A dozen notable stars who haven’t struck gold
Anything could happen Feb. 24 at the Academy Awards ceremony, but one safe bet seemingly is on Glenn Close, who looks likely to win the best-actress honor for her performance in “The Wife.”
The film earned ecstatic reviews, thanks largely to Close, who plays a writer with unrecognized talent.
“The Wife” has already earned Close Golden Globe and Screen Actors Guild awards, making the 71-yearold actress the odds-on favorite for an Oscar.
And, believe it or not, the Academy Award would be her first.
Close has such a long track record of critical acclaim and commercial success that most people probably think she has picked up the statue at some point.
She has been nominated six previous times — for her work in “The World According to Garp,” “The Big Chill,” “The Natural,” “Fatal Attraction,” “Dangerous Liaisons” and “Albert Nobbs.”
Each time, however, Close struck out.
And she isn’t the only Hollywood star whose lack of Oscar gold might surprise many people.
Here are 11 others (past or present):
After playing charmers and naifs in such movies as “Catch Me If You Can” and “Enchanted,” Adams worked to establish herself as a serious actress.
Over the past decade, she has starred opposite Christian Bale in three films — “The Fighter,” “American Hustle” and the 2018 film “Vice” — each time earning a nomination.
Will this year be the charm?
Looking back on Bening’s 30-year film career, you’ll find probably a dozen Oscar-worthy performances.
Four have earned nominations: her con artist in “The Grifters,” neurotic wife in “American Beauty,” London stage actress in “Being Julia” and lesbian matriarch in “The Kids Are All Right.”
He’s a worldwide megastar, but — despite fine work in “Ed Wood,” “Donnie Brasco” and “Finding Neverland” — Depp has no Oscar.
A recent spate of negative publicity and overly cartoonish roles (“The Lone Ranger,” “Alice in Wonderland”) are probably not helping his cause. Joaquin Phoenix as Freddie Quell in “The Master”
Robert Downey Jr.
The actor currently known as Iron Man started as a 1980s pretty boy (“Less Than Zero”), then earned an Oscar nod for his starring role in the biopic “Chaplin.” He earned another nomination — one the academy might prefer to forget — for playing Kirk Lazarus, a blackface performer, in the comedy “Tropic Thunder.”
Didn’t he win for “Witness?” No, Ford lost to William Hurt in “Kiss of the Spider Woman.”
Other films that didn’t even earn Ford a nod: “The Mosquito Coast,” “Regarding Henry” and “The Fugitive.”
He was the Tom Cruise of the 1930s, a global superstar whose natural charisma and box-office power put him at the tippytop of Hollywood — and he never won an Oscar.
Unlike Cruise, Flynn was never even nominated — not for “Captain Blood,” “The Charge of the Light Brigade” or the still-dazzling “Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938). (Cruise was nominated for his roles in “Magnolia,” “Jerry Maguire” and “Born on the Fourth of July.”)
No, he did not win an Oscar for “Schindler’s List.” Neeson’s performance as a real-life German who helped save Jews during the Holocaust has become so synonymous with emotional depth that “Seinfeld” spent an entire episode poking fun at it.
Neeson lost the award to Tom Hanks, who won for “Philadelphia,” and he hasn’t been nominated for an Oscar since.
Long considered one of the best actors alive, Norton has been nominated three times, for his astounding debut in “Primal Fear,” his terrifying performance as a neo-nazi in “American History X” and his bittersweet portrayal of a Broadway actor in “Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance).”
He’s a bit of an anticelebrity, averse to publicity and no fan of the Academy Awards. It probably doesn’t bother him much, then, that his Oscar nominations — for “Gladiator,” “Walk the Line” and “The Master” — didn’t yield wins.
One of the great screen sirens of the 1940s, Turner steamed up the box office in “The Postman Always Rings Twice,” “The Bad and the Beautiful” and many other films. She earned critical acclaim, too — and a great deal of money — thanks to her 50 percent stake in the smash hit “Imitation of Life” (1959). The Oscar, though, never came her way.
Any list of great contemporary actresses would surely put Weaver near the top, but she has missed the Oscar three times, earning nods for the sci-fi film “Aliens,” the Dian Fossey biopic “Gorillas in the Mist” and the rom-com “Working Girl.”
Too bad there isn’t an Oscar for best popular performance. She would probably have one for her role as the demonic Dana Barrett in “Ghostbusters.”