Of course, I have a lot of people on their known just for their looks and being heartthrobs. Of course, while there weren’t a lot of shirtless scenes during the Golden Age of Hollywood, they still had their sex symbols such a pin-ups. And many of these appeared in movies. Nevertheless, many movie stars who became famous for their looks don’t usually win Oscars because the Hollywood establishment doesn’t exactly take them as seriously unless they’ve done serious dramatic work or have a great Shakespearean British accent (you know who you are, Alan Rickman). Yet, while some fade, there are those who seem to endure. Now this post pertains to a lot of stars known to entice sex in the pictures like Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell, Rita Hayworth, Jean Harlow, Marlene Dietrich, and Kim Novak. Of course, there are female stars on this post who didn’t become sex symbols like the sickeningly wholesome Doris Day (Ugh!) and the Broadway darling Rosalind Russell. Finally, we have a couple male stars on here such as Montgomery Clift, a promising actor whose career and life would never be the same after crashing his car into a telephone pole and Richard Harris, drinking buddy with Richard Burton and Peter O’Toole but later sobered up enough to play Albus Dumbledore before dying of cancer. So without further adieu, here is 10 more actors and actress who never made that iconic Oscar speech for beating Meryl Streep, Katharine Hepburn, or whoever else received a lot of acting nominations at the time.
31. Montgomery Clift
Personal Life: (1920-1966) Born in Omaha, Nebraska. Father was vice-president of the Omaha National Trust Company. Mother thought she was an adopted illegitimate child from Southern aristocracy and had her children home schooled by private tutors until they were teenagers. During WWII, he was rejected for service due to colitis and allergies. First appeared on Broadway at 15 and performed there for 10 years before Hollywood. In 1956, he crashed his car through a telephone pole after leaving a dinner and was seriously injured with a broken jaw and nose, a fractured sinus, and several facial lacerations which required plastic surgery. He would never fully recover and began to depend on alcohol and pills for relief. His health and physical condition would deteriorate from then on. He also became erratic with his performances suffering and his career declined that he was unemployable by the 1960s. Died of a heart attack at 45.
Famous for: American actor known for playing moody and sensitive outsiders and hero victims as well as helped change Hollywood masculinity. One of the original Method Actors of Hollywood. First actor to refuse to sign a Hollywood contract and choose films independently, later adopted by Robert Redford and the Independent Film movement. Notable roles are Ralph ‘Steve’ Stevenson from The Search, Matthew ‘Matt’ Garth from Red River, Morris Townsend from The Heiress, George Eastman from A Place in the Sun, Fr. Michael William Logan from I Confess, Pvt. Robert E. Lee ‘Prew’ Prewitt from From Here to Eternity, John Wickliff Shawnessy from Raintree County, Dr. Cuckrowicz from Suddenly, Last Summer, Perce Howland from The Misfits, Sigmund Freud from Freud, and Rudolph Petersen from Judgment at Nuremberg.
Nominated for: Clift was nominated for Best Actor 3 times and Best Supporting Actor once consisting of: 1948 for The Search, 1951 for A Place in the Sun, 1953 for From Here to Eternity, and 1961 for Judgment at Nuremberg.
Most Crushing Loss: He probably should’ve won the Oscar for From Here to Eternity which basically devastated him when he lost to William Holden. Yet, the movie’s producer sent him a small golden bugle which he treasured for the rest of his life.
Reasons: Clift was said to be unpopular among the Hollywood elite for refusing to conform to Hollywood standards. He refused to reveal his private life (since he was a closeted bisexual), avoided movie premieres and parties, was usually unavailable for interviews, and preferred not to live in Los Angeles. Also, despite receiving the best care available for 1956, he’d never recover from smashing his car in a telephone pole.
Trivia: Spoke French, German, and Italian. Brother was married to Eleanor Clift and had a child with Kim Stanley. Had a twin sister who survived him by 48 years. Spent a few days in a monastery and studied priests for I Confess. Made his fellow cast and crew members cry while filming his death scene in From Here to Eternity and learned to play the bugle even if he knew it would be dubbed. Burt Lancaster was nervous and afraid Clift would out act him prior to working with him. Spent a night in a state prison for A Place in the Sun. James Dean would sometimes call him just to hear his voice.
