Movie Stars Who Have Never Won an Oscar: Part 7 – Joel McCrea to James Mason

Whether in real life or in The Postman Always Rings Twice, if you romance Lana Turner, you're probably not going to live happily ever after. Just ask her gangster boyfriend Joe Stompanato.

Whether in real life or in The Postman Always Rings Twice, if you romance Lana Turner, you’re probably not going to live happily ever after. Just ask her gangster boyfriend Johnny Stompanato who learned the hard way.

When looking at this list, you may notice that some of these actors have voices you might’ve heard in imitation whether it be by comics or on Saturday morning cartoons. A lot of movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood tend to be imitated by comedians, impersonators, and cartoonists long after they’re dead. Of course, this is no surprise since many of them had voices, looks, and mannerisms that were rather distinct. For a long time Warner Bros. cartoons would have voice talents specializing in celebrity impressions imitating actors like Edward G. Robinson, Peter Lorre, Kirk Douglas, Vincent Price, and others you’ll see in this series. Some movie stars have even been inspirations for cartoon characters as well. Yet, while some Oscar winners may drop off from the face of the earth after giving their speeches, those who are frequently mocked and parodied in cartoons and SNL will be remembered forever. In this selection, here are 10 more movie stars for your viewing pleasure. First, you have screen blondes like Lana Turner and Miriam Hopkins. Second, there’s song and dance sensation Robert Preston best known for The Music Man and “The Chicken Fat Song.” Then there is James Mason famous for his deep baritone English voice who also liked cats. After that is the legendary comic genius and impressionist extraordinaire, Peter Sellers. Next comes Sal Mineo and Dennis Hopper who were both featured as troublesome teenagers in Rebel Without a Cause where they both end up dead followed by utility player and Preston Sturges’ favorite Joel McCrea. Then there’s Brock Peters most famous for playing the black guy who got screwed in To Kill a Mockingbird. And finally, there is Chief Dan George who’s one of the best known Native American movie actors but treated show business as a retirement job. So for your viewing pleasure, here are 10 more stars who never won the little statuette called Oscar.

61. Joel McCrea

Though Joel McCrea's rugged versatility made him a durable lead in everything from romantic comedies to Preston Sturges movies, he would exclusively stick to westerns after 1946 mainly because he didn't want to be paired with a much young actress. Of course, he didn't see the irony that most real cowboys were in their 20s or younger and that many of them weren't white either.

Though Joel McCrea’s rugged versatility made him a durable lead in everything from romantic comedies to Preston Sturges movies, he would exclusively stick to westerns after 1946 mainly because he didn’t want to be paired with a much young actress. Of course, he didn’t see the irony that most real cowboys were in their 20s or younger and that many of them weren’t white either.

Personal Life: (1909-1990) Born in South Pasadena, California. Father was an executive for the L. A. Gas & Electric Company. Was a paperboy for The Los Angeles Times. Graduated from Pomona College in 1928 and started acting in the Pasadena Playhouse. Got his first substantial role in 1929 and moved to RKO. Married to Frances Dee for 57 years and had 3 sons. Died of pneumonia at 84.
Famous for: American actor whose career spanned 50 years and appeared in 90 films. Did a lot of movies with Miriam Hopkins and Barbara Stanwyck. Yet, he’s best known for some of his films by Preston Sturges and comedies during the 1940s. Made nothing but westerns after 1946 because he didn’t want to be cast with a substantially younger co-start as his love interest. Notable roles are Johnny Baker from Bird of Paradise, Sanger “Bob” Rainsford from The Most Dangerous Game, Ramsay MacKay from Wells Fargo, Johnny Jones / Huntley Haverstock from Foreign Correspondent, Joe Carter from The More the Merrier, John L. Sullivan from Sullivan’s Travels, Tom Jeffers from The Palm Beach Story, Steve Judd from Ride the High Country, and the Virginian.
Nominated for: Joel McCrea was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1941 for Sullivan’s Travels. It’s probably one of the best comedies ever made.
Reasons: McCrea mostly acted in comedies and westerns, which may give great box office returns but don’t make him eligible for many prestigious movie awards.
Trivia: Used to deliver newspapers to Cecil B. DeMille. Watched D. W. Griffith film Intolerance. Worked as a stunt double, bit player, and extra while in college. Held horses for Richard S. Hart and Tom Mix. Filmed a controversial nude scene with Dolores Del Rio in the early. Was friends with Will Rogers. Estate included working ranch property and made a lot of money selling it that he was a multimillionaire by the 1940s. Donated several acres of his land to the Conejo Valley YMCA. Went to school with Douglas Fairbanks Jr. Died on his 57th wedding anniversary.

