The 30 Greatest Living Actors Who Have Never Been Nominated For An Oscar

10. Toby Jones


Ah now here is a unique actor. We’ve all seen him in countless films whether we realize it or not. Unfortunately he’s not been given many leading roles in Hollywood. We certainly see him ia fair amount in big films. He played Claudius Templesmith in the Hunger Games series and though his role was reduced in later films in the series he still played an important part. He was also Dr. Arnim Zola in Captain America: The First Avenger and Captain America: The Winter Soldier.

Due to his more unconventional appearance Hollywood tends to lump him in the supporting actor category. He is perhaps best known for playing the famous Truman Capote in the film Infamous which had the misfortune of coming out the same year as Phillp Seymour Hoffman’s film Capote.

Infamous has its issues but Jones captured Capote’s personality and energy in a way that easily rivals and often surpasses Hoffman’s performance. He even played Alfred Hitchcock in The Girl. That once again came out the same year as another high profile film called Hitchcock where Anthony Hopkins played the famous director.

Maybe its timing but either one of those films should have been enough to make him a starring name. I think most people probably know him for his role as the voice of Dobby in the Harry Potter series. He may not be a star name but we have all seen him on our screens at some point, which is high praise for someone with his range.

Selected filmography: Tale of Tales (2015), Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011), Infamous (2006), Berberian Sound Studio (2012)


9. John Goodman

The Big Lebowski

Big man John Goodman is one of the most important contemporary American performers and voice actors, and one who had the privilege of delivering some of the most uniquely written roles in the Coen brothers’ filmography.

He could have been nominated for “Barton Fink” (1991) or “The Big Lebowski” (1998).

Selected filmography: Raising Arizona (1987), Sea Of Love (1989), Barton Fink (1991), The Big Lebowski (1998), Bringing Out The Dead (1999), The Jack Bull (1999), Monsters, Inc. (2001), The Artist (2011), Argo (2012), Flight (2012), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013)


8. Gael García Bernal

Bad Education

Coming from an artistic family, Gael García Bernal was the first Mexican to be accepted at the Central School Of Speech & Drama in London, and soon after went on to become the face of the resurgent cinema of his country, as well as an international star.

He could have been nominated for “Amores Perros” (2000), “Y Tu Mamá También” (2001), “Bad Education” (2004), or “The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004).

Selected filmography: Amores Perros (2000), Y Tu Mamá También (2001), Bad Education (2004), The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), Babel (2006), The Science Of Sleep (2006), Rudo Y Cursi (2008), Even The Rain (2010), No (2012)


7. Daniel Auteuil


One of the most famous students of the Cours Florent Drama School in Paris, Daniel Auteuil is a man capable of playing roles of great dramatic ferocity, a fact which made him one of Europe’s most admired actors of the last 30 years.

He could have been nominated for “Jean De Florette” (1986), “A Heart In Winter” (1992), “Girl On The Bridge” (1999), or “Caché” (2005).

Selected filmography: Jean De Florette (1986), Manon Des Sources (1986), A Heart In Winter (1992), My Favorite Season (1993), La Séparation (1994), The Eighth Day (1996), Girl On The Bridge (1999), The Closet (2001), 36th Precinct (2004), Caché (2005), Conversations With My Gardener (2007), The Well-Digger’s Daughter (2011)


6. Bruno Ganz


Swiss legend Bruno Ganz has been one of the leading international actors of the last 40 years, starring in films by Werner Herzog, Wim Wenders, Éric Rohmer, Theo Angelopoulos, Francis Ford Coppola, Volker Schlöndorff, Wolfgang Petersen, and Franklin J. Schaffner.

He could have been nominated for “The Marquise Of O” (1976), “The American Friend” (1977), “Wings Of Desire” (1987), or “Downfall” (2004).

Selected filmography: The Marquise Of O (1976), The American Friend (1977), Schwarz Und Weiß Wie Tage Und Nächte (1978), The Boys From Brazil (1978), Nosferatu The Vampyre (1979), In The White City (1983), Wings Of Desire (1987), Eternity And A Day (1998), Bread And Tulips (2000), Downfall (2004), The Reader (2008), In Order Of Disappearance (2014)


5. Timothy Spall

Mr. Turner

Once awarded as the most promising actor at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, Englishman Timothy Spall established himself as a much-desired character actor for every major film production out there. Most of all, he became acclaimed filmmaker Mike Leigh’s favorite protagonist, and his overall acting genius would bring him comparisons to acting titans like Charles Laughton.

He could have been nominated for “Secrets & Lies” (1996), “All Or Nothing” (2002), “Pierrepoint” (2005), or “Mr. Turner” (2014).

