Oscars best actor shortlist does not include a previous winner for first time in nine years

There's been a former Oscar-winner in the running for the best actor statuette every year since 2007

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In the early hours of tomorrow morning we’ll finally find out who is best actor at this year’s Oscars, but whoever it is, one thing’s for sure – it will be the first time they’ve won.

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The shortlist of Eddie Redmayne, Benedict Cumberbatch, Bradley Cooper, Steve Carell and Michael Keaton is the first in nine years not to include a former Academy Award winner.

At every previous ceremony since 2007, at least one owner of a coveted golden statuette has been in the running to take home the award.

Last year, Christian Bale was in the mix, having picked up best supporting actor for The Fighter in 2011. On the night, it was Matthew McConaughey who took home his first trophy for Dallas Buyers Club, Bale missing out for his role in American Hustle.

In 2013, two-time winner Daniel Day-Lewis went up against fellow double Oscar winner Denzel Washington, claiming his third best actor Oscar for his performance in Lincoln.

2010 saw both Morgan Freeman and George Clooney battling to make one Oscar two – although neither actually managed it (Jeff Bridges won for Crazy Heart).

The 2008 awards pitted a triple threat of Day-Lewis, Clooney and Tommy Lee Jones against one another, each at the time with one win to their name (it was Day-Lewis who emerged triumphant on the night for There Will Be Blood).

And in 2007, Peter O’Toole was up for best actor – his eighth nomination in total – having picked up a prestigious honorary award in 2003.

The last time the best actor nominees list was a clean slate of non-winners was 2006. The late Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heath Ledger, Terrance Howard, Joaquin Phoenix and David Strathairn made up the noms, with Hoffman getting the recognition that year for his performance in Capote.

So the fact that this year’s winner will be a first-timer is rather exciting; it’s good to see new names and faces storming up the ranks. Not that we ever get bored of you Mr George Clooney. Or indeed you, with your three trophies, Mr Day-Lewis. But a good old-fashioned shake-up is fun – not to mention inspiring for the many actors out there hoping that one day they’ll get to give the speech they’ve honed in the bathroom mirror to actual people rather than their rubber ducky.

It’s a weighty list of films this year’s nominees are representing, too. Cumberbatch is in the running for his turn as persecuted Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing in The Imitation Game, Redmayne for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking in The Theory of Everything, Carell for his disturbing John Du Pont in dark wrestling movie Foxcatcher, Cooper for his conflicted Navy SEAL in American Sniper and Keaton for his work as a tortured Hollywood actor in Birdman. Place your bets if you so dare.

And who knows, perhaps next year all the stars with the most wins will be back to face each other. An ‘Oscar-off’ if you will? But for now, it’s just a matter of hours before a brand new winner will be making room on his mantelpiece for that little golden man who means so much…


Best actor Oscar nominees of the past ten years


2015

Eddie Redmayne: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Bradley Cooper: 2 previous nominations & no previous wins

Benedict Cumberbatch: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Steve Carell: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Michael Keaton: no previous nominations & no previous wins


2014

Christian Bale: 1 previous nomination & 1 previous win (2011 Best Actor in a Supporting Role for The Fighter)

Chiwetel Ejiofor: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Leonardo DiCaprio: 3 previous nominations & no previous wins

Matthew McConaughey: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Bruce Dern: 1 previous nominations & no previous wins


2013

Daniel Day-Lewis: 4 previous nominations & 2 previous wins (1990 Best Actor for My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown and 2008 Best Actor for There Will Be Blood)

Hugh Jackman: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Bradley Cooper: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Joaquin Phoenix: 2 previous nominations & no previous wins

Denzel Washington: 5 previous nominations & 2 previous wins (1990 Best Actor for Glory and 2002 Best Actor for Training Day)


2012

Demian Bichir: no previous nominations & no previous wins

George Clooney: 5 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2006 Best Supporting Actor in Syriana)

Jean Dujardin: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Gary Oldman: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Brad Pitt: 2 previous nominations & no previous wins


2011

Colin Firth: 1 previous nomination & no previous wins

Javier Bardem: 2 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2008 Best Support Actor in No Country for Old Men)

Jeff Bridges: 5 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2010 Best Actor Crazy Heart)

Jesse Eisenberg: no previous nominations & no previous wins

James Franco: no previous nominations & no previous wins


2010

Jeff Bridges: 4 previous nominations & no previous wins

Colin Firth: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Morgan Freeman: 4 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2005 Best Supporting Actor Million Dollar Baby)

Jeremy Renner: no previous nominations & no previous wins

George Clooney: 4 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2006: Best Supporting Actor Syriana)


2009

Sean Penn: 4 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2004 Best Actor Mystic River)

Mickey Rourke: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Richard Jenkins: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Frank Langella: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Brad Pitt: 1 previous nomination & no previous wins


2008

Daniel Day-Lewis: 3 previous nominations & 1 previous win (1990 Best Actor My Left Foot: The Story of Christy Brown)

George Clooney: 3 previous nominations & 1 previous win (2006 Best Supporting Actor Syriana)

Johnny Depp: 2 previous nominations & no previous wins

Tommy Lee Jones: 2 previous nominations & 1 win (1994 Best Supporting Actor The Fugitive)

Viggo Mortensen: no previous nominations & no previous wins


2007

Forest Whitaker: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Leonardo DiCaprio: 2 previous nominations & no previous wins

Ryan Gosling: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Peter O’Toole: 8 previous nominations & 1 win (2003 Honorary Award)


2006

Philip Seymour Hoffman: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Terrence Howard: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Heath Ledger: no previous nominations & no previous wins

Joaquin Phoenix: 1 previous nomination & no previous wins

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David Strathairn: no previous nominations & no previous wins