When it comes to actors and actresses who haven’t won competitive Oscars, I usually made it a rule to stick with those who are dead and retired since they aren’t working in movies anymore. Now there may be actors whose glory days are over and won’t be nominated any time soon. Yet, there are plenty of actors who work way past their prime. Yet, we have people like Jessica Tandy and Christopher Plummer winning the coveted award as senior citizens. And there have been lists of actors who will never win Oscars that contain Matthew McConaughey. Granted he was in his shirtless rom-com phase when we’d think the idea of him winning an Oscar was ridiculous. But when Dallas Buyers Club came out, guess what happened. So perhaps dealing only with actors and actresses no longer working or alive is probably a safer bet. In this selection, we look at 10 more movie legends who are either retired from filmmaking or no longer alive. First, you have Ida Lupino, a pint size spitfire onscreen as well as a female Hollywood pioneer behind the scenes. Second, are British actors Hermione Gingold and Sir Ralph Richardson best known for their work in the theater and not being conventionally attractive. Then there is Peter Cushing best known for playing Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars as well as being Christopher Lee’s BFF. After that is Japanese movie star, Toshiro Mifune who may have stayed in Tokyo but his collaborations with Akira Kurosawa have influenced much of pop culture with the magic of Hollywood remakes. Next is Broadway darling Julie Harris who was known for kissing James Dean and The Haunting. Then you have Eve Arden known for her roles as the no-nonsense, wisecracking sidekick in films and the principal from Grease followed by David Carradine most memorable for Kung Fu, Kill Bill, and autoerotic asphyxiation. Next comes Paul Henreid who played the guy you didn’t want Ingrid Bergman to end up with in Casablanca. And last but not least, we have Clifton Webb best known as the possible inspiration for Mr. Peabody.
111. Ida Lupino
Personal Life: (1918-1995) Born in London. Mother was an actress and father was a music hall entertainer. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and made her first film in 1931. Became a US citizen in 1948. Married 3 times and had a daughter to third husband Howard Duff to whom she was with for 32 years (though they were separated a long time before their divorce). Died of a stroke while undergoing a treatment for colon cancer at 77.
Famous for: British American actress, director, and a pioneer among women filmmakers. Appeared in 59 films during her 48 year career. Directed 7 films as well as co-wrote and co-produced some as well. Notable roles are Hope Harcourt from Anything Goes, Jane from The Gay Desperado, Paula Sewell/Paula Monterey from Artists and Models, Ann Brandon from The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Lana Carlsen from They Drive by Night, Doris Malone from Sea Devils, Ellen Creed from Ladies in Retirement, Anna from Moontide, Jennifer Whittredge from In Our Time, Emily Bronte from Devotion, Libby Saul from Deep Valley, Ruth Webster from The Sea Wolf, Gemma Smith from Escape Me Never, Julia Thomas from Lust for Gold, Marie from High Sierra, Mary Malden from On Dangerous Ground, Mrs. Helen Gordon from Beware, My Lovely, Agnes Langley from Jennifer, Phyllis Martin from The Bigamist, Amelia van Zandt from Women’s Prison, Marion Castle from The Big Knife, Mildred Donner from When the City Sleeps, Alice Carmichel from Strange Intruder, and Mrs. Skinner from The Food of the Gods.
Nominated for: Lupino was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not receiving an honorary Oscar for being a pioneer for women filmmakers in Hollywood. Seriously, she was directing movies in the 1950s.
Reasons: If you’re known as, “the Poor Man’s Bette Davis” you’ll probably not win Oscars since that might mean a raise in your salary. Then again, Jamie Foxx has been referred to as, “the Poor Man’s Will Smith” and he’s already won an Oscar for Ray but he practically was Ray Charles in that film. Also female directors never get zilch recognition for their movies or accomplishments unless they’re Sophia Coppola or Kathryn Bigelow or on the indie circuit. Nevertheless, Lupino ranks among one of the most seriously underrated figures in Hollywood history and it’s a shame the Academy never gave her the recognition she deserved.
Trivia: Directed 7 movies consisting of Not Wanted, Never Fear, Outrage, Hard, Fast, and Beautiful, The Hitch-Hiker, The Bigamist, and The Trouble with Angels. Directed an episode for The Twilight Zone and Bewitched. Composed “Aladdin’s Lamp” which was performed by the L. A. Philharmonic in 1937. Served as a Lieutenant in the Women’s Ambulance and Defense Corps during WWII. Starred in a movie her mother originally tested for. Took many roles that Bette Davis refused and thus called, “the Poor Man’s Bette Davis.” First woman to direct a film noir. Second woman admitted in the Director’s Guild.