Selected filmography: Quadrophenia (1979), Life Is Sweet (1990), Secrets & Lies (1996), Still Crazy (1998), Topsy-Turvy (1999), Shooting The Past (1999), Chicken Run (2000), All Or Nothing (2002), Nicholas Nickleby (2002), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), Pierrepoint (2005), Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007), The Damned United (2009), The King’s Speech (2010), Mr. Turner (2014)


4. Jim Carrey

Jim Carrey in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

A phenomenon of comedy and improvisation, and arguably the finest impersonator that ever lived, Canadian Jim Carrey became one of the most popular and highest-grossing actors of his generation. This fact helped him in the process of finding challenging new material, so the world would witness his equally solid dramatic chops, too.

He could have been nominated for “Liar Liar” (1997), “The Truman Show” (1998), “Man On The Moon” (1999), or “Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind” (2004).

Selected filmography: Peggy Sue Got Married (1986), Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994), The Mask (1994), Dumb And Dumber (1994), Liar Liar (1997), The Truman Show (1998), Man On The Moon (1999), Me, Myself & Irene (2000), Bruce Almighty (2003), Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004), Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004), I Love You Phillip Morris (2009)


3. Brendan Gleeson

Kelly Reilly and Brendan Gleeson in Calvary

A former schoolteacher, Brendan Gleeson did not commit to acting full time until his mid-30’s. Luckily for us, he was able to get the breaks he needed, due to his ability to give emotional yet witty performances almost effortlessly. As a result, for the last decade he has been enjoying some of the best times of his acting career so far, showcasing his rare charisma to moviegoers.

He could have been nominated for “The General” (1998), “In Bruges” (2008), “The Guard” (2011), or “Calvary” (2014).

Selected filmography: The Treaty (1991), The Snapper (1993), Braveheart (1995), Michael Collins (1996), I Went Down (1997), The General (1998), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), 28 Days Later (2002), Gangs Of New York (2002), Cold Mountain (2003), In Bruges (2008),The Secret Of Kells (2009), Into The Storm (2009), The Guard (2011), Calvary (2014), Edge Of Tomorrow (2014)


2. Donald Sutherland


A characteristic tall and slim figure of the 70s and 80s, Canadian Donald Sutherland is probably the most obvious Oscar omission of all living actors. Basically a rare combination of funny meets creepy meets charming, Sutherland has proven himself as a chameleon able to adjust to any style, and thus has become a favorite among some of the most important European and American filmmakers of the last 50 years.

He could have been nominated for “MASH” (1970), “Klute” (1971), “Don’t Look Now” (1973), or “Ordinary People” (1980).

Selected filmography: The Dirty Dozen (1967), MASH (1970), Kelly’s Heroes (1970), Klute (1971), Don’t Look Now (1973), 1900 (1976), Fellini’s Casanova (1976),The Eagle Has Landed (1976), Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978), Ordinary People (1980), Eye Of The Needle (1981), A Dry White Season (1989), JFK (1991), Citizen X (1995), Without Limits (1998), Path To War (2002), The Italian Job (2003), Cold Mountain (2003), Pride & Prejudice (2005), Human Trafficking (2005), The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013)


1. Jean-Louis Trintignant


A true giant of international cinema, French actor Jean-Louis Trintignant has enjoyed one of the most extraordinary careers in movie business for the last 60 years, and only seems to get better with age.

His thrifty performances have always made it easy to focus on his acting quality instead of his good looks, and the biggest confirmation came when Michael Haneke wrote the role of Georges in “Amour” specifically for him (he did that once more for his upcoming 2017 film “Happy End”). The result was one of his most shocking performances.

He could have been nominated for “Z” (1969), “The Conformist” (1970), “Three Colors: Red” (1994), or “Amour” (2012).

Selected filmography: Les Liaisons Dangereuses (1959), Violent Summer (1959), Il Sorpasso (1962), A Man And A Woman (1966), Les Biches (1968), The Man Who Lies (1968), The Great Silence (1968), Z (1969), My Night At Maud’s (1969), The Conformist (1970), The Desert Of The Tartars (1976), La Terrazza (1980), Confidentially Yours (1983), Under Fire (1983), Three Colors: Red (1994), Those Who Love Me Can Take The Train (1998), Amour (2012)

Honorable mentions: Martin Sheen, Treat Williams, Peter Stormare, Nick Frost, Jeff Goldblum, Ricardo Darín, Craig Robinson, Sean Bean, Gabriel Byrne, Ray Liotta, Philip Davis, Steve Martin, Cillian Murphy, Antonio Banderas, Danny Glover, Robert Carlyle, Chevy Chase, Richard Gere

Author Bio: Andreas Papadakis has been a film lover for all of his life, but it is not until recently that he realized he had a desire for sharing his love with others through writing (hoping that the others will be ok with this). He enjoys a large variety of styles and genres, and he is in the process of creating his own screenplay in the near future, so beware… You can follow or friend him on Facebook.