62. Miriam Hopkins

Born in Georgia, Miriam Hopkins was one of the most prominent stars of the 1930s, particularly the Pre-Code era. She was also known for her long-running feud and well publicized fights with Bette Davis which might've started over her believing Davis was messing with her husband at the time. Bet the set of The  Old Maid had a lot of drama off-screen with these dames together.

Born in Georgia, Miriam Hopkins was one of the most prominent stars of the 1930s, particularly the Pre-Code era. She was also known for her long-running feud and well publicized fights with Bette Davis which might’ve started over her believing Davis was messing with her husband at the time. Bet the set of The Old Maid had a lot of drama off-screen with these dames together.

Personal Life: (1902-1972) Born in Savannah, Georgia but raised in Bainbridge. Attended the Goddard Seminary in Barre, Vermont and Syracuse University. At 20, became a chorus girl in New York City. Signed with Paramount Pictures in 1930 and made her first film the same year. Married 4 times with her third marriage being to Anatole Litvak and is said to adopt a son between marriages. Retired in 1970. Died of a heart attack in New York City at 69.
Famous for: American actress known for her versatility. Made a lot of films with Joel McCrea and Ernest Lubitsch. Notable roles are Princess Anna from The Smiling Lieutenant, Ivy Pearson from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Lily from Trouble in Paradise, Gilda Farrell from Design for Living, Becky Sharp, Mary ‘Swan’ Rutledge from Barbary Coast, Martha Dobie from These Three, Delia Lovell Ralston from The Old Maid, Julia Hayne from Virginia City, Mrs. Leslie Carter from Lady with Red Hair, Aunt Lavinia from The Heiress, Fran Carleton from The Mating Season, and Lily Mortar from The Children’s Hour.
Nominated for: Hopkins was nominated for Best Actress in 1935 for Becky Sharp.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1949 for The Heiress. She really should’ve gotten something for that.
Reasons: Hopkins may have had a long but her glory days were in the 1930s, especially with the Pre-Hays Code era when films were a little more risqué (but not like today’s). Though she managed to reinvent herself as a supporting player, her stardom basically fizzled by the time 1940 rolled around.
Trivia: Had a long running feud with Bette Davis (who allegedly had a fling with her third husband Anatole Litvak). Distinguished Hollywood hostess who moved along intellectual and creative circles. Uncle was head of the Syracuse University Geology department. Was Margaret Mitchell’s first choice to play Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind.

63. Brock Peters

Though Brock Peters is best known for playing Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird, Star Trek fans are quick to point out he was Admiral Cartwright from The Voyage Home and Commander Sisko's dad from Deep Space Nine.

Though Brock Peters is best known for playing Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird, Star Trek fans are quick to point out he was Admiral Cartwright from The Voyage Home and Commander Sisko’s dad from Deep Space Nine.

