It's almost that time of year again when the biggest and brightest stars in Hollywood gather together to celebrate their cinematic accomplishments. That's right, the Oscars are just around the corner. This is definitely the biggest annual event in the film world's calendar and this year there's a brilliant list of nominees who are eagerly anticipating their hopeful wins for the night. It's safe to say that receiving one of these coveted golden statues is pretty much the pinnacle of any actor's career, but surprisingly enough, the Academy doesn't always get it right. You'd think that the Oscar trophies would always go to the most deserving people each year, but funnily enough, this isn't always the case.
Here we take a look at some of the most celebrated actors and actresses we all know and love who surprisingly haven't won an Oscar yet, as well as some of the performers who have gotten one, but probably shouldn't have. You'll definitely be shocked by some of the biggest names in film that haven't been recognized by the Academy for their achievements, and there you'll no doubt be surprised by some of the rogue people who have gotten their golden statue. Get some popcorn ready, you won't believe the outrage!
20 Samuel L. Jackson Should Have Won An Oscar A Long Time Ago
When you think of great actors, there’s no doubt that Samuel L. Jackson probably pops up in your mind, and most people would likely assume that this legendary actor has won at least one Oscar in all his years of acting. Surprisingly though, Samuel L. Jackson has never won this most-coveted of awards. In fact, Jackson has only ever even been nominated once, for Best Supporting Actor in Pulp Fiction. Crazy, right? Samuel L. Jackson has been in so many of people’s favorite films, that it seems like there’s definitely something wrong with this Oscar nominating system. What makes this whole situation even more ludicrous is the fact that he holds the Guinness World Record for being the highest-grossing actor of all time. We say it’s about time Samuel L. Jackson gets his Oscar. He’s worked hard enough for it!
19 Marissa Tomei's Oscar Win Is One Of The Most Controversial Wins Ever
Marissa Tomei’s Oscar wins in 1992 for Best Supporting Actress in the comedy My Cousin Vinny is one of the most controversial moments in Oscar history. When Jack Palance, who was announcing the winner of this category, read Tomei’s name out, people were more than a little shocked that she had won over veteran actresses including Judy Davis and Vanessa Redgrave. Immediately after the ceremony, people were beginning to spread rumors that Jack Palance had read the wrong name out or accidentally misread the winning card and that Vanessa Redgrave was the actual winner. Those rumors were later proven to be false, but Marissa Tomei’s win has sadly remained veiled in doubt and suspicion as many still believe she didn’t deserve the Oscar for her performance.
18 Funnyman Bill Murray Deserves All The Oscars
Although Bill Murray is a beloved actor who has garnered much admiration and respect for his comedic roles in old and new classics such as Ghostbusters, Groundhog Day, and The Grand Budapest Hotel, he really earned his reputation as a serious actor in Lost in Translation. And, it was actually his role in Lost in Translation that got Murray his one and surprisingly only Oscar nomination in 2004 for Best Actor. Unfortunately, though, he didn’t win. For someone who’s been active in the film industry since 1976 and who has played a key part in some of the most cult-classic films, it’s astonishing then that this revered actor hasn’t won an Oscar yet. There are so many amazing films that Murray has been a part of that surely deserve Oscar recognition for him, but sadly it looks like we’ll just have to wait a bit longer for his moment to come.
17 No Lie, Cher Has An Oscar
That’s right, you read that correctly: Cher has won an Oscar. Surprised much? Indeed, the iconic "Do You Believe In Love" singer bagged herself this prestigious award for her role in the 1987 movie Moonstruck. As charming as both Cher and the film are, the singer’s win has been a much-debated topic over the years, considering whom she beat that year in the Best Actress category. Holly Hunter was nominated that same year for her role in Broadcast News and Glenn Close was up for the award for her astonishing part in Fatal Attraction. Obviously, both Broadcast News and Fatal Attraction have gone down in cinematic history as being classics, but Moonstruck? Not so much. This is why, to this day, Cher’s win still causes many eyebrows to be raised and a lot of arguing over whether or not she should have actually won.
