Top 10 Brits Who Surprisingly Haven't Won An Oscar

Credits: Ashley Bowman Sean Harris
Written by Andrea Buccino Not every great actor gets an Academy Award. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Brits who surprisingly haven’t won an Oscar. For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the UK’s finest thespians who, no matter how good they are, just can’t seem to satisfy the Academy enough to be crowned Best Actor or Actress. Special thanks to our user WordToTheWes for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 Brits Who Surprisingly Haven't Won An Oscar


Not every great actor gets an Academy Award. Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 Brits who surprisingly haven’t won an Oscar.

For this list, we’re taking a look at some of the UK’s finest thespians who, no matter how good they are, just can’t seem to satisfy the Academy enough to be crowned Best Actor or Actress.

#10: Patrick Stewart


From Star Trek’s Captain Picard to Charles Xavier in the “X-Men” movies, Patrick Stewart is an undisputed icon for sci-fi fans the world over. Of course, he’s also an accomplished Shakespearean actor who began his career in theatre, and he often returns to wow audiences with superb stage performances - receiving two Olivier Awards for his work. But the Academy doesn’t seem to have noticed the English actor’s decades of big-screen brilliance, as Stewart hasn’t received a single Oscar nomination.

#9: Liam Neeson


An actor who can portray complex historical characters as well as all-out action heroes, Neeson has a slew of sensational performances under his belt: from Ra’s Al Ghul in “Batman Begins” to Bryan Mills in the “Taken” series, or his part as the real life Irish revolutionary Michael Collins. And yet, he has only snared one Oscar nomination - given for his landmark role as the title character in Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”. But Tom Hanks beat him to that year’s award.

#8: John Hurt


Hurt played many roles which could, and perhaps should, have landed him a statuette, including Joseph Merrick, the protagonist in David Lynch’s “The Elephant Man”, and a standout supporting performance in “Midnight Express”. While he received nominations for those two films, his CV is otherwise Oscar-free, despite a lorry load of laudable highlights. We’re thinking “1984”, “The Proposition”, and while his iconic fate in “Alien” isn’t typical Oscar fare, the scene does prove that Hurt had unparalleled versatility.

#7: Richard Burton


To one of Britain's greatest leading men and, in his prime, one of the world’s most famous actors. However, though Welshman Richard Burton was nominated seven times, he never managed to win with the Academy. Throughout a long and otherwise distinguished career, he starred in Shakespearean epics, classic dramas and tense spy thrillers. A performer who was also well-known for his off-screen antics, party lifestyle and turbulent relationships - not least with Liz Taylor - he has his own, unique spot in Hollywood folklore, regardless of the award he never won.

#6: Peter Sellers


Given that he’s widely considered as one of the most influential comedy actors of all time, we’re still scratching our heads as to why Peter Sellers never won an Oscar. While a role as Inspector Clouseau in the “Pink Panther” series is probably his most famous, Sellers boasts a long and varied back-catalogue, crammed with classic performances. But he surely came closest to convincing the Academy when he played multiple parts in Stanley Kubrick’s “Dr. Strangelove”. The film stands as a comic masterclass, with Sellers front and centre.

#5: Alan Rickman


Next, an actor much loved even before he took on the mantle of Professor Snape in the “Harry Potter” film series. Few could play the bad guy with as much gusto and panache as Alan Rickman. Case in point, his performance as Hans Gruber in “Die Hard”, which still ranks as one of the best action movie villains in history. But, Rickman was no one-trick pony, and he could adapt his style for period dramas, cult comedies and box-office hits. But, to widespread bewilderment, he was never even nominated for an Oscar.

#4: Ian McKellen


Another stage and screen stalwart, Ian McKellen has proven a pioneer for British actors throughout his career, and he’s a bona fide cultural icon. Though impressing in low budget indie films, Shakespeare adaptations and billion dollar blockbusters alike, he only has two Oscar noms to his name - for playing James Whale in “Gods and Monsters” and Gandalf the Grey in “The Lord of the Rings”. What’s perhaps even more surprising is that he’s never bagged a BAFTA, either. What’s a guy gotta do for some recognition around here?

#3: Ralph Fiennes


A celebrated actor who has often taken on complex and challenging roles, Ralph Fiennes has consistently been involved with Academy-approved films, but is yet to earn an individual award. His chilling portrayal of Nazi war criminal Amon Göth in “Schindler's List” of course comes to mind, as do roles in cult favourites such as “Spider” and “The Grand Budapest Hotel”. But while Fiennes has proven his worth on multiple occasions, he’s garnered only two nominations for his trouble, for “Schindler’s List” and “The English Patient”.

#2: Christopher Lee


Our runner-up had one of the most recognisable voices in film, and played some of cinema’s most iconic big-screen characters. Christopher Lee will forever be remembered as one of the most important actors in horror movie history, known particularly for his definitive Hammer Production portrayals of Frankenstein’s monster and Dracula. Other frightening forays include his crazed Lord Summerisle in cult masterpiece “The Wicker Man”, which was reportedly Lee’s personal favourite. And while Lee was greatly respected, he was never nominated for an Oscar in his lifetime.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some Honourable Mentions:

Tom Hardy

Dirk Bogarde

Carey Mulligan

#1: Gary Oldman


In a case arguably comparable to Leonardo DiCaprio’s long wait for an Oscar win, Gary Oldman continually misses out at the movie industry’s main event. Despite bagging countless other accolades for various standout performances, Oldman only scored his first nomination in 2012, for playing George Smiley in "Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” - but was pipped by Jean Dujardin in “The Artist”. While Oldman is well known for villainous roles, he stands as one of the UK’s most adaptable performers, and is often unrecognisable in character. But that’s no excuse, it’s about time he was noticed. Get this man an Oscar!
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