Schindler’s List may have won seven Academy Awards in 1993, including Best Picture, but the man who played Oskar went home without Oscar. (Tom Hanks won instead for Philadelphia.) That film marks Neeson’s only Oscar nomination, despite Golden Globe nods for Michael Collins and Kinsey. More recently, the actor has been cashing in with his ass-kicking, Kraken-releasing roles in the Taken and Titan movies, so it may be awhile before he powers his way back into prestige project
He’s one of Hollywood’s most successful stars, portraying such iconic characters as Han Solo and Indiana Jones, but money and fame can’t buy you Oscar love. Ford’s only nomination came from his role as an undercover cop in Amish country in Witness. With four films released in 2013 alone (we’ll try to forgive Paranoia), the prolific actor proved he’s not ready to slow down. Perhaps Oscar will catch up with him yet.
Cruise has struck out three times at Oscar—vying for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia — but he’s not out of this game yet. Still, with an upcoming slate that includes sequels to Top Gun and Mission Impossible, Cruise appears more interested in winning back box-office cred than winning statuettes.
A royal oversight! Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1991, Sir Ian has earned more than 60 major international acting awards, including a Tony for playing Antonio Salieri in Amadeus (the role that won F. Murray Abraham his Oscar in 1985). But McKellen still hasn’t scored an Academy Award, despite nominations for Gods and Monsters and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Give this international treasure a gold guy soon—yes, Sir!
Close but no cigar, er, Oscar. This six-time Academy Award nominee has demonstrated amazing versatility throughout her career, with roles ranging from Earth mother (Jenny in The World According to Garp, Sarah in The Big Chill) to sexy stalker (Alex in Fatal Attraction) to cross-dressing butler (Albert in Albert Nobbs) to live-action Disney villain (Cruella in 101 Dalmatians). Close should borrow a line from psycho Alex and tell the Academy, “I’m not gonna be ignored!”
Millions of Titaniacs probably thought Leo deserved the Oscar for playing Jack Dawson in that little boat movie, but he wasn’t even nominated. Instead, the actor has competed and lost for his performances in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Aviator and Blood Diamond. Does his most recent nom (and Golden Globes win) for The Wolf of Wall Street signal that DiCaprio will finally be removed from this list?
A frequent muse for director Tim Burton, Depp received an Oscar nomination for Burton’s Sweeney Todd as well as Finding Neverland and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl. Does Depp himself suffer some Curse of the Gold Man? Doubtful. But perhaps the often-eccentric actor should stop relying on kooky wigs and accents (Alice in Wonderland, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Dark Shadows, etc.) and start focusing on roles that challenge him to stretch beyond the shtick.
Weaver’s turn in Aliens lost out to Marlee Matlin, whose performance in Children of a Lesser God won the Oscar in 1987. Two years later, Weaver scored a double-whammy (like Julianne Moore) with lead and supporting actress noms for Gorillas in the Mist and Working Girl, respectively. These days, Weaver is still working it—and may still win it.
If they handed out awards for pure charisma, Pitt would have won (or at least been nominated) for his head-turning turn in Thelma & Louise. Not one to solely rely on his looks, the actor has proven his chops over the years, earning Oscar nods for Twelve Monkeys, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and Moneyball. If he continues to take chances and make interesting choices, this golden-haired star will grab the golden prize.