32. Marilyn Monroe
Personal Life: (1926-1962) Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in Los Angeles, California, later changed to Baker. Father either divorced her mother soon after her birth or her parents were never married at all (we’re not sure who her father was). If he knew of her existence, then he was certainly a deadbeat for her mother was mentally and financially unstable as well as unable to care for her. Spent much of her childhood in foster homes as a ward of the state and possibly experienced at least attempted sexual assault. Married her first husband at 16, just to get out of the system and when he left to serve as a Merchant Marine in WWII, she worked at a munitions factory, mainly spraying airplane parts with flame retardant and inspecting parachutes. Was discovered by a cameraman from the First Motion Picture Unit and encouraged her to apply for The Blue Book Modeling Agency. She was discovered by 20th Century Fox and changed her name to Marilyn Monroe. Made her first film in 1947. Married 3 times with her second husband Joe DiMaggio and third husband Arthur Miller. Struggled with alcohol and drug addiction as well as sought psychiatric help in her later years. Found dead from a barbiturate overdose at 36.
Famous for: American actress, model, and singer who became a major sex symbol starring in a number of commercially successful motion pictures during the 1950s and early 1960s. Notable roles are Angela Phinlay from The Asphalt Jungle, Miss Claudia Caswell from All About Eve, Nell Forbes from Don’t Bother to Knock, Miss Lois Laurel from Monkey Business, Rose Loomis from Niagara, Lorelei Lee from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Pola Debevoise from How to Marry a Millionaire, Kay Weston from The River of No Return, Victoria Hoffman from There’s No Business Like Show Business, The Girl from The Seven Year Itch, Cherie from Bus Stop, Elsie Marina from The Prince and the Showgirl, Sugar Cane Kowalczyk from Some Like It Hot, Amanda Dell from Let’s Make Love, and Roslyn Taber from The Misfits.
Nominated for: Monroe was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Should’ve been nominated for Best Actress in 1961 for The Misfits, yet it received mixed reviews and flopped. But she still received a Golden Globe and it’s proof she really could act. Also should’ve received an honorary Oscar for being such a significant cultural icon but she didn’t live too long.
Reasons: Mostly her not winning the Oscar was due to the fact her talent was rarely taken seriously due to being a sex symbol and typecast as a dumb blond she was not. Not to mention, she refused to abandon Arthur Miller when he was called to the House Committee on Un-American Activities as well as had a very terrible childhood. It didn’t help that her personal life was tabloid fodder, particularly her marriages to Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller (who’d later become Daniel Day Lewis’ father-in-law in the 1990s). Not to mention, she was said to be difficult to work with in her later years.
Trivia: Has status as a pop and cultural icon as well as a quintessential sex symbol. Named No. #1 in TV Guide’s Film’s Sexiest Women of All Time. Converted to Judaism upon marrying Arthur Miller. Romantically linked to Marlon Brando, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. Worked at the same factory where Ronald Reagan posed for morale photographs during his service. Was a natural brunette (and didn’t dye her hair blond when she started modeling, particularly after she heard that the agency was looking for girls with lighter hair). Was featured on the cover for the first issue of Playboy Magazine where she posed nude.
33. Jean Harlow
Personal Life: (1911-1937) Born Harlean Harlow Carpenter in Kansas City, Missouri. Father was a dentist. Was very close to her mother while her parents had a very unhappy arranged marriage. Mother was extremely protective and coddling instilling a sense her daughter owed everything she had to her. In 1922, her parents divorced and she rarely saw her father again after that. Attended high school in Illinois where her mother remarried in 1927. She married her first husband the same year and would move with him to Los Angeles where she entertained as a wealthy socialite but they divorced two years later mostly due to his drinking. Stumbled into Hollywood when she drove an actress friend to the Fox Studios for an appointment and basically went to the audition on a bet by her mother’s maiden name: Jean Harlow. Made her first film in 1928. Married 3 times and dated William Powell at the time of her death from kidney failure at 26.
