One of the most prestigious honors any actor or actress can ever dream of is the Academy Award, more commonly known as the Oscar Award. Every year ten actresses are nominated for the role of ‘Best Actress in the Leading Role’ and ‘Best Actress in the Supporting Role’. Only two actresses bag each of these awards and the rest, who are equally good, or sometimes even better, are left out. In the history of Oscar awards, you will see a number of worthy actresses you did not get the opportunity of housing the award. Hollywood has produced some of the very best actresses in the film industry. These Hollywood actresses who didn’t win the Oscar will surely leave a mark on you by their outstanding acting and push you forward to watch the film. You will be surprised as you browse the following list when you see such great actresses who were left nominated only.
#1 Judy Garland
Nominated twice for Oscar awards, Judy Garland was one of the best Hollywood actresses who ever lived. For the ‘Best Actress in the Leading Role’, she was nominated for her A Star Is Born (1954), and for ‘Best Actress in the Supporting Role’, she was nominated for her Judgement At Nuremberg (1961). However, the film she gained popularity for was The Wizard of Oz (1939) and was never nominated for it.
#2 Irene Dunne
She has been nominated five times for ‘Best Actress in the Leading Role’ for some of the best movies in Hollywood. Her Cimarron (1931) was won over by Marie Dessler for Min and Bill (1930). Her Theodora Goes Wild (1936) was won over by Luise Rainer’s The Great Ziegfeld (1936). The Awful Truth (1937) was won over by Luise Rainer’s The Good Earth (1937). Love Affair (1939) was taken over by Vivien Leigh’s Gone With The Wind (1939). And finally, her I Remember Mama (1948) lost to Jane Wyman’s Johnny Belinda (1948).
#3 Natalie Wood
By the age of 25, Natalie Wood has three Oscar nominations. Her best movie, Splendour In The Grass (1961), was worthy of winning an Oscar. But it lost to Sophia Loren in Two Women (1960). Another one of her amazing movie, Rebel Without A Cause (1955) lost to Jo Van Fleet in East of Eden (1955).
#4 Thelma Ritter
She has been nominated six times for Oscar for ‘Best Actress in the Supporting Role’. One of her best movies, Rear Window (1954) did not fetch her a nomination, which was surprising for the then-audience. Her Pickup on South Street (1953) and All About Eve (1950) were both won over by Donna Reed in From Here To Eternity and by Josephine Hull in Harvey (1950), respectively.
#5 Ava Gardner
Her role as “Honey Bear” Kelly in Mogambo (1953) fetched her the Oscar nomination. However, she lost to a very worthy opponent, Audrey Hepburn for her Roman Holiday (1953). She was named one of the “greatest female stars” by the American Film Institute. The Night of the Iguana (1964) is one of her greatest movies and should have led her straight through to a nomination.
#6 Angela Lansbury
She is a very famous Hollywood actress who couldn’t win herself an Oscar in what appears to be a very long career. At the age of 92, she has three Oscar nominations. Her best film, The Manchurian Candidate (1961) fetched her the nomination for ‘Best Actress in a Supporting role’. She lost it to Patty Duke in her The Miracle Worker (1961). However, she did receive an Honorary Academy Award in 2013.
#7 Michelle Pfeiffer
She has starred in some of the best movies made in Hollywood. She was there in Scarface (1983), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) and Dangerous Liaisons (1988). She was nominated thrice for Oscar but she lost to some very worthy opponents, like Emma Thompson (Howards End, 1992), Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy, 1989) and Geena Davis (The Accidental Tourist, 1988).
#8 Glenn Close
She has found herself five nominations for Oscar in her very busy career. She has also starred in some of the impeccable Hollywood films. She lost ‘Best Actress in a Leading Role’ in both Dangerous Liaisons (1988) and Fatal Attraction (1987) to Jodie Foster (The Accused, 1988) and Cher (Moonstruck, 1987) respectively. Her 1990 film Reversal of Fortune should have fetched her an Oscar nomination but sadly, this great actress stands with none of the Academy Awards.
#9 Maggie Cheung
She is the first Asian actress to have won a prize at the Cannes Film Festival. You require no introduction to her as you get to know that she is leading actress in In The Mood For Love (2000). In this movie, you see her creating an indescribable bond with a man whose wife is having an affair with her own husband. This movie is one of the best movies in the ‘Romance’ category and should have gotten her an Oscar nomination.
#10 Marilyn Monroe
It is almost surprising to know that the most iconic actress in the world hasn’t received an Oscar in her lifetime. She gained the title of a “blonde bombshell” and an iconic sex symbol of the 1950’s. Her 1959 movie Some Like It Hot was worthy of winning her an Oscar. It is almost heartbreaking to know that she was, in fact, never nominated for Academy Awards.
#11 Keira Knightley
She is one of the most sensational Hollywood actresses and putting her in this list is just to show that she should be winning an Oscar any time soon. She was nominated for Pride and Prejudice (2006) and The Imitation Game (2015) and lost to Rachel Weisz (The Constant Gardener) and Julianne Moore (Still Alice). She has also done some remarkable acting alongside Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean (2003,2017).
#12 Michelle Williams
She has been nominated four Oscars and some of them are outstanding films. In 2005, she was nominated for Brokeback Mountain for playing the role of Alma. In 2010, the role of Cindy fetched her an Oscar nomination for the movie Blue Valentine. Playing Marilyn Monroe in her 2011 film My Week with Marilyn and Randi Chandler in her 2016 film Manchester by the Sea also get her two Oscar nominations.
#13 Jennifer Jason Leigh
Quentin Tarantino’s drama-mystery, Hateful Eight (2016) led Jennifer to an Oscar nomination. She lost to Alicia Vikander for her The Danish Girl (2015). She has showcased some extraordinary acting in this film. It was not expected or foreseen that she would lose. However, just to enjoy her spontaneous and effortless acting in this thriller, you should definitely keep this on your must-watch list.
As is rightly said, an actor is not made, s/he is born, this list should be an inspiration for all the struggling actors and actresses out there. Do comment and share!