Personal Life: (1927-2005) Born George Fisher in New York City. Father was a sailor. Wanted to be in show business since he was 10 and attended a performing arts high school. Studied physical education at City College of New York but quit when he landed a role in Porgy and Bess in 1949 and went on tour with the opera. Married to Dolores Daniels for 27 years.
Famous for: American actor best known for his performance as Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird. Notable roles are Sergeant Brown from Carmen Jones, Johnny from The L-Shaped Room, Matthew Robinson from Heavens Above!, Tom Robinson from To Kill a Mockingbird, Aesop from Major Dundee, Rodriguez from The Pawnbroker, Lieutenant Hatcher from Soylent Green, and Fleet Admiral Cartwright from Star Trek: The Voyage Home and Star Trek: The Undiscovered Country.
Nominated for: Peters was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1962 for To Kill a Mockingbird. Seriously, he should’ve gotten it easily.
Reasons: Well, until Sidney Poitier won the Oscar for Best Actor for his performance in Lilies of the Field in 1963, African American actors had a very small chance of winning the Oscar, especially in a non-stereotypical role.
Trivia: Played Commander Benjamin Sisko’s dad in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Performed the eulogy at Gregory Peck’s funeral. Sang background vocals to Harry Belafonte’s “Banana Boat Song (Day-O)” and “Mama Look a Boo-Boo.” Also sang “Where” from Randy Weston’s Live at the Five Spot and shared vocal duties with Martha Flowers in Uhuru Africa. Was friends with Charlton Heston.

64. Dennis Hopper

It was very difficult for me to find a proper picture of Dennis Hopper since his appearance changes so much over his career. Nevertheless, he's had an illustrious film career with movies like Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, Cool Hand Luke, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, and Hoosiers.

It was very difficult for me to find a proper picture of Dennis Hopper since his appearance changes so much over his career. Nevertheless, he’s had an illustrious film career with movies like Rebel Without a Cause, Giant, Cool Hand Luke, Easy Rider, Apocalypse Now, Blue Velvet, and Hoosiers.

Personal Life: (1936-2010) Born in Dodge City, Kansas. Family moved to Kansas City, Missouri after WWII and attended Saturday art classes at the Kansas City Art Institute. At 13, family moved to San Diego where his mother was a lifeguard instructor while his father was a “post office manager” (but really an OSS agent or so he says). Studied acting at San Diego’s Old Globe Theater and the Actors’ Studio in New York studying under Lee Strasberg for 5 years. Married 5 times with Michelle Phillips as his second wife and had 1 child to each of his wives but her. Was in the process of divorcing his fifth wife Victoria Duffy at the time of his death and his estate was involved in an ugly inheritance dispute. Died of prostate cancer at 74.
Famous for: American actor, filmmaker, photographer, and artist whose career spanned for 55 years. Known for his unconventional style and as one of the “enfant terribles” in Hollywood. Best known roles are Goon from Rebel Without a Cause, Jordan Benedict III from Giant, Billy Clanton from Gunfight at the O. K. Corral, Tom Boyd from From Hell to Texas, Johnny Drake from Night Tide, Dave Hastings from The Sons of Kate Elder, Babalugats from Cool Hand Luke, Moon from True Grit, Billy from Easy Rider, Father from Rumble Fish, Kansas from The Last Movie, Daniel Morgan from Mad Dog Morgan, American Photojournalist from Apocalypse Now, Frank Booth from Blue Velvet, Shooter from Hoosiers, Howard Payne from Speed, Walter Pensky from Black Dahlia, Deacon from Waterworld, and Donald Greenleaf from Swing Vote.
Nominated for: Hopper was nominated twice for Original Screenplay in 1970 for Easy Rider with Peter Fonda and Terry Sothern and for Best Supporting Actor in 1987 for Hoosiers.
Most Crushing Loss: Not winning the screenplay for Easy Rider in 1970.
Reasons: He was said to be one of Hollywood’s most notorious drug addicts for 20 years as well as spent the 1970s and early 1980s living as a an outcast after the success of Easy Rider. Was also known for his troubled relationships with women (though I can easily see why his marriage with Michelle Phillips broke up after 2 weeks). Also spent periods being blackballed by the movie industry.
Trivia: Despite being a Republican in his later years, he supported Barack Obama in the 2008 election mostly over the selection of Sarah Palin as the Republican vice presidential candidate. Was a prolific photographer, painter, and sculptor. Was friends with Vincent Price and greatly admired James Dean. Loved Shakespeare.

65. Robert Preston

It's hard to imagine anyone else but Robert Preston as "Professor" Harold Hill a role he originated in The Music Man on film and Broadway which he won a Tony for. Yet, when casting was underway, Jack Warner wanted Frank Sinatra. Luckily, Meredith Willson insisted on the matter because Sinatra would've ruined it.