Famous for: American actress and sex symbol of the 1930s. One of the biggest movie stars in the world by the late 1930s, often nicknamed the “Blond Bombshell” and the “Platinum Blonde”, and popular for her “Laughing Vamp” movie persona. Made a few films with Clark Gable. Notable roles are Helen from Hell’s Angels, Anne Courtland from The Secret Six, Gwen Allen from The Public Enemy, Anne Schuyler from Platinum Blonde, Vantine from Red Dust, Kitty Packard from Dinner at Eight, Lola Burns from Bombshell, Helen “Whitey” Wilson from Wife vs. Secretary, Gladys Benton from Libeled Lady, Suzy, Lillian ‘Lil’/’Red’ Andrews Legendre from Red-Headed Woman, and Carol Clayton from Saratoga.
Nominated for: Harlow was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Should’ve been nominated for Best Actress in 1936 for Libeled Lady. Seriously, you have to feel for her in that movie.
Reasons: Well, Harlow was seen as a sex symbol and mostly made comedies. Also, she died young, yet had relationships with much older men.
Trivia: Was Marilyn Monroe’s idol. Romantically involved with William Powell (who was said to be the love of his life and was deeply devastated when she died. Yet he was the one who financed her funeral arrangements. Ironically, they once lived a few blocks away back in Kansas City, Missouri). Called, “Baby.” Wrote a novel. Was known as the “Original Blonde Bombshell.” Bombshell was basically a parody of her life. Died during the filming of Saratoga. Using actual bleach in her hair might’ve contributed to her early death.
34. Rita Hayworth
Personal Life: (1918-1987) Born Margarita Carmen Cansino in Brooklyn, New York City. Father came from Spain. Parents were dancers and was taught to dance by relatives. First performed in public at 6 and made her first film at 8. Father moved his family to Hollywood in hopes to perform in the movies and that his family could be a part of it as well as established his own dance studio. Yet, he lost all his investments during the Great Depression. Partnered with her dad to form “The Dancing Cansinos” in Tijuana casinos and bars since she was too young under California law. Dropped out of high school. Began her acting career at 16 though Columbia required her to change her name and have plastic surgery (skin bleaching and painful hairline electrolysis) as well as dye her hair red. Married 5 times including third husband Orson Welles and fourth husband Prince Aly Khan and had a daughter to both men. Struggled with alcoholism which prematurely aged her. Retired in 1973. Was removed from a TWA flight for an angry outburst with her agent and her drinking was so bad that she wasn’t diagnosed with Alzheimer’s until 1980, which would claim her life at 68.
Famous for: American actress and dancer who achieved fame during the 1940s as one of the era’s top stars and became known for her deep sultry voice and flaming red hair. Made 61 films in 37 years. Notable roles are Virginia Brush from The Strawberry Blonde, Dona Sol from Blood and Sand, Maria Acuña from You Were Never Lovelier, Rusty Parker/Maribelle Hicks from Cover Girl, Irene Malcolm from Affectionately Yours, Gilda Mundson Farrell from Gilda, Elsa Bannister from The Lady from Shanghai, Carmen from The Loves of Carmen, Princess Salome from Salome, Chris Emery from Affair in Trinidad, Vera Prentice-Simpson from Pal Joey, Ann Shankland from Separate Tables, Rosalie Kenny from The Money Trap, and Señora De La Plata from The Wrath of God.
Nominated for: Hayworth was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actress in 1947 for The Lady from Shanghai. That or not receiving an honorary Oscar for her career.
Reasons: Well, Hayworth was basically a sex symbol and mostly typecast as either dancers or femme fatales, sometimes both. Also, she was Hispanic and drank heavily and had a torrid personal life.
Trivia: Grandfather popularized the bolero and had a world famous dancing school in Madrid. Daughter Princess Yasmin Khan took care of her in her final years in New York City. Was a top pin-up girl for military servicemen in the 1940s and a beauty icon for women.
