Following the events of last Sunday’s Oscars 2014, when Matthew McConaughey beat Leonardo DiCaprio to be crowned Best Actor, we went through the annals of cinematic history to seek out other great actors who have never won an Oscar for their work.
Samuel L Jackson
Arguably one of the greatest actors of our time, Samuel L Jackson has brought to life some of the most iconic characters in cinema during the last twenty five years. From the unforgettable hit man Jules Winnfield in Quentin Tarantino’s Palme D’or winning cult classic Pulp Fiction to hostage negotiator Danny Roman in the action thriller of the same name and Zeus Carver in Die Hard with A Vengeance, Samuel L Jackson is one of those faces that shows up in almost everything!
The closest Jackson has got to an Oscar so far was a nomination for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for Jules in Pulp Fiction, though he was beaten to the post by Martin Landau.
Best known for playing John McClain in action classic, Die Hard and the resulting franchise, Bruce Willis gained a reputation as an action hero – a role type that doesn’t typically get the attention of the academy. But what made Die Hard great – apart from running around a skyscraper under siege killing terrorists – was the fragility that Willis brought to the role, a fragility he also brought to the role of Harry Stamper in Michael Bay’s Armageddon. And putting that next to his role as Dr Malcolm Crowe in M Night Shyamalan’s The Sixth Sense, Willis has over his career demonstrated an ability for range and depth as an actor.
Willis has never been nominated for an Oscar.
Neeson currently enjoys a reputation as an action hero after starring in Taken. But he’s been around for a while and during his career has appeared in a number of notable films. As well as kicking Eastern-European terrorist ass, Neeson appeared in Martin Scorsese’s Gangs of New York and Oscar Schindler in Spielberg’s Schindler’s List. For this, he was nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role but did not win.
Do you feel lucky, punk? Well, do you?
From Harry Callaghan in the Dirty Harry series to the famous Man With No Name in A Fistful of Dollars, For A Few Dollars more and arguable the greatest Western ever made, The Good, The Bad and The Ugly, Clint Eastwood has earned his place in history as one of the greats. But not with the academy.
While he has won 4 Oscars in recent years, none of them was for acting. Like so many others, he was nominated in 1993 for Unforgiven but didn’t win.
Harrison Ford has enjoyed a long and varied career as an actor, having appeared in many of the landmark films of our generation.
While it may be fair to put roles like Indiana Jones to one side as it’s a reasonable safe bet that these are not films the academy will take seriously, Ford brought an extraordinary level of depth to Roman Polanski’s Frantic as an American doctor looking for his kidnapped wife in the Parisian underworld.
But no Oscar yet. He received a nomination in 1993 for the role of John Book in romantic crime drama, Witness, but it wasn’t to be.
So, there it is. Five of the most famous actors of our time who have received as little love from the Academy as Leonardo DiCaprio. So don’t feel too bad Leo. You’re in very good company and still young enough to win an Oscar yet!