin Brockovich (2000) and Big Fish (2003) were executed very well. Something that I always get from his performances is belief. I believe he is those characters and that is what truly makes a great actor.
[new page = 7. Mark Wahlberg]
Wahlberg is one of the biggest stars in Hollywood to date and is always coming out with a new idea or film whether it’s producing or acting. His most recent box office hit was for Lone Survivor (2013) but ever since he hit the big screen as Pvt. Tommy Lee Haywood in the Danny DeVito classic Renaissance Man (1994) he hasn’t once faded away. It is only a matter of time before the perfect script fall into his lap and he turns it into an Oscar worthy performance.
[new page = 6. Ed Norton]
When I first found out that Ed Norton wasn’t even nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Fight Club (1999) and further more didn’t win the Oscar for his performance in American History X (1998) I was blown away. Both of those performances seemed Oscar worthy. With that said he hasn’t been in many great films since, but just the snub he received from those two films was incredible.
[new page = 5. Samuel L. Jackson]
Jackson has appeared in over 150 films and has been a part of one of the best movies of all time Pulp Fiction (1994). Yet he has only been nominated for one Oscar, Pulp Fiction. With that said his performance in films such as Jackie Brown (1997) and A Time to Kill (1996) should have at least awarded him nominations.
[new page = 4. Johnny Depp]
The closest Johnny Depp came to winning an Oscar was at the hands of Captain Jack Sparrow. Like Robert Downey Jr. he is one of the few actors capable of getting an Oscar nomination through a comedy. However I thought that three of his better roles were overlooked. He could have easily been nominated for Sleepy Hollow (1999), Chocolat (2000) and Edward Scissorhands (1990).
[new page = 3. Joaquin Phoenix]
He is another actor that can completely transform himself for a role. Whether it is for Gladiator (2000) or Walk the Line (2005) he is one of the most believable actors in the world. His acting talent is shown perfectly in one of his latest films Her (2013). This is because he plays such a different role than almost every film he has ever done. This guy can simply do it all.
[new page = 2. John Travolta]
If Forrest Gump didn’t come out the same year as Pulp Fiction (1994) John Travolta would not be on this list. He got snubbed simply because he was going up against probably the best acting performance the film industry has ever seen. While he was purely unlucky that year he could have easily won much earlier in his career for Saturday Night Fever (1978). I am also shocked he didn’t receive a nomination for his role in Get Shorty (1995).
[new page = 1. Leonardo DiCaprio]
If anyone was expecting someone else to be sitting atop this list, you’re crazy. Leonardo DiCaprio has been a part of several Oscar worthy performances and almost no one in the film industry has made as many great films as him. The list goes on and on and isn’t going to stop just yet. However his best chance to win an Oscar came very early in his career when he played the mentally challenged brother of Johnny Depp in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1993). However, he did come very close with recent films such as The Wolf of Wall Street (2013) and Blood Diamond (2006). Everything considered, although he hasn’t won an Oscar yet, he should have had a lot more than four nominations between Inception (2010), Shutter Island (2010), Catch Me If You Can (2002) and Titanic (1997).