35. Marlene Dietrich
Personal Life: (1901-1992) Born Marie Magdalene Dietrich in the former Brandenburg town of Schöneberg, now part of Berlin, Germany. Father was a police lieutenant who died when she was 6 and her mother married his best friend in 1916 who was a first lieutenant of the Grenadiers but he died due to WWI injuries. Studied in violin but her dreams of being a violinist were curtailed when she injured her wrist but not without playing violin for a pit orchestra to accompany silent films in 1922 at a Berlin cinema. But she was fired after 4 weeks. Debuted on the stage as a chorus girl and worked through the ranks. Made her first film in 1923. Went to Hollywood after the success of The Blue Angel. Married to Rudolf Sieber for 43 years and had a daughter (yet it was an open marriage since she had affairs as a bisexual). Became a US citizen in 1939. Survived cervical cancer in 1965. Suffered from poor circulation in her legs. Injured her left thigh in 1973 and right leg in 1974. Retired in 1975 after she fell off stage and broke her thigh. An alcoholic and dependent on painkillers, spent the last 11 years of her life as a mostly bedridden recluse in Paris. Died of renal failure at 90.
Famous for: German-American actress and singer who remained popular during her long career by continually reinventing herself. Capitalized on her glamor and exotic looks cementing her stardom as one of the highest paid actresses of the era. Notable roles are Lola-Lola from The Blue Angel, Mademoiselle Amy Jolly from Morocco, Shanghai Lily from Shanghai Express, Helen Faraday from Blonde Venus, Princess Sophia Frederica / Catherine II from The Scarlet Empress, Madeleine de Aupre from Desire, Domini Enfilden from The Garden of Allah, Frenchy from Destry Rides Again, Jamilla from Kismet, Erika Von Schlutow from A Foreign Affair, Charlotte Inwood from Stage Fright, Altar Keane from Rancho Notorious, Maria de Creveçoeur from The Monte Carlo Story, Christine Vole (Helm) / cockney woman from Witness for the Prosecution, and Mrs. Bertholt from Judgment at Nuremberg.
Nominated for: Dietrich was nominated for Best Actress in 1931 for Morocco.
Most Crushing Loss: Should’ve been nominated for Best Actress in 1957 for Witness for the Prosecution. Seriously, who knew she could master a Cockney accent.
Reasons: Well, her strong anti-Nazi made her a rather controversial figure in Germany for years after WWII. Was also bisexual as well as reputed to have many affairs. Not to mention, she was often seen as a sex symbol and starred in a lot of risqué stuff in her early career.
Trivia: Mother’s family owned a clock making firm. Was a staunch anti-Nazi and was one of the first celebrities to raise war bonds during WWII and performed for Allied Troops in Algeria, Italy, Britain, and France. Recordings were used for the OSS such as “Lili Marleen.” Sister and brother-in-law ran a movie theater for the Nazi officials from the Bergen Belsen concentration camp whom she interceded with Allied officials on behalf of her relatives, sheltering them from possible prosecution as Nazi collaborators. Said to travel with a medal of St. Christopher in her satchel. Was awarded the Medal of Freedom and the Légion d’honneur. Known for wearing men’s suits off-screen. Funeral at Le Madeleine Roman Catholic Church had 1,500 mourners. Boxed at Sabri Mahir’s boxing studio in Berlin during the 1920s. Dubbed “the world’s most glamorous grandmother” upon the birth of her grandson in 1948. Romantically linked to Gary Cooper, Mercedes de Acosta, Erich Maria Remarque, Yul Brynner, George Bernard Shaw, John F. Kennedy, John Wayne, and Jimmy Stewart.
36. Rosalind Russell
Personal Life: (1907-1976) Born Catherine Rosalind Russell in Waterbury, Connecticut. Attended Marymount College and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. Her parents thought she was studying to be a teacher instead of a stage comedienne she was planning to be. Started out as a model and took a job for a stock company against her parents’ wishes as well as had a brief career in opera. Moved to Los Angeles in the early 1930s as a contract player for Universal Pictures and felt humiliated and moved to MGM. Made her first film in 1934. Married to Frederick Brisson for 35 years and had a son. Had a mental breakdown in 1943 and struggled with severe rheumatoid arthritis. Died after a long battle with breast cancer at 65.