It’s hard to imagine anyone else but Robert Preston as “Professor” Harold Hill a role he originated in The Music Man on film and Broadway which he won a Tony for. Yet, when casting was underway, Jack Warner wanted Frank Sinatra. Luckily, Meredith Willson insisted on the matter because if Jack Warner had his way, there would’ve been trouble, right here in River City.

Personal Life: (1918-1987) Born Robert Preston Meservey in Newton, Massachusetts. Father was a garment worker and later billing clerk for American Express. Attended high school in Los Angeles. Studied acting at the Pasadena Community Playhouse. Joined the Army Air Corps during WWII where he served as an intelligence officer in Belgium where his main job was receive information from headquarters and briefing bomber crews on what to expect on their mission. He was also promoted to Captain. Was told by the studio not to use his family name. Married to Catherine Craig for 47 years. Was an intensely private person and doesn’t have an official biography to this day. Died of lung cancer at 68.
Famous for: American actor best remembered for originating the role of Harold Hill in The Music Man. Mostly appeared in westerns. Notable roles are Digby Geste from Beau Geste, Dan Cutler from Reap the Wild Wind, Michael Crane from This Gun for Hire, Francis Macomber from The Macomber Affair, James Cloud “The Wichita Kid” from The Sundowners, Harold Hill from The Music Man, Rubin Flood from The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Ace Bonner from Junior Bonner, Beauregard Jackson Pickett “Beau” Burnside from Mame, Jay Follett from All the Way Home, Carole “Toddy” Todd from Victor Victoria, and Centauri from The Last Starfighter.
Nominated for: Preston was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1983 for Victor Victoria.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1962 for The Music Man. Guess the 76 trombones was too much for the Academy.
Reasons: Let’s just say an actor who’s best known for doing westerns and musicals may win Tony Awards, but he’s not going to win prestigious acting prizes in Hollywood, especially if he sang the “Chicken Fat” song. Also, being one of the first actors to be nominated for an Oscar for playing a gay character.
Trivia: Won a Tony Award for playing Harold Hill in The Music Man on Broadway in 1957. Was Meredith Willson’s choice for the lead in the film while Frank Sinatra was Jack Warner’s. Also originated the role of Henry II during the Broadway production of The Lion in Winter. Sang the “Chicken Fat” song which was distributed to schools across the nation and played for students in calisthenics every morning (which you can listen to on the website of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. Really it’s the first result when you Google it.)

66. Chief Dan George

Though best known as a chief from Little Big Man and other movies, Chief Dan George was a very significant figure in Canada for working to promote better understanding between Native Americans and non-natives. He also gave speeches escalating Native American activism in the country touching widespread pro-native sentiment among non-natives.

Though best known as a chief from Little Big Man and other movies, Chief Dan George was a very significant figure in Canada for working to promote better understanding between Native Americans and non-natives. He also gave speeches escalating Native American activism in the country touching widespread pro-native sentiment among non-natives.

Personal Life: (1899-1981) Born Geswanouth Slahoot at Burrard Indian Reserve No. 3 in North Vancouver, Canada where his father was the tribal chief. Anglicized name Dan Slaholt was changed to George when he entered the mission boarding school where use of native language was discouraged, if not forbidden. Worked as a longshoreman, construction worker, and school bus driver. Was married and fathered 6 children. Died at 82.
Famous for: Canadian actor, poet, author, and chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation. Began his acting career for television at 60. May not have been the first Native American actors onscreen but he’s certainly one of the most famous since he’s certainly responsible for a more positive portrayal of Indians on film since the 1970s. Notable roles are Ol’ Antoine from Smith!, Old Lodge Skins from Little Big Man, Lone Watie from The Outlaw Josey Wales, and Sam Two Feathers from Harry and Tonto.
Nominated for: George was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for Little Big Man in 1970.
Most Crushing Loss: Not getting an Honorary Oscar he so greatly deserved.
Reasons: Sure he may have been one of the first real native actors a lot people have seen, but he’s better known for more comic and adventure works. Also had a short acting career and is a way more significant figure in Canada.
Trivia: Always insisted on playing “good” First Nation characters. Wrote, “My Heart Soars,” which was recited by Donald Sutherland at the Vancouver Winter Olympics in 2010. Band chief of the Tsleil-Waututh Nation from 1951–63 and his son is chief today. Was an influential speaker on the rights of native peoples in North America. Wrote 2 books of poetry. Awarded the Order of Canada in 1971. Recorded a single with Fireweed in 1974. Died on the same reservation he was born.