16 Johnny Depp Has Yet To Win Big
Johnny Depp has been a Hollywood staple now for decades, but surprisingly the actor has still never won an Oscar. Now, the fact that Johnny Depp has been in a slew of pretty bad films recently shouldn’t make you forget that he’s actually acted in some pretty incredible films too. Before things started to go South for Depp, he was once respected as a talented actor. He absolutely won us over in Edward Scissorhands and made us all fall in love with his roguish, swashbuckling pirate persona Jack Sparrow. Admittedly though, ever since that first Pirates movie, things have gone a little sour for the actor, but we should never forget the quality work he has done, which seems to be exactly what the Academy has done.
15 Sandra Bullock Blindsided Us All With Her Oscar Win
Sandra Bullock won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2009 for her role in The Blind Side. And although Bullock played the part admirably, many people were upset that she ended up with the award over some of the other nominees that year. Gabourey Sidibe and Carey Mulligan were both newcomer actresses that year but absolutely nailed their roles in Precious and An Education respectively. It was assumed by many that one of these two actresses would win the Oscar that year but instead, Sandra took home the Oscar. It seems like both Sidibe and Mulligan were the victims of a Hollywood popularity contest, as it looked like the Academy awarded Bullock the prize as she’s a popular, blockbuster actress. Bullock’s performance was fine in The Blind Side, but overall her character was pretty problematic. It begs the question, if Bullock had been as unknown as Sidibe and Mulligan, would she still have won?
14 Amy Adams Is The Queen Of Being Oscar Snubbed
Amy Adams has been dubbed the new Leonardo DiCaprio as she has been nominated for five Academy Awards, only to leave empty-handed each year. Amy has proven herself to be an extraordinary actress, so it’s a wonder why she has been left out of the winning spot for so many years, and worse, snubbed on several occasions when she should have received a nomination, if not a win. Last year, in particular, it came as a huge surprise to everyone that Amy Adams was left off of the list of Oscar nominees, as everyone was certain she would have gotten a nod for her role in Arrival. That same year, Adams had also done an admiral job acting in Nocturnal Animals, so to be snubbed for both was really an underserved hit that no one, especially Amy, saw coming.
13 Al Pacino Deserved An Oscar, Just Not This One
There’s no need to tell you that Al Pacino is a living legend. The man has been in some of the most iconic films in cinematic history and is part of a canon of actors who are untouchable when it comes to their talent. It might surprise you then to see Al as part of the list of actors who don’t deserve their Oscar. Well, Al Pacino certainly deserved to win an Oscar, he just didn’t merit the award for the film he got it for. Pacino has starred in The Godfather, Scarface, and Dog Day Afternoon among many others, and his performances in these deserve the greatest of accolades. It’s a mystery, then, why it was for his role in Scent of a Woman that finally bagged him his golden statue. This role was definitely not worthy of an Oscar, and it seemed like the academy was just giving it to him that year as a way of honoring him and saying sorry for snubbing him for all the past parts he didn’t win for.
12 Glenn Close Might Go Bunny Boiler On Everyone If She Doesn't Win Soon
Glenn Close holds the record for being the actress with the most Oscar nominations without ever having won. This seasoned Hollywood star has gotten six nominations in total, yet still hasn’t seemed to get the Academy Award that she definitely deserves. Glenn has been in some truly outstanding films, and arguably deserved to win an Oscar for her role in Fatal Attraction, perhaps her most famous part, but sadly she has lost out to someone else every single time. The 70-year-old actress has definitely earned an Oscar, so it’s a crying shame that the Academy hasn’t rewarded her for her brilliance on the big screen. Let’s hope that someday soon Glenn receives the recognition she deserves, and finally gets more than just the honor of yet another nomination.