Famous for: American actress known for playing character roles, exceptionally wealthy, dignified, ladylike women, as well as for being one of the few actresses of her time who regularly played professional women, such as judges, reporters, and psychiatrists. Had a wide career span from the 1930s to 1970s and attributed her long career to the fact, although usually playing classy and glamorous roles, she never became a sex symbol. Notable roles are Olivia from Night Must Fall, Christine from The Citadel, Sylvia Howard Fowler from The Women, Hildy Johnson from His Girl Friday, Ann Winters from This Thing Called Love, Ruth Sherwood from My Sister Eileen, Elizabeth Kenny from Sister Kenny, Lavinia Mannon from Mourning Becomes Electra, Miss Rosemary Sydney from Picnic, Mame Dennis from Auntie Mame, Mrs. Bertha Jacoby from A Majority of One, Susan Manning Middlecott from A Woman of Distinction, Mama Rose Hovick from Gypsy, and Mother Superior from The Trouble With Angels.
Nominated for: Russell was nominated 4 times for Best Actress consisting of 1942 for My Sister Eileen, 1946 for Sister Kenny, 1947 for Mourning Becomes Electra, and 1958 for Auntie Mame.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Loretta Young for the 1947 Best Actress race, which she was expected to win. Seriously, nobody remembers The Farmer’s Daughter. Not to mention, what’s more crushing is that Russell might not have lost fair and square to Clark Gable’s baby mama.
Reasons: Was typecast as a sophisticated lady in melodramas during her early years and mostly acted in comedies. Had a reputation as a stage diva, which is fine on Broadway but not in the movies. Also wasn’t willing to settle for a Best Supporting Actress nomination, which might’ve gotten her off the list.
Trivia: Took many roles originally offered to Myrna Loy. Won 5 Golden Globes and a Tony. Cary Grant introduced her to her husband and was best man at her wedding. Wrote the story to The Unguarded Moment. Was an advocate for the disabled. Received a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1973 for her charity work.
37. Doris Day
Personal Life: (1924-present) Born Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff in Cincinnati, Ohio. Father was a music teacher and choir master. Parents separated during her childhood. Trained and aspired to be a dancer but a 1937 accident injured her legs so trained to become a singer instead. Made her recording debut in 1939 and her first film in 1948 after auditioning for Michael Curtiz. Married 4 times and had a son with first husband Al Jorden and adopted by third husband Martin Melcher. In 1968, she found her late husband’s business partner (and their lawyer) squandered her earnings which left her deeply in debt that led to lawsuits and eventual bankruptcy. Retired in 1973.
Famous for: American actress and singer who began her career as a big band singer in 1939 and had a long contract with Columbia Records and was one of the most acclaimed singers of the 20th century and one of the most successful singer-actors to date. Made 39 films. Notable roles are Georgia Garrett from Romance on the High Seas, Judy Adams from It’s a Great Feeling, Jo Jordan from Young Man with a Horn, Nanette Carter from Tea for Two, Jan Wilson from West Point Story, Melinda Howard from Lullaby on Broadway, Marjorie “Marjie” Winfield from On Moonlight Bay, Grace LeBoy Kahn from I’ll See You in My Dreams, Calamity Jane, Laurie Tuttle from Young at Heart, Ruth Etting from Love Me or Leave Me, Josephine “Jo” McKenna from The Man Who Knew Too Much, Katherine “Babe” Williams from The Pajama Game, Jan Morrow from Pillow Talk, Kate Robinson Mackay from Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, Kit Preston from Midnight Lace, Carol Templeton from Lover Come Back, Cathy Timberlake from That Touch of Mink, Beverly Boyer from The Thrill of It All, Ellen Wagstaff Arden from Move Over, Darling, Judy Kimball form Send Me No Flowers, Janet Harper from Do Not Disturb, and Abby McClure from With Six You Get Eggroll.
Nominated for: Day was nominated for Best Actress in 1959 for Pillow Talk.
Most Crushing Loss: I don’t like this actress and think she sucks. Yet, I’d probably say not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1950 for Young Man with a Horn because she’s not around as much to ruin the movie. Of course, she earned an honorary Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.
