Actors that Didn't Win the Oscar But Should Have


The Top Ten

1 Joaquin Phoenix - Walk the Line

I am watching Walk the Line right now and he is just fantastic. He was robbed. Thought so at the time when Reese won and he didn't. I don't understand it. It took the Academy 40 years to figure out Jeff Bridges wasn't just Oscar bridesmaid. Joaquin gets nominated a lot and one day will win.

I can't believe that he didn't win for his performance of Johnny Cash. He was amazing. Reese should not have accepted her award without his. Without the two of them, this movie would have been nothing.

Joaquin Phoenix's portrayal of johnny cash was haunting and mesmerizing. I have watched this film multiple time simply for your amazing performance! He completely embodied Johnny Cash. A true star. Johnny and June would of been proud.

He was robbed for sure on this one. It would have been classy for Reese to decline her Oscar. She was good but in no way better than he was in this film. I don't see how the academy could award it to her and not him.

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2 Robert De Niro - Taxi Driver

No Doubt one of the best Pieces of acting ever put on film. At least the Academy righted this wrong with an even better performance in "Raging Bull" the gold standard of modern film acting!.

Robert De Niro gives a chilling performance in what is highly regarded as being one of the greatest films ever made. Although Peter Finch's performance in Network was certainly memorable it hasn't aged well in comparison to De Niro's iconic turn as the vigilante Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver.

This guy is the father of the rest of the people in this list. Anyone voting for someone else probably didn't watch Taxi Driver.

I'm glad he didn't. what he was deserve to win as 'Travis Bickle' was way more than what Academy could possibly afford.

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3 Russell Crowe - A Beautiful Mind

He had a good performance in Gladiator but this movie Russell Crowe was fantastic in.

A beautiful mind won a lot of awards (Best picture, Best Director, Best Actress...) but the one person that brought the movie to life didn't win...Joke.

Too good not to win

4 Al Pacino - Scarface

This performance neither needs a Recognization nor any Oscar. Al Pacino's is the greatest Actor of All Time. Bollywood Superstar and Star of the Millenium 'Amitabh Bachchann' even copies each n everty style of him. - redgedawson

It was great acting, yes it was violent but that's how it was! It take a lot for Al Pacino to put in those emotions, great acting Great movie period

Al Pacino is one of the best actors ever - Ajkloth

Amazing performace

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5 Sylvester Stallone - Rocky

Rocky is the most inspirational movie character of all time. It's a crime Stallone did not get the Oscar that is rightfully his!

He didn't get the oscar. The oscar was for best movie but not for best actor. That oscar went to Peter Finch in " Network " that year.

One of my favorite movies ever - Ajkloth

Peter Finch is excellent in Network. - BeatlesFan1964

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6 Tom Hanks - Saving Private Ryan
7 Leonardo DiCaprio - Blood Diamond

Its the biggest injustice of all time.. For sure he deserves have two oscars by now and a couple of nominations! Actors like jonah hill get nominated without any talent or a very real good performance and its just not fair! He is the number 1 actor of his generation and that have been said by many of professionals of cinema like kate winstlet, martin scorsese! In django all reviwers bet on him to be indicated for an nomination and he was robbed!

Beautiful portrayal of a drug dealer, but then his heart changes and is well acted by Di Caprio, a magnificent performance.

Leo needs an Oscar. He is absolutely perfect.

Leo doesn't need an oscar, an oscar needs him! Academy people know that they will always have leo but macconaghey only once!

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8 Johnny Depp - Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
9 Malcolm McDowell - A Clockwork Orange

A stunning preformance. How he made Alex's progress from delinquent to an "honest citizen" is scary. You can see he is enjoying every moment of the role, especially the ones before the transformation.

Wonder to me how he didn't even get nominated. Such a fearless and intense performance, you just could'nt take your eyes away from him.

10 Jack Nicholson - The Shining

I agree with this one. Jack definitely should have won. - Beatlesboy9

One of the best acting of all time!

God of Acting
This Was His Best
He Didn't Even Get Nominated
He Obviously is better than De Niro

The Contenders

11 Peter O'Toole - Lawrence of Arabia

Okay, really, you could advocate for any number of his performances winning an Oscar. He was nominated eight times in his career, EIGHT TIMES WITHOUT WINNING ONCE! He got an honorary award in 2002, but really, they should have made it official! He was a treasure of the silver screen and will truly be missed… and with any luck, the Academy is trying to reconcil for the sin of not honouring him well enough.

12 Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street

I cannot believe that he did not win the oscar! His perfomance was the best of the year at least! Matthew was great but Leonardo was just breathtaking! He could play a dramatic and comedic hero at the same time so easily! In one scene was so funny and in the next one was a dramatic and bad criminal! He took a big risk to play in a comedy. Academy people do not give oscars to comedies but he did that! They are so predictable and boring! Also he proved that he can be a perfect comedic hero! The phone/kitchen scene is already a classic! His best perfomance by far... I believe that the academy was impressed more by the lost weight of matthew and less by his acting! Really if you want to improve that you are just a great actor you lose weight and change your appearence? Leonardo not...

Didn't Like The Movie but DiCaprio Was GREAT

First the aviator, then blood diamond and now The Wolf! Leo has won 3 oscars for me...

He had an astonishing and flawless performance. It is absurd DiCaprio didn�'t get the oscar.

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13 Robert Pattinson - Twilight

Who ever suggested this must be joking!

