From Charles Farrell to Tom Cruise: Non-Nominated Actors - Biggest Oscar Snubs

by Andre Soares
Paul Henreid Ingrid Bergman Claude Rains Humphrey Bogart Casablanca
Paul Henreid in Casablanca, with Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, and Humphrey Bogart. Bogart and Rains were nominated for their performances in the Michael Curtiz-directed Best Picture Oscar winner. Bergman was nominated for Sam Wood's For Whom the Bell Tolls. Henreid wasn't nominated for anything.

(See previous post: Biggest Oscar Snubs: Eric Stoltz, Cher, Peter Bogdanovich, Al Pacino, and Catherine O'Hara.) In addition to Audrey Hepburn, Cher, Eric Stoltz, Al Pacino, and Catherine O'Hara, hundreds of other deserving performers have been “snubbed” by Academy voters for various reasons. One of those reasons is a very logical one: no matter how many good performances you get to admire in any given year, the Oscars only have 20 slots reserved for acting.

The list below isn't a reflection of my personal tastes. And unlike the other posts in the “Biggest Oscar Snubs” series – which features some of the most talked-about Oscar “snubs” – this partial list of non-nominated actors is supposed to be an illustration of which performers were bypassed by the Academy while their vehicles (especially if a Best Picture winner) and co-stars (especially if more than one) were shortlisted. Some of those omissions were followed by widespread outrage; others were duly ignored.

Note: In early 1940, Judy Garland received a Special Academy Award for “outstanding performance as a screen juvenile during the past year.”

Note Part II: If a performer had two Oscar-“friendly” movies in the same year, s/he could only be nominated for one. Therefore, I've left out actors who were bypassed for one Oscar-nominated movie (e.g., William Holden for Born Yesterday in 1950) but that were nominated that same year for something else (in Holden's case, Sunset Blvd.).

Note Part III: There were no official nominations for the period 1928-29, but several names were “considered” for that year's Academy Awards. I've included below a handful of names not found under official “consideration” by the Academy.

  • Charles Farrell, 7th Heaven (1927-28)
  • Clara Bow, Richard Arlen and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers, Wings (1927-28)
  • Anita Page and Charles King, The Broadway Melody (1928-29)
  • Edmund Lowe and Dorothy Burgess, In Old Arizona (1928-29)
  • Jeanette MacDonald, The Love Parade (1929-30)
  • Lew Ayres, All Quiet on the Western Front (1929-30)
  • Ina Claire, The Royal Family of Broadway (1930-31)
  • Estelle Taylor, Cimarron (1930-31)
  • Greta Garbo, John Barrymore, Joan Crawford, Wallace Beery and Lionel Barrymore, Grand Hotel (1931-32)
  • Jackie Cooper, The Champ (1931-32)
  • Miriam Hopkins, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931-32)
  • Clive Brook, Cavalcade (1932-33)
  • Myrna Loy, The Thin Man (1934)
  • Charles Laughton and Fredric March, The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934)
  • Jean Arthur, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936)
  • William Powell and Myrna Loy, The Great Ziegfeld (1936)
  • Leslie Howard, Romeo and Juliet (1936)
  • Cary Grant, The Awful Truth (1937)
  • Henry Fonda, Jezebel (1938)
  • Charles Boyer, Love Affair (1939)
  • Judy Garland, The Wizard of Oz (1939)
  • Melvyn Douglas, Ninotchka (1939)
  • Leslie Howard, Gone with the Wind (1939)
  • Merle Oberon, Wuthering Heights (1939)
  • Jean Arthur, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
  • Cary Grant, The Philadelphia Story (1940)
  • Herbert Marshall and Gale Sondergaard, The Letter (1940)
  • Herbert Marshall, Carl Benton Reid, and Charles Dingle, The Little Foxes (1941)
  • Walter Pidgeon and Maureen O'Hara, How Green Was My Valley (1941)
  • Joan Leslie, Sergeant York (1941)
  • Charles Boyer and Paulette Goddard, Hold Back the Dawn (1941)
  • Joan Leslie and Rosemary DeCamp, Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
  • Paul Henreid, Casablanca (1943)
  • William Eythe, The Song of Bernadette (1943)
  • Joel McCrea, The More the Merrier (1943)
  • Edward G. Robinson and Fred MacMurray, Double Indemnity (1944)
  • Shirley Temple, Joseph Cotten and Robert Walker, Since You Went Away (1944)
  • Zachary Scott and Jack Carson, Mildred Pierce (1945)
  • Jane Wyman, The Lost Weekend (1945)
  • Myrna Loy, Dana Andrews, and Teresa Wright, The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
  • Tyrone Power and Gene Tierney, The Razor's Edge (1946)
  • Gregory Peck and Joseph Cotten, Duel in the Sun (1946)
  • Trevor Howard, Brief Encounter (1946)
  • Joseph Cotten, The Farmer's Daughter (1947)
  • Katina Paxinou, Mourning Becomes Electra (1947)
  • Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt, The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
  • Montgomery Clift and Miriam Hopkins, The Heiress (1949)
  • Joanne Dru, All the King's Men (1949)
  • Gary Merrill and Hugh Marlowe, All About Eve (1950)
  • Broderick Crawford, Born Yesterday (1950)
  • Elizabeth Taylor, A Place in the Sun (1951)
  • Kirk Douglas, Detective Story (1951)
  • Robert Morley, The African Queen (1951)
  • Lana Turner, The Bad and the Beautiful (1952)
  • Burt Lancaster, Come Back, Little Sheba (1952)
  • James Mason, Julius Caesar (1953)
  • Gregory Peck, Roman Holiday (1953)
  • Clark Gable, Mogambo (1953)
  • William Holden, Sabrina and The Country Girl (1954)
  • Doris Day, Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
  • Henry Fonda and James Cagney, Mister Roberts (1955)
  • William Holden, Love Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955)
  • Burt Lancaster, The Rose Tattoo (1955)
  • Julie Harris, East of Eden (1955)
  • Elizabeth Taylor, Giant (1956)
  • Rock Hudson and Lauren Bacall, Written on the Wind (1956)
  • Miiko Taka, Sayonara (1957)
  • William Holden, The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
  • Tyrone Power and Marlene Dietrich, Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
  • Burt Lancaster and Rita Hayworth, Separate Tables (1958)
  • Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, Some Came Running (1958)
  • Coral Browne, Auntie Mame (1958)
  • Tony Curtis and Marilyn Monroe, Some Like It Hot (1959)
  • Lee Remick and Ben Gazzara, Anatomy of a Murder (1959)
  • Millie Perkins and Richard Beymer, The Diary of Anne Frank (1959)
  • Montgomery Clift, Suddenly Last Summer (1959)
  • Rock Hudson, Pillow Talk (1959)

Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman, Rain Man
Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman in Barry Levinson's Academy Award winner Rain Man (1988). Hoffman won the Best Actor Oscar that year; Cruise wasn't even nominated.

  • Jean Simmons, Elmer Gantry (1960)
  • Robert Mitchum, The Sundowners (1960)
  • Fredric March, Inherit the Wind (1960)
  • Fred MacMurray, The Apartment (1960)
  • Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier, Fanny (1961)
  • Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, West Side Story (1961)
  • Laurence Harvey, Summer and Smoke (1961)
  • Alec Guinness, Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
  • Paul Newman, Sweet Bird of Youth (1962)
  • Joan Crawford, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
  • Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Cleopatra (1963)
  • Brandon De Wilde, Hud (1963)
  • Susannah York, Tom Jones (1963)
  • Alan Bates and Irene Papas, Zorba the Greek (1964)
  • Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, and Glynis Johns, Mary Poppins (1964)
  • Audrey Hepburn, My Fair Lady (1964)
  • Vivien Leigh, Ship of Fools (1965)
  • Jason Robards and Barbara Harris, A Thousand Clowns (1965)
  • Laurence Harvey and Dirk Bogarde, Darling (1965)
  • Christopher Plummer and Eleanor Parker, The Sound of Music (1965)
  • Terence Stamp, The Collector (1965)
  • Sidney Poitier, A Patch of Blue (1965)
  • Alan Bates, Georgy Girl (1966)
  • Susannah York, A Man for All Seasons (1966)
  • Sidney Poitier, In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967)
  • Martin Sheen, The Subject Was Roses (1968)
  • Mark Lester, Shani Wallis and Oliver Reed, Oliver! (1968)
  • Mia Farrow, Rosemary's Baby (1968)
  • Michael Sarrazin, They Shoot Horses, Don't They? (1969)
  • Karl Malden, Patton (1970)
  • Robert Mitchum and Trevor Howard, Ryan's Daughter (1970)
  • Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, Jacqueline Bisset and Jean Seberg, Airport (1970)
  • Michael Jayston and Irene Worth, Nicholas and Alexandra (1971)
  • Timothy Bottoms and Cybill Shepherd, The Last Picture Show (1971)
  • Fernando Rey, The French Connection (1971)
  • Michael York, Cabaret (1972)
  • Max von Sydow, The Emigrants (1972)
  • Diane Keaton, The Godfather (1972)
  • Paul Newman and Robert Shaw, The Sting (1973)
  • Max von Sydow, The Exorcist (1973)
  • Ryan O'Neal, Paper Moon (1973)
  • George Segal, A Touch of Class (1973)
  • Geraldine Fitzgerald, Harry and Tonto (1974)
  • John Huston, Chinatown (1974)
  • Diane Keaton, The Godfather: Part II (1974)
  • Robert Redford and Dustin Hoffman, All the President's Men (1976)
  • Sophia Loren, A Special Day (1977)
  • Julie Christie, Heaven Can Wait (1978)
  • Gregory Peck, The Boys from Brazil (1978)
  • Liv Ullmann, Autumn Sonata (1978)
  • Michael Douglas, The China Syndrome (1979)
  • Burt Reynolds, Starting Over (1979)
  • Alan Bates, The Rose (1979)
  • Shirley MacLaine, Being There (1979)
  • Tommy Lee Jones, Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)
  • Paul Le Mat, Melvin and Howard (1980)
  • Donald Sutherland, Ordinary People (1980)
  • Kristy McNichol, Only When I Laugh (1981)
  • Sally Field, Absence of Malice (1981)
  • Ben Cross and Ian Charleson, Chariots of Fire (1981)
  • Liza Minnelli and Geraldine Fitzgerald, Arthur (1981)
  • Charlotte Rampling, The Verdict (1982)
  • Richard Gere, An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)
  • James Garner, Victor Victoria (1982)
  • Kurt Russell, Silkwood (1983)
  • Victor Banerjee, A Passage to India (1984)
  • Kelly McGillis, Witness (1985)
  • Raul Julia, Kiss of the Spider Woman (1985)
  • Kathleen Turner, Prizzi's Honor (1985)
  • Danny Glover, The Color Purple (1985)
  • Jane Fonda, Agnes of God (1985)
  • Robert Redford, Out of Africa (1985)
  • Helena Bonham Carter and Julian Sands, A Room with a View (1986)
  • Jessica Lange and Diane Keaton, Crimes of the Heart (1986)
  • Tom Cruise, The Color of Money (1986)
  • Charlie Sheen, Platoon (1986)
  • Mia Farrow and Barbara Hershey, Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)