Reasons: Well, Day is mainly noted for playing virginal wholesome characters and/or wives and moms with the kind of sugary coated sweetness that makes certain film aficionados vomit (in real life she was anything but since she openly discussed porn with Johnny Carson during the 1970s, I kid you not). Yeah, her movies basically appeal to a certain demographic which consists of white, socially conservative, and over 65. And even among them there are haters (like my grandparents as an actress at least). But I wouldn’t say she was a bad actress since she had a better emotional range than Kristen Stewart.
Trivia: Is an animal rights activist and founded the Doris Day Animal League which is a partner to the Humane Society of the United States. Co-owned a hotel with her son as well as has many pets and adopts stray animals. Released 31 albums and her songs spent 460 weeks in the Top 40. Oldest living artist to score a UK Top 10 with an album featuring new material. Established the annual observance of Spay Day. Is 6th among the Top 10 box office performers of all time. Voted favorite star by US servicemen serving in Korea.
38. Kim Novak
Personal Life: (1933-present) Born Marilyn Pauline Novak in Chicago, Illinois. Father was a history teacher who worked as a dispatcher on the Chicago, Milwaukee and St. Paul Railroad while mother was a factory worker. Attended Wright Junior College and won scholarships for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Was a model for a refrigerator company trade show and was standing in line to be extras in a Jane Russell film when she was discovered by an agent who signed her for Columbia Pictures. Used “Kim” as a stage name not to get confused with Marilyn Monroe. Made her first film in 1954. Married twice. Married to veterinarian Dr. Robert Malloy for 39 years as of 2015. Retired in 1991. Bought a 43 acre ranch in Sams Valley, Oregon in which the house burned to the ground in 2000 that consumed all her art and the first draft of her biography she worked on for 10 years. Was injured in a horse riding accident in 2006 suffering a punctured lung, broken ribs, and nerve damage but made a full recovery within a year. Was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. Struggles with bipolar.
Famous for: American actress whose career began at 21 and came to prominence almost immediately in the 1950s. In the 1960s, she withdrew from the public eye and only acted sporadically until her retirement in 1991. Notable roles are Marjorie “Madge” Owens from Picnic, Molly from The Man with the Golden Arm, Jeanne Eagels, Linda English from Pal Joey, Judy Barton from Vertigo, Gillian “Gil” Holroyd from Bell, Book, and Candle, Betty Preisser from Middle of the Night, Mildred Rogers from Of Human Bondage, Polly the Pistol from Kiss Me, Stupid, Moll Flanders from The Amorous Adventures of Moll Flanders, Lola Brewster from The Mirror Crack’d, and Lillian Anderson Munnsen from Liebestraum.
Nominated for: Novak was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: I don’t like this actress either. Yet, if I have to say she was robbed for not getting the Best Supporting Actress nomination in 1958 for Vertigo. I mean she had the role she was born to play such as basically looking pretty for Jimmy Stewart and not saying much.
Reasons: Basically was mostly an actress for her looks as a blonde bombshell sex symbol and her acting style had the same emotional range as Kristen Stewart. Yet, she was taken more seriously as an actress than Marilyn Monroe for some reason since she got more dramatic parts. Yet, Monroe was the much better actress, while Novak doesn’t come off as believable.
Trivia: Romantically linked to Sammy Davis Jr., Prince Aly Kahn, and Frank Sinatra. Hobbies included raising horses, photography, poetry, and painting in oil and water color. Paintings are impressionistic and surrealist. Has exhibited her work at least once.
39. Jane Russell
Personal Life: (1921-2011) Born Ernestine Jane Geraldine Russell in Bemidji, Minnesota. Father was a First Lieutenant in the US Army who later became an office manager and mother was an actress for a road troupe. Grew up in Southern California. Worked as a receptionist and model while studying acting with Max Reinhardt’s Theatrical Workshop and acting coach Maria Ouspenskaya. Made her first film in 1943. Married 3 times with first husband being NFL hall of famer Bob Waterfield and adopted 3 children with him due to be rendered infertile after a botched back alley abortion. Married to John Calvin Peoples for 25 years. Retired in 1986. Died of respiratory failure at 92.
