Great A-List Actors Who Have Never Won an Oscar – Part 3

Posted on 18 Sep 00:00

Human beings are social beings created to be happy. We do a lot of things in in our quest to achieve this end. Among those things we do, is watch movies. Whether a single episode or a whole franchise of films, we enjoy it all the same. Fictional, romantic, horror, or drama films- we enjoy them. One thing that is undoubtedly true is the fact that we get entertained by these movies because some great actors did an excellent job in portraying the characters. These actors are recognized by many organizations, and they get nominated for awards which they may also win. One such award is the Oscar which is treasured worldwide. This article features some seven actors who, despite their wonderful performances.

1)  Joaquin Phoenix:  Notable Film - Walk the Line (2005)

One actor who many movie buffs remember for his incredible performances is Joaquin Phoenix. Phoenix has acted in many films. However, many remember him for his performance in the 2005 biographical musical romantic drama 'Walk the Line' film. The movie's plot is developed from Johnny Cash's two autobiographies, the 1975's 'Man in Black: His Own Story in His Own Words' and 1997's 'Cash: The Autobiography'. The storyline is built around Cash's life, how he falls in love with Carter, and how he rises on the country music scene. The movie ends with Cash and the father reconciling. He embraces June after she accepts his proposal of marriage on stage.

Director: The screenplay from which the movie was developed was written by Mangold and Gill Dennis, and James mangold used it to direct the film.

Main cast: the film has the following as the main actors; Joaquin Phoenix (Johnny Cash), Reese Witherspoon (June Carter), Ginnifer Goodwin (Vivian Liberto), and Robert Patrick (Ray Cash).

Awards and nominations: 'Walk the Line' was a tremendous success in the market. Joaquin won the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He also received nominations from other organizations like BAFTA, Satellite Awards, and the Broadcast Film Critics Association Award for Best Actor. The film was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing. Still, it lost the awards to other movies. Witherspoon received eight awards from different organizations, including the Academy Awards, for her role as the Best Actress. The following is a list of Joaquin's nominations;

2001: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Gladiator 
2006: Nominated for Best Actor, Walk the Line
2013: Nominated for Best Actor, The Master

2)  Ed Harris:  Notable Film – Pollock (2000)

Many movie goers remember the A-List actor Ed Harris notably for his role in the 2000 American biographical 'Pollock' film.  The movie features the life of Jackson Pollock, an American painter. Pollock lives with his brother Sande but is forced to move out when they say they are expecting a baby. He meets Lee and marries her later when she insists that they either marry or separate. Pollock is battling alcoholism, sometimes taking his painting business downhill when he drinks and flops. He heavily drinks and drives, eventually killing himself and Ruth’s friend Edith, while Ruth survives severe injuries. Today is expressionist artwork is priceless.

Director: Ed Harris directed this movie.

Main cast: the film stars Ed Harris (Jackson Pollock) . Marcia Gay Harden (Lee Krasner), Jennifer Connelly (Ruth Kligman), Robert Knott (Herbert Matter), Bud Cott (Howard Putzel), Molly Regan, and Sada Thompson (Stella Pollock).                          

Awards and nominations: Harris won the Toronto Film Critics Association Awards and was also nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. Marcia Gay Harden won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress and the New York Film Critics Circle Awards. She was also nominated at the Independent Spirit Awards.

Ed Harris has received the following nominations;

1996: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Apollo 13
1999: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, The Truman Show
2001: Nominated for Best Actor, Pollock
2003: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, The Hours

3)  Bill Murray:  Notable Film – Groundhog Day (1993)

Director, Harold Ramis, worked together with Danny Rubin to write the movie's script, which Ramis used to direct the film. Weatherman Connors (Bill Murray) finds himself captured in a time loop, forcing him to relive February 2nd repeatedly. He has contempt toward his job, calling the place' a small town' and the people there 'hicks' and assures himself that soon he will be leaving that job. He says that an impending blizzard will miss Pennsylvania. However, the opposite happens, and Western Pennsylvania is hit, blocking traffic and forcing him to spend the night there against his will. He finds himself caught in a time loop and every day is February 2nd. He drinks, ends up in prison, only to come back and indulge in robbery, binge drinking, and other vices. He then chooses to embrace the loop and decides to help people through piano playing and ice carving. Rita eventually appreciates him and loves him, which makes him overcome the loop and he wakes up to a different day, February 3rd.

Main cast: Bill Murray (Phil Connors), Andie MacDowell (Rita Hanson) and Chris Elliott (Larry).   

Awards and nominations: the film was nominated for Best Screenplay by the New York Film Critics Circle Awards but lost the award. It won the Best Comedy Film Award for the British Academy Awards. MacDowell won the Saturn Award for Best Actress. Ramis and Rubin won the BAFTA's Best Screenplay award, alongside other nominations that the film received.