67. Sal Mineo

Sal Mineo was well known to play vulnerable but troubled adolescent boys like the incredibly messed up Plato from Rebel Without a Cause. Sadly, though Mineo was poised for a combat, he was stabbed to death in an alley behind his apartment building at 37.

Sal Mineo was well known to play vulnerable but troubled adolescent boys like the incredibly messed up Plato from Rebel Without a Cause. Sadly, though Mineo was poised for a comback, he was stabbed to death in an alley behind his apartment building at 37.

Personal Life: (1939-1976) Born in the Bronx, New York. Parents were coffin makers. Father was an Italian immigrant while Italian American mother was born in the United States. Mother enrolled him in dancing and acting school at an early age just to keep him from joining a street gang. Stabbed to death in an alley behind his apartment building by a pizza deliveryman named Lionel Williams at 37.
Famous for: American actor best known for his performance of John “Plato” Crawford in Rebel Without a Cause. Battled being typecast as a troubled teen later in his career. Notable roles are Jerry from Six Bridges to Cross, Cadet Col. Sylvester Dusik from The Private War of Major Benson, John “Plato” Crawford from Rebel Without a Cause, Romolo from Somebody Up There Likes Me, Angel Obregón II from Giant, White Bull from Tonka, Dov Landau from Exodus, Gene Krupa from The Gene Krupa Story, and George Blaylock from Stranger on the Run.
Nominated for: He was nominated twice for Best Supporting Actor in 1955 for Rebel Without a Cause and in 1960 for Exodus.
Most Crushing Loss: Not winning the Best Supporting Actor Oscar in 1955 for Rebel Without a Cause, which he really deserved. If there was any actor who could play a troubled teen, it would be him and Plato is probably one of cinema’s most messed up.
Reasons: To make a long story short, he was gay and his performances were said to reflect a homosexual subtext. Also, didn’t have a long career.
Trivia: One of the first major actors to publicly acknowledge his homosexuality. Directed an opera in Detroit. Beat out Clint Eastwood for a role in Six Bridges to Cross. Recorded a handful of pop songs and an album with 2 of his songs reaching the Top 40 and one selling a million copies that he was awarded a golden disc. Was a model for Harold Stevenson’s The New Adam, which is considered “one of the great American nudes.” Nickname was, “The Switchblade Kid.” Played on stage in original productions of The Rose Tattoo and The King and I. Played a bisexual burglar in P. S. Your Cat Is Dead around the time he was murdered.

68. Lana Turner

Lana Turner's discovery as a 16 year old girl at a Hollywood drug store is pure cinematic legend. Yet, her life would be filled with scandal for she has a similar husband count as Elizabeth Taylor and an even more chaotic love life. In fact, she's most noted for her  tempestuous relationship with gangster Johnny Stompanato who was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by her teenage daughter Cheryl Crane in her mother's defense.

Lana Turner’s discovery as a 16 year old girl at a Hollywood drug store is pure cinematic legend. Yet, her life would be filled with scandal for she has a similar husband count as Elizabeth Taylor and an even more chaotic love life. In fact, she’s most noted for her tempestuous relationship with gangster Johnny Stompanato who was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by her teenage daughter Cheryl Crane in her mother’s defense.