Famous for: American actress and one of the leading sex symbols of the 1940s and 1950s. Notable roles are Rio McDonald from The Outlaw, Calamity Jane from The Paleface, Lenore Brent from His Kind of Woman, Julie Benson from Macao, Mike ‘The Torch’ Delroy from Son of Paleface, Belle Starr from Montana Belle, Dorothy Shaw from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Amanda Lawrence from Foxfire, Bonnie Jones / Mimi Jones from Gentlemen Marry Brunettes, and Jill Stone from Waco.
Nominated for: Russell was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actress in either of The Paleface movies. It’s amazing she could keep a straight face through either of them since Bob Hope was her favorite co-star. Either that or the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award for her work on adoptions.
Reasons: Her iconic still from The Outlaw might’ve ruined her chances since it made her a sex symbol and that the filmed earned a lot of notoriety for it. Also acted mostly in comedies, musicals, and westerns.
Trivia: Founded the World Adoption International Fund (WAIF). First husband was an UCLA All American, played for the Los Angeles Rams, and was the team’s head coach as well as member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Started the “Hollywood Christian Group” which was a weekly Bible study at her home which was attended by many of the leading names in the film industry. Delved briefly into music and played piano. Actually said she didn’t wear the famed so-called Howard Hughes designed underwire bra for The Outlaw filming since she found it so uncomfortable that she discarded it and wore her own with the cups padded with tissue and the straps pulled up to elevate her breasts (making Hughes’ investment a huge waste of money. Clearly he didn’t know how to design bras).
40. Richard Harris
Personal Life: (1930-2002) Born in Limerick to a staunchly Roman Catholic middle class family. Played rugby in high school but his athletic career was cut short due to contracting tuberculosis. Failed to gain entrance to acting schools mostly for being too old (like 24) but enrolled in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. While still a student he directed his own production of a Clifford Odets play which was a critical success but a financial failure that caused him to lose all his savings and become temporarily homeless. After completing his studies, he joined Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop and spent nearly a decade learning his craft on the British stage. Made his film debut in 1958. Married twice and had 3 sons to first wife Elizabeth Rees-Williams. Was known for his heavy drinking and drug use. Gave up drinking in 1981 but had a Guinness a decade later. Gave up drugs in 1978 after nearly dying from a cocaine overdose. Died of Hodgkin’s disease at 72, 2 1/2 weeks before the American premiere of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Famous for: Irish actor, singer, director, writer, and producer who appeared on stage and in many films. Career spanned nearly 45 years. Notable roles are Frank Manchin from This Sporting Life, King Arthur from Camelot, Capt. Benjamin Tyreen from Major Dundee, Oliver Cromwell from Cromwell, John Morgan from A Man Called Horse, King Richard the Lionheart from Robin and Marian, Bull McCabe from The Field, Paddy O’Neil from Patriot Games, Marcus Aurelius from Gladiator, English Bob from Unforgiven, and Albus Dumbledore from the first 2 Harry Potter movies.
Nominated for: Harris was nominated twice for Best Actor in 1963 for This Sporting Life and in 1990 for The Field.
Most Crushing Loss: I wouldn’t say losing to Sidney Poitier and Jeremy Irons was a big loss for him but he probably should’ve been nominated for Camelot.
Reasons: Harris had a reputation as a hellraiser as well as hard drinker with substance abuse problems. Also was a vocal supporter for the PIRA during Ireland’s Troubles, which was a known terrorist organization. Makes being cast as Dumbledore all the more ironic. Also was burned out by the competition.
Trivia: Recorded several music albums and the song “McArthur Park.” Member of the Knights of Malta and dubbed a knight by the Queen of Denmark. Supported the IRA for 11 years. Granddaughter threatened never to speak to him again if he turned down the role of Dumbledore for Harry Potter. Wrote a book of poetry. Paid 75,000 pounds for William Burges’ Tower House when he heard Liberace intended to buy it but hadn’t yet made a deposit and employed the original decorators for interior restoration work. Said of the Harry Potter films, “Because, you see, I don’t just want to be remembered for being in those bloody films, and I’m afraid that’s what’s going to happen to me.”