2 minutes silence for those 3% voters who voted for this crap

Obvious troll is obvious

14 Robert De Niro - The Deer Hunter

Creepy, touching, sad, all in one. Along with Streep, they make the film acting superb

15 Christian Bale - American Psycho
16 Jack Nicholson - About Schmidt
17 Liam Neeson - Michael Collins

Liam Neeson did an awesome job of picturing Michael Collins. Plus, he really looks like the real guy! Also should have won an Oscar for Schindler's list, in my opinion.

One of the best films of all time and made so by his acting - Grizleybear

18 Tim Robbins - The Shawshank Redemption

Amazingly subtle, heartfelt and convincing performance!

19 George Clooney - The Descendants

Just to let you know that George Clooney has an Oscar, for best supporting actor though.

20 Denzel Washington - Malcolm X

One of the greatest performances of all time. He got screwed.

Epic Movie, But The Devil Media Didn�'t give the Appreacion the Movie deserved - copkiller

21 Daniel Day-Lewis - Gangs of New York

I found this acting performance as good as any from ddl. - Beatlesboy9

22 Nicolas Cage - Adaptation
23 Johnny Depp - Edward Scissorhands
24 Woody Harrelson - The People vs. Larry Flynt
25 Kevin Costner - Dances with Wolves
26 Edward Norton - American History X

The best Edward Norton performance EVER! The look of pride on his face when being arrested after killing 2 people was so believable it was chilling to watch!... who walked off with the oscar that night? Roberto Bennini? What?!... Who remembers that clown?! Should have gone to Norton?... HE WAS ROBBED!

One of the greatest performances of all time, the look of evil on Derek's face after he got arrested = so believable and priceless. That film was snubbed for nominations as well.

27 R. Lee Ermey - Full Metal Jacket

great performance, only a golden globe nomination, come on! - roblist

So underrated, great movie greatest performance! - roblist

One of the most memorable performances of all time - robertoantonioortuso

28 James McAvoy - Atonement

He all suffered with Robbie in Atonement

He was amazing in both. I still don't unterstand why Forrest Whitaker won the Oscar for best Male Role, when it was James Character who was the main person in the Film (not that I think he didn't deserve it - but for supporting actor)

29 Jeff Bridges - The Big Lebowski

Because he is flawless in that role, just like in any of the roles he plays

30 Johnny Depp - Ed Wood
31 Ellen Burstyn - Requiem for a Dream
32 Tom Cruise - Jerry Maguire

I wonder despite of films like TOP-GUN, JERRY MAGUIRE, VALKYRIE, INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE and of-course MI-series... He has not grabbed even an OSCA

Tom Cruise is a great actor!

33 Glenn Close - Fatal Attraction
34 Sissy Spacek - In The Bedroom
35 Marlon Brando - A Streetcar Named Desire
36 Michael Moriarty - The Stuff
37 Leonardo DiCaprio - Titanic
38 Robert Downey Jr. - Iron Man

4 words: genius, billionaire, playboy and philantropist

39 Tom Hulce - Amadeus

He was amazing in Amadeus. Both he and Abraham were great in the film, and it would be hard to pick between them, but I would've picked Hulce, as I feel he gave that extra little thing that should've gotten him the Oscar, but at least he lost to someone who was great in a film and not for a political reason.

I gave up watching award shows when Tom Hulce did not win the award for best actor. He brought the movie to life with his portrayal.

40 Ian Mckellen - Gods and Monsters
41 Dustin Hoffman - Tootsie
42 Morgan Freeman - The Shawshank Redemption
43 Nick Nolte - The Prince of Tides

No doubt the best performance Nick Nolte displayed on screen! His passion and torment was heartfelt and tender. Should have won that oscar hands down!... Nick Nolte, one of America's best actors!

Absolutely, years later I can still remember that look when Lowenstein asks Tom, "where were you when this was happening"

44 Samuel L. Jackson - Pulp Fiction
45 Leonardo DiCaprio - The Departed

Why has Mr. Dicaprio not won yet? We may never know, or we may wish we never knew... A total steal for a very talentful individual.

46 Viggo Mortensen - The Road

He was so good in this movie! Don't understand why he didn't get an Oscar for the character he played! What an oversight on the part of the Academy!

47 Orson Welles - Citizen Kane

This actor was black balled by Hollywood. He was sensational in this role in a movie that is considered to be one of the best ever made!

48 Leonardo DiCaprio - Django Unchained

And the oscar goes to...christopher waltz. No! No! No! I cannot believe it! Waltz won his second oscar for the same role. He played the same character twice and he won the oscar twice! And dicaprio hasnt won yet! Jesus chriest! So unfair! Academy people hate him but I hope that his perfomance at the wolf of wall street will be his first one! At django he gave the best perfomance from the others by far! So unfair! His acting was...i cannot find the word... Congratulations Leonardo! Keep going and don't listen to anyone!

49 Josh Hutcherson - The Hunger Games
50 Keanu Reeves - Constantine
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List Stats

800 votes
108 listings
10 years, 80 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Ellen Burstyn - Requiem for a Dream
2. Sissy Spacek - In The Bedroom
3. Daniel Day-Lewis - Gangs of New York
1. Tom Hanks - Saving Private Ryan
2. Jack Nicholson - The Shining
3. Leonardo DiCaprio - The Wolf of Wall Street
1. Joaquin Phoenix - Walk the Line
2. Sylvester Stallone - Rocky
3. Al Pacino - Scarface

View All 5

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