The 89th Annual Academy Awards Ceremonies falls on Sunday, February 26th, this year. Who will win that coveted statuette? Who will be taking home an Oscar®?
There are many people in the movie industry who are considered legends, those who were nominated and deserved the Academy Award but never received that elusive prize. Some of the names will even strike you as What? That can't be true. He/She must have won at least once.
So, in no particular order, here is a cross-section of very deserving movie legends who were often nominated but missed out on the grand prize of the movie industry's top award.
1) Alfred Hitchcock
With a string of directorial masterpieces to his credit, he never won one of the prized statuettes for directing. However, in 1968 he was presented an honorary Oscar® for his lifetime body of work.
2) Cary Grant
He made it look easy which sometimes prevented people from realizing just how good he was—adept at drama and light comedy (and even slapstick, after all he started his career as a vaudeville acrobat in England which certainly equipped him with the dexterity and coordination to do physical comedy). Considered by many to be the epitome of the romantic leading man. However, in 1970 he was presented an honorary Oscar® for his lifetime body of work.
3) Peter O'Toole
He holds the record for the most Best Actor nominations (8) without a win with his most famous role probably Lawrence of Arabia. My personal favorite of Peter O'Toole's films is My Favorite Year, one of his few comedy films. However, in 2003 he was presented an honorary Oscar® for his lifetime body of work.
4) Deborah Kerr
With many outstanding roles, certainly From Here To Eternity and also The King And I, she was nominated six times but no wins. However, in 1994 she was presented an honorary Oscar® for her lifetime body of work.
5) Richard Burton
Many outstanding performances including an exceptional one in Who's Afraid Of Virginia Wolfe. Six nominations, five of them for Best Actor, but no wins.
6) Albert Finney
The British actor is probably best known for Tom Jones, one of his earlier films. He's garnered five nominations but no wins. My favorite Albert Finney film is Murder On The Orient Express, show casing his marvelous portrayal of Hercule Poirot (with an incredible cast including several Oscar® winners and nominees, among them multiple Oscar® winner Ingrid Bergman who won an Oscar® for Best Supporting Actress in Murder On The Orient Express).
7) Angela Lansbury
Today she's best known for her award winning role of Jessica Fletcher, the retired school teacher turned mystery novelist and amateur sleuth in the long running television series Murder, She Wrote. In addition to television, she has an impressive award winning string of Broadway performances. But oddly enough, even though she started her career in films and received three Oscar® nominations, it's the acting award that has remained elusive. One of her Oscar® nominations was for a riveting performance in the original film version of The Manchurian Candidate with Frank Sinatra and Laurence Harvey (she played Laurence Harvey's mother even though they were only a few months apart in age).
8) Fred Astaire
Although best known for a stellar career in a long string of very successful musicals (many with his long time partner, Ginger Rogers), his one and only nomination came for a dramatic role in Towering Inferno.
9) Charlie Chaplin
He is one of the most pivotal stars of the early days of Hollywood. Even though he never won for either acting or directing, I wasn't sure whether to add him to this list of never won an Oscar® because he did win one for Best Original Musical Score in 1952 for Limelight. However, in 1972 he was presented with an honorary Oscar® for his lifetime body of work and received the longest standing ovation in Academy Awards history (over twelve minutes).
There are, of course, many more nominated actors/actresses/directors who deserve but haven't yet had their name engraved on an Oscar®.