ADVERTISEMENTREMOVE AD

This Will Make You Angry: Hollywood Greats Who Never Won an Oscar

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 

Updated
Entertainment
6 min read
story-hero-img
i
Aa
Aa
Small
Aa
Medium
Aa
Large
Hindi Female

If the internet had its way, it would hand the Oscar for Best Actor to Leonardo Dicaprio this very minute. The actor who made the world go weak in its knees with his turn as the loverboy in Titanic (1997), has shown considerable acumen in choosing roles with immense dramatic potential over successful flaky characters. So, after such a long wait, everyone wishes he would finally become ‘King of the world’.

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Leonardo DiCaprio, Oscar or not, for us you’re the ‘king of the world’

But wait a minute. If you look back in history, Dicaprio’s career isn’t so bad. There are several stars that have shone without as much as a mention at the world’s most celebrated award ceremony. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) has sometimes managed to save face by giving them honorary awards. But some great talents left this world before the academy could correct its mistakes.

Here’s looking at some of the great actors who never managed to bask in the golden glory but have remained timeless nonetheless.

Marilyn Monroe

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
How sad is the fact that Marilyn Monroe never won an Academy award! 

There was just the camera and Marilyn Monroe, and nothing in between. Referred to as the ‘dumb blonde’, filmmakers used her image to great comic effect in films like Some Like It Hot (1959), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), and The Seven Year Itch (1955). Unfortunately, her career was marred by illness, unpredictable professional behaviour and failed relationships. Her sexed up image could hardly help it either. But she was determined to be taken seriously as an actress, and tried her best in dramas like Bus Stop (1956). She died young but popular imagination has kept her alive.

Peter Sellers

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Peter Sellers, you’re not an actor, you’re a chameleon

Screen goddess Bette Davis once remarked of him, “He isn’t an actor, he’s a chameleon.” And what’s better proof than Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964). In what is probably the best political satire ever made, Sellers played three remarkably different characters: U.S. President Merkin Muffley, Dr. Strangelove, a heavily German-accented nuclear scientist, and Group Captain Lionel Mandrake of the RAF. And the rest is history. Besides, he also has gems like Lolita (1962), Being There (1979) and the entire The Pink Panther series to his credit. An actor who could slip in and out of characters effortlessly, his extraordinary dexterity is the stuff screen dreams are made of.

Joseph Cotten

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Joseph Cotten was never even nominated at the Academy awards. Ridiculous!

With one of cinema history’s most significant partnerships, Cotten and Orson Welles gave us Citizen Kane (1941), The Magnificent Ambersons (1942) and Journey into Fear (1943). A suave murderer in Alfred Hitchcock’s spine chiller Shadow of a Doubt (1943) and a clumsy writer in Carol Reed’s influential thriller The Third Man (1949), Cotten had done it all. The former drama critic always chose roles with impressive versatility. Sadly, he never managed to fetch a single nomination, winning seemed to be a distant dream.

Cotten once remarked, “Orson Welles lists Citizen Kane as his best film, Alfred Hitchcock opts for Shadow of a Doubt and Sir Carol Reed chose The Third Man - and I’m in all of them.”

We will settle for this consolation.

Richard Burton

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Richard Burton had seven nominations to his credit, but not a single win at the Oscars
“Martha and I are merely exercising...that’s all, we’re merely walking what’s left of our wits. Don’t pay any attention to it.”

Burton and Elizabeth Taylor’s turn as a warring couple in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966) famously revealed a tempestuous romance between the two Hollywood stars. For the gossip hounding public, his tumultuous relationship with Taylor created more news than his films. However, his filmography still poses great envy to any actor. Blessed with a theatrical voice, he took to the stage, became famous and soon became sought-after. His films got bigger with Becket (1964), The Spy Who Came in from the Cold (1965), Cleopatra (1963), Anne of the Thousand Days (1969) and Equus (1977) among others. He scored seven Oscar nominations but sadly, died empty handed.

Peter Lorre

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
How could the Academy have forgotten Peter Lorre?

