It’s that time of the year again, awards season building towards the biggie, the Oscars. We all of course value the respect of our peers, and I think any actor who claims he hasn’t at some point imagined holding that gold sparkling Academy Award in his hand and making his witty and moving acceptance speech, is probably not telling the full truth. We’d all love that moment of glory, of affirmation, of a place in the order of honour in our profession. But in the end of the day, the vast majority of us won’t win one. Despite talent, great effort, sacrifice, ingenuity, courage, boldness, creativity, and indeed, marvelous performances, only a very very chosen few get that statuette.
But you know what? That’s okay, because
(a) doing the work is what really counts, using your gifts to be an excellent storyteller, whether that’s in a tiny theatre or a mighty blockbuster
(b) lots of truly amazing actors (and indeed directors) were never recognised with an Oscar.
Let’s just note a few of those – and honorary achievement awards don’t count!
ACTORS WHO NEVER WON AN OSCAR include
Kind of incredible.
Actors still around with a amazing body of work include Robert Redford (won as a director, but not as an actor), Harrison Ford, Mia Farrow, Glenn Close, Ed Harris, Annette Benning, Sigourney Weaver, Donald Sutherland, Isabella Rosselini and Martin Sheen.
In the younger generation, surely it is only a matter of time before an Oscar goes to the likes of Tom Cruise, Johnny Depp, Amy Adams, Edward Norton, Michelle Williams, Will Smith and Brad Pitt. And it’s not just the Yanks: here are some stately Brits and Irish with no Oscar wins: Gary Oldman, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Ian McKellen.
*And this is not even counting actors given an Oscar way too late in their careers, like Paul Newman, who was given a lifetime achievement award a year before his first acting Oscar.
And let’s look at directors:
DIRECTORS WHO NEVER WON AN OSCAR include
For the likes of Christopher Nolan, David Fincher, PT Anderson and Darren Aronovsky, it’s surely only a matter of time, but it’s still yet to happen for directors with the majestic CVs of Terrence Mallick, David Lynch, Michael Mann, Ridley Scott, Jane Campion, Spike Lee, Tim Burton, or David Cronenberg. And that’s not even getting into foreign directors like Jean-Luc Godard, Ingmar Bergman and Akira Kurosawa!
So, while I’d of course be only delighted to get an Oscar nomination, if I never win one, that’s pretty good company to be in, I’d say …