With the Academy Awards ceremony coming up this Sunday, February 22, we decided to take a look at some of the best actors and actresses who never won an Oscar for their acting talents. In this gallery, we’ve collected images of a number of actresses who either were nominated but never managed to claim the coveted golden statuette, and those who weren’t even honored with a nomination.
There are exceptions, though.
We’ve listed several actresses who were eventually given Honorary Oscars for various career achievements. Although this is significant, let’s be honest: it’s not the same as a competitive Academy Award. Also there are a few actresses who never won a competitive Oscar for their work most likely due to the fact that the bulk of their careers happened before the first Academy Award ceremony in 1929 (which honored films made in 1927-28). Every actress on this list except for five (Debbie Reynolds, Catherine Deneuve, Kim Novak, Maureen O’Hara, and Doris Day) are no longer in the acting business because they’re no longer with us.
Here are 42 actresses who never won an Oscar…but should have. Stay tuned for Never Won an Oscar, Pt. III.: The Directors, Writers, & Cinematographers.
And if you haven’t seen our gallery of actors who never won an Oscar, make sure to check it out!
Featured: Greta Garbo, Ava Gardner, Carole Lombard, Madeline Kahn, Dame Judith Anderson, Debbie Reynolds, Agnes Moorehead, Barbara Stanwyck, Gloria Swanson, Doris Day, Catherine Deneuve, Beulah Bondi, Deborah Kerr, Elsa Lanchester, Lauren Bacall, Irene Dunne, Janet Leigh, Jean Arthur, Eleanor Parker, Jean Harlow, Julie Harris, Judy Garland, Myrna Loy, Tallulah Bankhead, Kim Novak, Thelma Ritter, Jean Simmons, Lana Turner, Lucille Ball, Shirley Temple, Rosalind Russell, Margaret Sullavan, Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich, Gene Tierney, Maureen O’Hara, Merle Oberon, Jean Hagen, Miriam Hopkins, Natalie Wood, Rita Hayworth, Lillian Gish
Jill Blake is a writer and researcher based in Atlanta, GA. She is the co-editor of The Retro Set and the co-host of the podcast DWT: Drinking While Talking. Jill has written for various outlets including Indicator, Netflix Film, Turner Classic Movies, and FilmStruck. She is currently writing a book on stage and screen actors Fredric March and Florence Eldridge.
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