Personal Life: (1921-1995) Born Julia Jean Turner to teenaged parents in Wallace, Idaho. Father was a miner while mother would become a beautician. Parents separated after the family moved to San Francisco. In 1930, her father was found murdered on a San Francisco street the day after winning a craps game. The robbery and murder were never solved. In 1931, she and her mother moved to Los Angeles for her mother’s health and were so poor that her mom worked 80 hours a week to support them and she occasionally had to live with acquaintances and friends. Was discovered at a Hollywood drug store at 16 by someone from The Hollywood Reporter and was referred to Zeppo Marx. Made her first film in 1937. Married 8 times with first marriage to bandleader Artie Shaw and twice to second husband Joseph Stephen Crane and had daughter Cheryl with him. Private life was marred by personal turmoil as well as unsurprisingly battled substance abuse problems. Said she was an alcoholic who had 2 abortions and 3 stillbirths as well as slit her wrists in 1951. Yet she said she turned herself around in the 1970s. Retired in 1991. Died of throat cancer at 74. Left the bulk of her estate to her maid, which was contested by daughter Cheryl Crane.
Famous for: American actress often featured as an ingénue at first, before establishing herself as a leading lady. Nicknamed, “The Sweater Girl.” Notable roles are Cynthia Potter from Love Finds Andy Hardy, Rosalie Lewett from Calling Dr. Kildare, Patty Marlow from The Dancing Co-Ed, Sheila Regan from Ziegfeld Girl, Bea Emery from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Elizabeth Cotton from Honky Tonk, Lisbeth Bard from Johnny Eager, Cora Smith from The Postman Always Rings Twice, Crystal Radek from The Merry Widow, Samarra from The Prodigal, Georgia Lorrison from The Bad and the Beautiful, Diane de Poitiers from Diane, Constance MacKenzie from Peyton Place, Lora Meredith from Imitation of Life, Sheila Cabot from Portrait in Black, Rosemary Howard from Bachelor in Paradise, and Holly Parker from Madame X.
Nominated for: Turner was nominated for Best Actress in 1957 for Peyton Place.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actress in 1946 for The Postman Always Rings Twice or in 1959 for Imitation of Life.
Reasons: Well, being cast as a sex symbol for one. Second, she was well known in Hollywood for dating often, marrying and divorcing often (granted most of her husbands were bonafide assholes and a few were even worse), changing partners often, and never shying away from how many lovers she had in her lifetime. Yet, she’s best remembered for her relationship to mob bodyguard/hitman, Johnny Stompanato which was marked by constant fighting and abuse as well as an incident where he threatened her and Sean Connery on the set with a gun (luckily Connery grabbed the gun out of Stompanato’s hand and twisted his wrist, causing him to back off. Yeah, that Sean Connery). Their relationship ended with her teenage daughter Cheryl stabbing Stompanato with a kitchen knife at her mother’s defense.
Trivia: Had auburn hair and dyed it blonde. Detested “The Sweater Girl” nickname. Romantically linked to Clark Gable and Tyrone Power.

69. Peter Sellers

Peter Sellers was a comic legend for being an excellent impersonator as well as capable of a wide variety of accents and gifted in taking multiple roles. However, he was a man with a legendary share of demons that sometimes made him terrible to work with.

Peter Sellers was a comic legend for being an excellent impersonator as well as capable of a wide variety of accents and gifted in taking multiple roles. However, he was a man with a legendary share of demons that sometimes made him terrible to work with.