In this film, Murray did not receive any awards, but was later nominated for other roles;

2004: Nominated for Best Actor, Lost in Translation

4)  John Travolta:  Notable Film – Saturday Night Fever (1997)

John Travolta is notably remembered  for his role in the 1977 dance drama Saturday Night Fever movie. The storyline centers on Tony Manero (John Travolta), a young working-class Italian-American man from Brooklyn who spends his weekends dancing and drinking at a local discotheque. His partners are Stephanie Mangano (Karen Lynn Gorney), his confidante, and Annette ( Donna Pescow), a neighborhood girl who is infatuated with him and later becomes his girlfriend. Frank, Tony's brother, leaves the priesthood and encourages Tony to continue dancing. Tony has a crew of four dancers, one of them being the disillusioned Bobby who commits suicide out of despair. Tony is tired of this life, and the movie ends with him telling Annette that he'll be relocating to Brooklyn.

Director: John Badham.

Main cast: the movie stars for this film are John Travolta (Tony Manero), Karen Lynn Gorney (Stephanie Mangano), and Donna Pescow (Annette).

Awards and nominations: Saturday Night Fever was a major success upon release and received several awards and nominations. The Grammy Awards nominated it for the Album of the year and the National Board of Reviews for Top Ten Films, and it won this award. John Travolta also won the National Board of Reviews' Award for Best Actor.

Below are the roles for which John Travolta has been nominated;             

1978: Nominated for Best Actor, Saturday Night Fever
1995: Nominated for Best Actor, Pulp Fiction

5)  Gary Oldman:  Notable Film – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Every movie lover will definitely remember Gary Oldman for his great performance in the 2011 Cold War spy thriller 'Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy' movie. The movie's setting is London in the 1970s. It is about how a Soviet double agent within the British secret service is hunted. Smiley (Gary Oldman) is the right-hand man to Control, the top officer of British Intelligence. The hunt turns out to be difficult, and Control dies in the process. Smiley survives and resumes his duties.

Director:  Tomas Alfredson was Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy movie’s director. He used Bridget O'Connor and Peter Straughan’s screenplay based on John le Carré's 1974 Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy novel to direct the film.

Main cast:  Gary Oldman (George Smiley), Colin Firth (Bill Haydon), Tom Hardy (Ridki Tarr).

Awards and nominations: upon its release, it saw tremendous success. It was the highest-grossing film for the three weeks during which it was theatrically being released. It was awarded a BAFTA Award for the Best British Film. Other nominations that the film received are Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Original Score, and Best Actor, which Oldman received.

Here are the nominations Oldman ever received;

2012: Nominated for Best Actor, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
2018: Nominated for Best Actor, Darkest Hour

6)  Liam Neeson:  Notable Film – Schindler's List (1993)

Liam Neeson is notable for 1993's epic historical drama 'Schindler's List'. The film is adopted from Thomas Keneally’s 1982 'Schindler's Ark' a historical fiction novel. The movie features Oskar Schindler (liam Neeson) and his wife Emilie Schindler (Caroline Goodall). Schindler is a German industrialist who teams up with his wife in saving over a thousand mostly Polish-Jewish refugees by employing them in his factories during World War II. This way, they salvage them from the Holocaust. Although he may have to surrender to the American Army, Schindler’s benevolence is recognized when his workers present him with an engraved ring which has the following quote: "Whoever saves one life saves the world entire." Years later, Yad Vashem honors Schindler for saving the Jews.

Director:  Steven Spielberg directed the movie using a script penned by Steven Zaillian.

Main cast: Liam Neelson (Oscar Schindler) is the starring actor alongside Caroline Goodall (Emile Schindler).                        

Awards and nominations:  the film was a significant success upon release and even saw American President Bill Clinton and show Host Oprah Winfrey encourage people to watch it. It garnered numerous accolades. Its many nominations included Best Make-up, Best Film, Best Costume Design, and Best Direction. It won the Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Editing, and Best Supporting Actor Awards.

1994: Nominated for Best Actor, Schindler's List

7)  Ralph Fiennes:  Notable Film – The English Patient (1996)

Ralph Fiennes is an A-List actor remembered for his notable role in the 1996 British-American epic romantic war drama 'The English Patient' movie. The setting of the story is northern Italy during the last four months of World War II. Four individuals (Almasy, Hana, Kip, and Caravaggio) find themselves forsaken in a villa, and the movie features them. The leading character is an English-speaking patient (Ralph Fiennes) who is burned beyond recognition. He relates his story to the caring nurse about his true identity and the romantic affair he has before the war. He narrates all this in a series of flashbacks. From the story, Almasy got the burns when the German anti-aircraft unit shot him. A group of Bedouin then saves him and takes him to Siwa Oasis, from where he is taken to Italy. After narrating the story, he dies.

Director:  Anthony Mighella used Michael Ondaatje's 1992 'The English Patient' novel to develop the script, which he eventually used to direct the movie.

Main cast:  Ralph Fiennes (Almasy) is the movie’s protagonist. Juliette Binoche (Hana), Naveen Andrews (Kip), and Willem Dafoe (Caravaggio) .

Awards and nominations: the film was a major hit as evidenced by its high grosses and the twelve nominations, nine of which it wins. The won awards include Best Director, Best Supporting Actress, Best Picture, and an Oscar for Best Editing.

Fiennes receives an Oscar nomination for this film. Shown below are the nominations he has received;

1994: Nominated for Best Supporting Actor, Schindler's List
1997: Nominated for Best Actor, The English Patient


We appreciate the great actors who cause us to enjoy the movies we watch. Not all of them have won an Oscar. 

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