Ten people you think have won Oscars but haven’t

From James Dean and Judy Garland to Johnny Depp and Leonardo DiCaprio, here are the shock omissions from the Academy's list of winners

While we don’t exactly feel sorry for these folk – they’ve got fame, fortune, adoration in buckets – it must be a nuisance when everyone assumes your mantlepiece is heaving with Oscars when it isn’t. A sore point, especially in the case of those with umpteen nominations from the Academy and not a single win. 


So, we thought we’d do them all a favour and dispel the myths once and for all. What with the Oscars taking place this Sunday, you may want to impress – and surprise – your family and friends with all the legendary actors and actresses you think have won the coveted golden statuette but haven’t. Here’s everything you need…

1. Peter O’Toole

Officially the Academy’s biggest loser, the late Peter O’Toole garnered a record eight nominations during his 60-year acting career but failed to convert a single one into silverware. Collecting nods for Lawrence of Arabia, The Lion in Winter, Goodbye Mr. Chips and My Favourite Year, to name just a few, the actor was eventually persuaded to accept an honorary Oscar in 2003, telling the audience, ““Always a bridesmaid, never a bride my foot! I have my very own Oscar now to be with me ’til death do us part.”

2. James Dean

James Dean’s film career may have been cut tragically short but the young actor left an indelible mark on the industry. He also holds two records of his own, becoming the first actor to receive a posthumous Oscar nomination (for East of Eden) and the only one to receive a second for Giant which was released a year after his death in a car crash in 1955. Also known for his work on Rebel Without A Cause, Dean has gone on to become a Hollywood icon with Robert Pattinson currently shooting a film based on his life.

3. Richard Burton

Just falling short of O’Toole’s record eight Academy nominations is Richard Burton who collected seven nods during his forty-year career. But, unlike his notorious spouse Elizabeth Taylor, the Welsh screen legend never triumphed despite picking up Bafta, Golden Globe and Tony Awards for best actor. Perhaps his finest chance was his punt for the leading man gong for Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf, but it wasn’t to be, with Paul Schofield taking home the silverware instead while Burton passed away suddenly in 1984, aged just 58.

4. Judy Garland

You’d think four decades and forty movies – many of them critically acclaimed – would land you the ultimate prize, but it wasn’t to be for Judy Garland. Besides her honorary Juvenile Award from the Academy in 1940, Garland picked up two further nominations for Judgement at Nuremberg and A Star Is Born, but there was no Oscar at the end of her rainbow. However, her most iconic film, The Wizard of Oz, is set to celebrate its 75th anniversary at this Sunday’s Oscars ceremony with a special tribute attended by her three children.

5. Alfred Hitchcock

Five best director nominations failed to score Alfred Hitchcock a coveted golden statuette. Rear Window, Vertigo and Psycho are just a handful of the seminal films created by the British director and in total his features have garnered fifty nominations but, despite Rebecca winning best picture in 1941, the Academy notably snubbed the man himself – an omission seen by many as an Oscars injustice.

6. Glenn Close

Along with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter, Glenn Close holds the record for most actress nominations from the Academy without a win. Six, to be precise. Yup, despite some beguiling turns in Dangerous Liaisons and Fatal Attraction – plus a memorable appearance as Cruella de Vil in 101 Dalmations (OK, that one wasn’t Oscars fodder), Close has repeatedly fallen at the final hurdle with her last nomination coming in 2011 for Albert Nobbs. 

7. Julianne Moore

Julianne Moore has a CV packed full of memorable roles, from Boogie Nights to Far From Heaven, but despite plenty of nominations across all the major ceremonies, she’s rarely got her hands on the prize. During her 30-year career, four of those nods have come from the Academy, including two in one year for lead and supporting actress back in 2003, but so far she’s yet to add an Oscars statuette to her mantlepiece.

8. Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp has been showered with accolades throughout his career but the Oscar has always remained out of his grasp. Attracting the attention of the Academy for Sweeney Todd, Finding Neverland and box office giant Pirates of the Carribean, the 50-year-old actor has failed to match the good fortune of his swashbuckling hero, Jack Sparrow. And based on his current record at the box office and among critics – his latest foray, The Lone Ranger, was widely panned – it doesn’t look like he’ll be taking to the Oscars stage anytime soon.

9. Cary Grant

Like Peter O’Toole, Cary Grant was on the receiving end of some Academy damage control in 1970 when he was awarded an honorary Oscar after failing twice to get his hands on the coveted golden figurine. A sure-fire entry on countless best actor lists, Grant – unlike his contemporaries Humphrey Bogart and James Stewart – was continually overlooked, most notably for his performances in Penny Serenade and None But the Lonely Heart in 1941 and 1944 and it took a further three decades for the Academy to finally see sense.

10. Leonardo DiCaprio

Not yet forty and Leonardo DiCaprio has already picked up four Oscars nominations for What’s Eating Gilbert Grape (1994), The Aviator (2005), Blood Diamond (2007) and this year’s The Wolf of Wall Street. Few are fancying his chances of finally claiming the ultimate acting prize with stiff competition in his category from Dallas Buyers Club’s Matthew McConaughey and 12 Years A Slave’s Chiwetel Ejiofor but most would agree its high time DiCaprio added his name to the Oscars Hall of Fame. With his long-term partnership with Martin Scorsese offering cinema viewers an embarrassment of riches, we’re confident it won’t be long before he adds an Oscar to his enviable collection of silverware.