11 Jennifer Lawrence Has Done Better And Didn't Deserve Her Playbook Win
Jennifer Lawrence won her Oscar for Best Actress in Silver Linings Playbook at just 22 years old. At that time, Lawrence was very much the young darling of Hollywood, and it seemed like you couldn’t go a day without seeing her name in the media. And, while Lawrence has certainly proved to us all that she can act, many people have questioned whether or not her Oscar win for this particular movie was deserved. Many don’t think that the role she played was particularly challenging, nor did it show the actress’ full acting potential. It has been suggested that Jennifer should have been nominated, and potentially won, for her role in Winter’s Bone, which was a higher caliber of performance. Again, this could be a case of the Academy choosing someone popular, which was Lawrence at the time, to win the coveted Oscar - not for the extreme quality of the work but rather as a figure people liked at the time.
10 Robert Downey Jr Might Be A Superhero, But He Still Hasn't Won Gold
We all know Iron Man as the superhero who has it all, but the man who plays him is still lacking a golden statue that should very much already be his. Robert Downey Jr. was first nominated for an Oscar when he was in his 20s for his role in the 1992 film Chaplin. Downey Jr. did a stunning job portraying famous silent actor Charlie Chaplin, and his role was arguably the best to be nominated that year. Unfortunately, he lost out to Al Pacino that year. Then, Robert was nominated again for 2008’s Tropic Thunder as Best Supporting Actor, but again lost out, this time to Heath Ledger. Robert Downey Jr. is a charismatic actor with a huge number of fans, and talent to boot. And yet, this seasoned actor who has been through so much has yet to nab himself an Oscar. Stay strong Iron Man, your time is sure to come.
9 Gwyneth Paltrow Wasn't The Right Royal Winner
This might have a lot of people upset, but it’s been generally agreed that one of the least deserving Oscar wins was Gwyneth Paltrow for her role in Shakespeare in Love. While this film based on famous writer William Shakespeare is a charming movie with great costumes and a dashingly handsome lead (hello Joseph Fiennes), Gwyneth Paltrow definitely should not have won Best Actress that year for the part she played in it. People have tended to agree that the Oscar that year should have gone to Cate Blanchett for her role in Elizabeth. It seems that Paltrow had a lot of help on her side from people in high places lobbying for her and swaying the Academy's vote for her to win that year. It’s not that Gwyneth played her part in Shakespeare in Love badly, but it’s rather a case of she wasn’t the one to deserve the award that year.
8 Gary Oldman Could Finally Be An Oscar Winner This Year
Gary Oldman is another beloved actor who has never won an Oscar. He emerged in the 1980s as an exceedingly talented British actor and has made a name for himself in Hollywood as being one of the best actors around. Time and time again, Oldman has played supporting roles that have arguably been the most dynamic part of any movie he’s been in. Up until this year, Gary Oldman had only ever received one Oscar nomination, but this year, finally, he received his second, this time for his role in The Darkest Hour in which he plays Winston Churchill. Oldman is apparently the one to beat at this year’s Oscars and it’s looking likely that he might finally get his golden statue this year. If he doesn’t, well it will be an enormous shame, as he really does deserve to have his magnetic talent recognized.
7 Cuba Gooding Jr. Is An Unlikely Winner
Cuba Gooding Jr. won his one and only Oscar for Best Supporting Role in Jerry Maguire. And, while Cuba did an admirable job in his role, his win has puzzled a lot of people in retrospect. The fact that he beat Edward Norton in Primal Fear and William H. Macy in Fargo is still hugely surprising and it seems like his win wasn’t as perhaps deserving as these other two. Also, the fact that Cuba Gooding Jr. is the same man who has also since starred in such poorly chosen films as Boat Trip and Snow Dogs among others, really does leave everyone questioning how this actor was rewarded with an Academy Award. Of course, all actors have their highs and lows and sometimes a poor film choice in inevitable in every actor’s career. However, looking at his trajectory, Cuba Gooding Jr.’s win seems somewhat undeserved.
6 Michelle Williams Deserves More Oscar Recognition
Despite receiving four nominations, Michelle Williams has still never won an Oscar. Since Dawson’s Creek came to a close, Michelle Williams has proven she’s much more than just a teen soap-opera star. The actress has played a number of outstanding roles, and her part in last year’s Manchester By The Sea was arguably one of the most deserving nominations of the season. Despite delivering sensational roles, Williams has been denied a much deserved Oscar over and over again. This year too, Michelle was snubbed as she failed to make the Oscar nominations list for her role in All the Money in the World. Many people expected her to be nominated for her part as she had received a nomination for this role at the Golden Globes. And yet, here we are, yet another year where Michelle has somehow failed to make the mark in the eyes of the Academy.