  • John Lone, Peter O'Toole and Joan Chen, The Last Emperor (1987)
  • Nicolas Cage, Moonstruck (1987)
  • John Malkovich, Dangerous Liaisons (1988)
  • William Hurt and Kathleen Turner, The Accidental Tourist (1988)
  • Harrison Ford, Working Girl (1988)
  • Tom Cruise, Rain Man (1988)
  • Paul Newman, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge (1990)
  • Al Pacino and Diane Keaton, The Godfather: Part III (1990)
  • Glenn Close, Reversal of Fortune (1990)
  • John Cusack, The Grifters (1990)
  • Ray Liotta, Goodfellas (1990)
  • Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore, Ghost (1990)
  • Annette Bening, Bugsy (1991)
  • Jessica Lange, Cape Fear (1991)
  • Barbra Streisand, The Prince of Tides (1991)
  • Kevin Costner, JFK (1991)
  • Anthony Hopkins, Howards End (1992)
  • Harvey Keitel and Sam Neill, The Piano (1993)
  • Harrison Ford, The Fugitive (1993)
  • Johnny Depp, Ed Wood (1994)
  • Sally Field and Robin Wright, Forrest Gump (1994)
  • John Cusack, Bullets Over Broadway (1994)
  • Tim Robbins, The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
  • Mel Gibson and Patrick McGoohan, Braveheart (1995)
  • Tom Hanks, Gary Sinise, Kevin Bacon and Bill Paxton, Apollos 13 (1995)
  • Meryl Streep and Leonardo DiCaprio, Marvin's Room (1996)
  • Willem Dafoe and Naveen Andrews, The English Patient (1996)
  • Renée Zellweger, Jerry Maguire (1996)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Titanic (1997)
  • Mark Wahlberg, Boogie Nights (1997)
  • Ben Affleck, Good Will Hunting (1997)
  • Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce, L.A. Confidential (1997)
  • Joseph Fiennes, Shakespeare in Love and Elizabeth (1998)
  • Brendan Fraser, Gods and Monsters (1998)
  • Ralph Fiennes, The End of the Affair (1999)
  • Bruce Willis, The Sixth Sense (1999)
  • Winona Ryder, Girl, Interrupted (1999)
  • Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron, The Cider House Rules (1999)
  • Al Pacino, The Insider (1999)
  • Chris Cooper, Wes Bentley, Thora Birch and Mena Suvari, American Beauty (1999)
  • Ewan McGregor, Moulin Rouge! (2001)
  • Nick Stahl, In the Bedroom (2001)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio and Cameron Diaz, Gangs of New York (2002)
  • Meryl Streep, The Hours (2002)
  • Richard Gere, Chicago (2002)
  • Dennis Quaid, Far from Heaven (2002)
  • Nicole Kidman, Cold Mountain (2003)
  • Jack Nicholson, Something's Gotta Give (2003)
  • Melissa Leo and Charlotte Gainsbourg, 21 Grams (2003)
  • Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation (2003)
  • Jim Carrey, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
  • Ralph Fiennes, The Constant Gardener (2005)
  • Michael Sheen, The Queen (2006)
  • Andrew Simpson, Notes on a Scandal (2006)
  • Anne Hathaway, The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
  • James McAvoy, The Last King of Scotland (2006)
  • Beyoncé Knowles, Jamie Foxx and Anika Noni Rose, Dreamgirls (2006)
  • Greg Kinnear, Toni Collette, Steve Carell and Paul Dano, Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
  • Matt Damon and Jack Nicholson, The Departed (2006)
  • James McAvoy and Keira Knightley, Atonement (2007)
  • Gordon Pinsent, Away from Her (2007)
  • Josh Brolin and Tommy Lee Jones, No Country for Old Men (2007)
  • Cate Blanchett, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008)
  • Rosemarie DeWitt and Debra Winger, Rachel Getting Married (2008)
  • Christian Bale, The Dark Knight (2008)
  • Michael Sheen, Frost/Nixon (2008)
  • James Franco, Milk (2008)
  • James McAvoy, The Last Station (2009)
  • Emma Thompson and Alfred Molina, An Education (2009)
  • Amy Adams, Julie & Julia (2009)
  • Sam Worthington, Zoe Saldana, and Sigourney Weaver, Avatar (2009)
  • Matt Damon, True Grit (2010)
  • Mark Wahlberg, The Fighter (2010)
  • Julianne Moore, The Kids Are All Right (2010)
  • Andrew Garfield and Justin Timberlake, The Social Network (2010)
  • Mila Kunis and Barbara Hershey, Black Swan (2010)
  • Ryan Gosling, Blue Valentine (2010)
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Inception (2010)