Personal Life: (1925-1980) Born Richard Henry Sellers in Portsmouth, England. “Peter” was a childhood nickname. Parents were variety entertainers. Presented on stage as a baby. Had a very close relationship with his mother which Spike Milligan would refer as unhealthy for a grown man. Was also Jewish on his mother’s side. Learn stage craft from his parents and had mixed feelings for show business. Formal education ended at 14 due to WWII. Started as a janitor in the theater and worked his way up to box office clerk, usher, assistant stage manager, and lighting operator. Also worked as a drummer for various bands. Joined the Royal Air Force in 1943 though it’s unclear whether he volunteered or was drafted. Was kept on the ground due to poor eyesight. Yet, his show business career took off from there when he joined Squadron Leader Ralph Reader’s Gang Show. Married 4 times with model Brit Ekland as his second wife. Had 3 children to his first 2 wives (a daughter and son to first wife Anne Howe and a daughter to Ekland). Struggled with depression and mental insecurities throughout his life. Suffered a series of 8 heart attacks after taking amyl nitrites (poppers) in 1964 and his heart continued to deteriorate within the next 16 years. Had a lot of issues with drugs including an alcohol and cocaine dependency. In 1977, he had another heart attack and was fitted with a pacemaker. Died of a heart attack at 54.
Famous for: British actor, comedian, and singer. Started on the BBC Goon Show. Was known for his many film characterizations. Versatility enabled him to portray a wide range of comic characters using different accents and guises, and he would often assume multiple roles within the same film, frequently with contrasting temperaments and styles. Satire and black humor were a main feature in many of his movies. Made over 50 films. Notable roles are Fred Kite from I’m All Right Jack, Clare Quilty from Lolita, Mr. Robinson from The Ladykillers, Prime Minister Amphibulos from Carlton-Browne of the F.O., Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, Prime Minister Count Rupert Mountjoy, and Tully Bascombe from The Mouse that Roared, Dr. Ahmed el Kabir from The Millionairess, Inspector Jaques Clouseau from The Pink Panther series, Group Captain Lionel Mandrake, President Merkin Muffley, and Dr. Strangelove from Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, Henry Orient from The World of Henry Orient, Doctor Fritz Fassbender from What’s New, Pussycat?, Aldo Vanucci from After the Fox, Harold from I Love You, Alice B. Toklas, Sir Guy Grand KG, KC, CBE from The Magic Christian, Sidney Wang from Murder By Death, Rudolf IV, Rudolf V, Syd Frewin from The Prisoner of Zenda, and Chance from Being There.
Nominated for: Sellers was nominated twice for Best Actor in 1964 for Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb and 1979 for Being There.
Most Crushing Loss: Sellers should’ve won the Oscar for Best Actor in 1979 for Being There. Sure Dustin Hoffman is a good actor but his role as a divorced dad was nothing compared to Sellers’ playing a sheltered guy who’s seen as an intellectual sage that he’s certainly not.
Reasons: Well, Sellers was known for having a lot of problems. His behavior off-screen was often erratic and compulsive. Frequently clashed with directors, producers, and co-stars, especially during the 1970s when his physical and mental health as well as substance abuse problems were at their worst. His on-and-off set tantrums were legion, especially when he was doing commercials. This with a demanding style got him a lot of bad press. And this is why we’ll never know whether Sellers walked off the set of Casino Royale or got fired (yet he did get in a fistfight with one of directors and tried to upstage Orson Welles). Was also allegedly a domestic abuser. Still, Blake Edwards said of him, “At times, Peter was more or less great fun. The other times he was Hell.”
Trivia: Had an infatuation for Sophia Loren and declared his love for her in front of his first wife (of course knowing her relationship with Carol Ponti, it was unrequited). Married second wife Brit Ekland just 10 days after meeting her. Was close friends with Anthony Armstrong Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon best known as the husband to Princess Margaret. Was a comic inspiration for Monty Python. Believed in astrology and spiritualism. Described as, “the greatest comic genius this country has produced since Charles Chaplin.” TCM called him, “one of the most accomplished comic actors of the late 20th century.” Recorded a lot of songs that became hits in the 1960s. Had “In the Mood” played at his funeral a song he hated. Thought that nobody would attend his funeral because of his torrid personal life but thousands did. Third wife became a Countess of Stockton while fourth wife later married David Frost. Was friends with the Beatles. One of Elvis Presley’s favorite actors who had his films with him on the airplane when he was on tour. Spoke highly of Steve Martin and Robin Williams before his death. Was an amateur photographer and camera nut.

70. James Mason

Though known for his lovely British accent and gentleman good looks which made him ideal to cast as a villain, Mason was an avid cat lover and co-wrote and illustrated a book with his then-wife which he recounted tales of some of the cats (and some dogs) he'd known and love. He also helped save some Buster Keaton films which might've been lost forever if he didn't have them put in safety stock.

