Os­car-less ac­tors

A dozen no­table stars who haven’t struck gold

The Columbus Dispatch - - Life&arts - By Rafer Guz­man Newsday

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):

Amy Adams

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?

An­nette Ben­ing

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.”

Johnny Depp

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.”

Har­ri­son Ford

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.”

Er­rol Flynn

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.”)

Liam Nee­son

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.

Ed­ward Nor­ton

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).”

Joaquin Phoenix

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.

Lana Turner

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.

Sigour­ney Weaver

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.”

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