Note: The list above isn't a reflection of my personal tastes. And unlike the other posts in the “Biggest Oscar Snubs” series – which features some of the most talked-about Oscar “snubs” – this partial list of non-nominated actors is supposed to be an illustration of which performers were bypassed by the Academy while their vehicles (especially if a Best Picture winner) and co-stars (especially if more than one) were shortlisted. Some of those omissions were followed by widespread outrage; others were duly ignored.

Photo: The Fighter (Paramount Pictures).

Note: Unlike the other posts in the “Biggest Oscar Snubs” series – which features some of the most talked-about Oscar “snubs” – this partial list of non-nominated actors is supposed to be an illustration of which performers were bypassed by the Academy while their vehicles (especially if a Best Picture winner) and co-stars (especially if more than one) were shortlisted. Some of those omissions were followed by widespread outrage; others were duly ignored.

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7 comments

kev 123 -

Gary Sinise was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in Forrest Gump

Reply
Alt Film Guide -

@kev 123

Thanks for the correction. The list has been amended.

Reply
Brooke M -

In that case, my apologies. I didn't read the other post in full. But I still refuse to believe that Anna Hathaway, Sam Wortington, and Zoe Saldana, were snubbed, by any stretch of the imagination lol.

Reply
Brooke Mackenzie -

I'm sorry but Anne Hathaway was not 'snubbed' for The Devil Wears Prada' I've never heard anyone say that in my life, its basically a rom-com, and she's not even good, why would she get nominated. Not to mention the Avatar people. No1 has said the acting in that film is good, in fact, aside from Weaver, its kinda bad.

Big and unexpected snubs missing would be

Sally Hawkins - Happy Go-Lucky

Angelina Jolie - A Mighty Heart

Bjork - Dancer In The Dark

Jennifer Jason Leigh - Georgia

Julianne Moore - Magnolia

Cameron Diaz - Vanilla Sky

I don't like some of these performances, but they all hit major precursers, yet failed to get a nom.

Reply
Andre -

@Brooke

The list includes only actors/actresses whose movies/co-stars (usually more than one) were nominated for the Oscar – but those listed above weren't. That's why they were "snubbed."

I'll add a clarification at the bottom of this post.

Reply
Chris andrew reno -

I'd like to add two nominations snubs for michelle pfeiffer, the age of innocence (1993) Best actress and For best actress for white oleander (2002).

Reply
Marya -

I agree so hard on the Danny Glover and Nicolas Cage ones. esp. considering all the other nominations that came out of those films.

Reply

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