Though known for his lovely British accent and gentleman good looks which made him ideal to cast as a villain, Mason was an avid cat lover and co-wrote and illustrated a book with his then-wife which he recounted tales of some of the cats (and some dogs) he’d known and love. He also helped save some Buster Keaton films which might’ve been lost forever if he didn’t have them put in safety stock.

Personal Life: (1909-1984) Born in Huddersfield, West Riding Yorkshire, England. Father was a wealthy textile merchant. Attended Cambridge University. Had no formal training as an actor and initially became involved in theater as a hobby since he planned a career as an architect. Made his stage debut in 1931 before joining The Old Vic. Made his film debut in 1935 but mostly starred in British films until after WWII. Registering as a conscientious objector during the war led to a break with his family for many years. Suffered a severe heart attack in 1959. Settled in Switzerland in 1963. Married twice and had 2 children with first wife Pamela Mason. Died of a heart attack at 75.
Famous for: British actor who made the transition to the United States after achieving much success in the United Kingdom. Roles ranged from hard-bitten and melancholy protagonists to more heroic figures and sometimes outright villains. His languid but impassioned voice and good looks made him well suited for almost anything. His mellifluous and distinctive voice managed to convey volumes of emotion while often remaining surprisingly understated. Played a lot of aristocrats. Notable roles are Lord Rohan from The Man in Grey, Nicholas from The Seventh Veil, Gustave Flaubert from Madame Bovary, Field Marshal Erwin Johannes Rommel from The Desert Fox: The Story of Rommel, The Captain (‘The Secret Sharer’) from Face to Face, Brutus from Julius Caesar, Norman Maine from A Star Is Born, Captain Nemo from 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Phillip Vandamm from North by Northwest, Sir. Oliver S. Lindenbrook from Journey to the Center of the Earth, Sir Edward Carson from The Trials of Oscar Wilde, Prof. Humbert Humbert from Lolita, Norman Main from A Star Is Born, Timonides from The Fall of the Roman Empire, Gentleman Brown from Lord Jim, James Leamington from Georgy Girl, Emperor Franz-Joseph from Mayerling, Trigorin from The Sea Gull, General Count von Klugermann from The Blue Max, Ed Concannon from The Verdict, Captain Hughes from Yellowbeard, and Sir Randolph Nettleby from The Shooting Party.
Nominated for: Mason was nominated 3 times 1 for Best Actor and 2 for Best Supporting Actor consisting of: 1954 for a Star Is Born, 1966 for Georgy Girl, and 1982 for The Verdict.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1962 for Lolita.
Reasons: I’d say he was more or less burned by the competition, especially in the 1954 Oscar race in which Marlon Brando won for On the Waterfront.
Trivia: Loved animals, particularly cats. He and first wife Pamela wrote a book called The Cats in Our Lives which he mostly wrote and illustrated. In this he recounted all the humorous and sometimes touching tales about all the cats and dogs he had known and loved. In 1952, he bought a house previously owned by Buster Keaton and discovered several nitrate film reels of some of the silent actor’s previously lost movies, which he arranged to have them transferred to safety stock and saved them from being permanently lost. Read the eulogy at Judy Garland’s funeral. Was a friend and neighbor to Charlie Chaplin as well as was buried near him.

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One response to “Movie Stars Who Have Never Won an Oscar: Part 7 – Joel McCrea to James Mason

  1. I loved the work you put in to this article. You are not a aspiring writer.
    You are one dear!
    All of these actors faces I remember and I am a old movie buff and have watched all eras and any of these amazing woman be it their acting ability or stunning looks on screen or presence.Or all of the above usually.
    One I may of missed in here but I wish she was mentioned if she has not been.
    To me she was the most stunning woman I have ever saw in my life. And I loved her from instant site and her acting ability should of got such high honors was Elizabeth Montgomery. Now I do not know all of her shows and movies she appeared in and I suspect I have not remotely saw them all. Never the less this Goddess always deserves to be mentioned and no one on earth could twinkle that nose any better LOL The thing is she was more known strictly for bewitched but I do recall seeing her in other things and her acting quality was always of the highest and such a charming amazing woman. As well Agnus Morehead was a extraordinary actress as well and if she never won anything she sure should of.

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