5 Jennifer Hudson Won For Singing, Not Acting
Yes, Jennifer Hudson, the singer with the killer voice who failed to win American Idol somehow, managed to instead bag herself an Oscar. Not a bad consolation prize, is it? Despite getting this most coveted of acting awards, many have been quick to critique the Academy’s choice for giving her the golden statue for Best Supporting Actress in the musical hit Dreamgirls. Since winning the Oscar, Jennifer hasn’t done very many acting roles, and many have said that the only reason she won the Oscar is that of her key performance in the movie singing “And I’m Telling You.” Some don’t believe Jennifer Hudson deserved the Oscar for that one song alone and have also said that her acting really isn’t that great in Dreamgirls if you take away her singing.
4 Oscar-Winning Is Still Alien To Sigourney Weaver
Sigourney Weaver is another Hollywood stalwart that everyone would probably assume already had one or several, Oscars on her mantle. Sadly though, this isn’t the case, despite the fact that this mega-talented actress has been nominated three times. As the years go by, it becomes more and more apparent how revolutionary Sigourney was in the Sci-Fi genre, especially when looking at the lasting impact of her role as Ripley in the Alien films. Weaver has proven that she can do more than just blockbuster hits, and it’s a real shame that her talents have yet to be recognized with this most prestigious of awards. We’re sure that Sigourney’s time will come, but honestly, it’s boggling to think that she missed out on her Aliens win. Academy, get your wits about you, you’re missing a star who should be rewarded!
3 Leo DiCaprio Finally Won, But He Didn't Deserve His Revenant Award
Ok, first off, Leo DiCaprio totally deserves an Oscar. He just didn’t deserve it for the role he finally got it for. After years and years of being nominated and missing out on other actors, finally, Leo DiCaprio got his Oscar in 2016 for his role in The Revenant. Before finally getting his golden statue, Leo had been nominated five times for some incredible films including Blood Diamond, The Aviator and The Wolf of Wall Street. Arguably, Leo should have won for any of these. And yet, it’s for his barely-speaking, mostly grunting The Revenant part that he finally got his trophy. This might well just be another case of the Academy finally giving Leo the Oscar that we were all begging for him to receive, but really this was not the part for him to win it for. Congrats Leo for finally getting your Oscar, but honestly you’ve done better work elsewhere.
2 Ian McKellen's Oscar Will Surely Come
Believe it or not, this Hollywood legend has never received golden recognition from the Academy in all his years of acting. And, to make things even more surprising, Sir Ian McKellen has only ever been nominated twice: once for Gods and Monsters and once for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Gandalf not having an Oscar? A travesty! Considering the actor’s career has spanned more than 50 years, you’d think he would have racked up more nominations and wins. McKellen, who is openly gay, has been reported as saying he believes that gay actors are often snubbed in the film industry. Whether or not this is true, a lot of evidence could point towards Sir Ian is right, as there’s pretty much no other explanation for him not having already won an Oscar.
1 For Helen Hunt, Her Oscar Win Was As Good As It Would Ever Get
Helen Hunt has never been that charismatic of a force in cinema, so it might surprise you to know that she’s actually the owner of her very own Oscar statue. Hunt won the award for Best Actress in 1997 for her role in As Good As It Gets, starring alongside veteran actor Jack Nicholson. Since winning her one and only Oscar, Helen Hunt has yet to be nominated for anything else and has ended up starring in some pretty poor TV movies to fill the void in her acting career. Helen Hunt did a nice job in As Good As It Gets, but to be perfectly honest, there was nothing particularly special about her performance. Many have said that she was actually the least deserving of the award that year, but as she was the only American actress to be nominated in that category, many think the Academy favored her for that reason.
Sources: EW.com, Time.com, IMDB.com, VanityFair.com, RollingStone.com, FilmSchoolRejects.com, Oscars.org, Variety.com