If imitation is the highest possible form of flattery, then Peter Lorre is definitely one of the greatest actors. Books, films, television, etc have given countless references to his distinctive nasal voice, unsettling bulging eyes and diminutive round body. Apart from the Mr. Moto detective series, he is an essential presence in iconic Hollywood classics like The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934), The Maltese Falcon (1941) and Casablanca (1942). Though Hollywood has embraced him with money and fame, his film career in Germany is highly important since he starred in Fritz Lang’s first talkie, M (1931). The psychopathic child killer, Hans Beckert delivering a haunting speech about the overpowering devilish inner compulsions is Lorre’s seminal performance in cinema.

Rita Hayworth

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Rita Hayworth never won an Oscar despite her shining on-screen performances. 

Branded as ‘The Love Goddess’, Hayworth was billed as the glamorous face, though she shone with performances that moved between strength and sensitivity, standing apart from other screen sirens, thus being popular among both the sexes. From her persona, it was hard to believe that she fought insecurity all her life. She never received an Academy Award nomination, though Gilda (1946) remains a role of raw energy on display. The forever pin-up favourite, who can forget how she helped Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption (1994)?

Robert Mitchum

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Robert Mitchum was certainly more deserving than just one Oscar nomination

With the words LOVE and HATE tattooed on his knuckles, Reverend Harry Powell’s character in The Night of the Hunter (1955) defined the actor’s existence on screen. Only a sly performer can move so swiftly between two ends of the human spectrum. Mitchum’s characters were always full of intrigue, wounded by fatal passion in films like Out of the Past (1947) and Farewell My Lovely (1975). Film noir got its most obsessive protagonist in the man who film critic Roger Ebert rightly called ‘the soul of film noir’. Only one Oscar nomination under his belt, he never thought of acting as a serious job, as he defined it to “show up on time, know his lines, hit his marks, and go home.” We came home too, just a little overwhelmed with his characters.

Marlene Dietrich

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Marlene Dietrich had an audacious screen presence, that the Academy sadly never acknowledged

In 1930, the legend of an alluring femme fatale began when the actress played Lola-Lola, a cruel cabaret entertainer in The Blue Angel (1930). Directed by Josef von Sternberg, it brought her international fame and Paramount Pictures pitched her as an answer to MGM’s Swedish sensation, Greta Garbo. With a string of noteworthy films, she went on to create an astounding body of work with eminent directors Billy Wilder, Alfred Hitchcock, Fritz Lang and Orson Welles. From a Hollywood movie star, she became a World War II frontline entertainer, and an international stage show performer. Morocco (1930) was her only Oscar nomination but that hardly matters now. Dietrich’s fabled life and audacious screen presence made her one of the most quintessential entertainers of cinematic fantasy.

Thelma Ritter

We hope Leonardo DiCaprio doesn’t join this list of Hollywood stalwarts who were never given an Oscar 
Thelma Ritter might not have been a conventional beauty, but she ruled her characters and deserved at least one Oscar

In the league of such extraordinary beauties, this name might sound like an oddity. Hold your tongue. This is Thelma Ritter, probably the most prolific of all actors in supporting roles in Hollywood films. A theatre actress, she was middle-aged when she made her screen debut. After two brief roles, Ritter appeared as Birdie in All About Eve (1950) and stole the scenes whenever she appeared, even in the presence of mighty talents like Bette Davis. And there was no looking back. She went on to earn five more Oscar nominations, but alas, without a single win.

She once quipped, “Now I know what it feels like to be the bridesmaid and never the bride.”

Casting directors always looked for ‘a Thelma Ritter type’, but she was the best Hollywood had; a matchless actress with a firm grip on her craft.

(The writer is a journalist and a screenwriter who believes in the insanity of words, in print or otherwise. Follow him on Twitter: @RanjibMazumder)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

0

Read Latest News and Breaking News at The Quint, browse for more from entertainment

Published: 
Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Member
3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Member Benefits
Read More