112. Hermione Gingold
Personal Life: (1897-1987) Born in London. Father was a prosperous Vienna-born Jewish stockbroker. Made her professional stage debut at 11 in 1908. Attended Rosina Filippi’s stage school. Made her first film in 1932. Married twice and had 2 sons to first husband Michael Joseph. Retired in 1977. Died from heart problems and pneumonia at 89.
Famous for: British actress known for her sharp tongue, eccentric persona. Had a strikingly individual voice, drawling and deep, the latter a result of nodes on her vocal chords in the 1920s and early 1930s. Started as a child actress with a successful adult career on the stage. Best known for her grand dames in musicals. Was notable in revues. Notable roles are Mrs. Tompkins from The Pickwick Papers, Bianca de Passe from Bell, Book, and Candle, Madame Alvarez, Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn from The Music Man, Lady Effigie Munster from Munster, Go Home!, Mme. Armfeldt from A Little Night Music, and Elizabeth Rennick from Garbo Talks.
Nominated for: Gingold was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1958 for Gigi, which she plays a 3 dimensional character who tries to get her granddaughter to become a high class call girl but later changes her mind.
Reasons: Gingold was more of a comic and musical actress who was much more famous on the stage than the screen particularly in Great Britain.
Trivia: Wrote a play called Abracadabra and contributed original material to many revues she performed. The Gingold Theatrical Group is named after her and is devoted to producing plays on human rights. Made her operatic debut at 77. Descended from Solomon Sulzer who was a famous Jewish cantor and Jewish liturgical composer in Vienna. Appeared in 2 Best Picture winners.
113. Julie Harris
Personal Life: (1925-2013) Born Julia Ann Harris in Grosse Pointe, Michigan. Father was an investment banker. Trained at Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School & Camp and later attended the Yale School of Drama for a year. Debuted on stage in 1948 and made her first film in 1952. Married 3 times and had a son to second husband Manning Gurian. Battled breast cancer, suffered a fall requiring surgery, and had 2 strokes in 2001 and 2010. Died at her home in West Chatham, Massachusetts at 89.
Famous for: American actress noted for her work on stage, film, and television for 65 years. Notable roles are Frances ‘Frankie’ Addams from Member of the Wedding, Abra from East of Eden, Helen Cooper from The Truth About Women, Grace Miller from Requiem for a Heavyweight, Sally Bowles from I Am a Camera, Eleanor ‘Nell’ Lance from The Haunting, Betty Fraley from Harper, Alison Langdon from Reflections in a Golden Eye, Leona Gillings from Journey to Midnight, Alice Fienchild from Voyage of the Damned, Mrs. Greenwood from The Bell Jar, Roz Carr from Gorillas in the Mist, and Carlotta from The First of May.
Nominated for: Harris was nominated for Best Actress in 1953 for Member of the Wedding.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actress in 1963 for The Haunting. Her performance as a psychic losing her mind is possibly one of the best horror movie performances in history.
Reasons: Well, Harris was nominated early in her career so the Academy thought she’d may have her chance to win in the future. Also, was much more famous as a theater actress than as one on screen. I mean in movies, she’s best known for playing one of 2 women who kissed James Dean and a psychic losing her mind in The Haunting.
Trivia: Won 5 Tony Awards, 3 Emmys, and a Grammy (making one Oscar short of an EGOT). Awarded National Medal of Arts. Recipient of the Sarah Siddons Award for her work in Chicago theater. Was close friends with James Dean. Did the voice of Southern diarist Mary Chestnut in Ken Burns’ The Civil War as well as extensive work for his other films. Broadway lights dimmed in light of her death. Was an original member of the Actors Studio.
114. Peter Cushing
Personal Life: (1913-1994) Born in Surrey, England. Father was a quantity surveyor. Worked as an assistant surveyor before attending the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Made his first film in 1939. Married to Violet Helene Beck for 28 years and took his wife’s 1971 death hard and might’ve attempted suicide but a poem by her made him change his mind. Diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1982 but would survive 12 years without surgery before dying at 81.
Famous for: British actor famous for his many appearances in Hammer Horror films. Appeared frequently with Christopher Lee and occasionally with Vincent Price. Notable roles are Osric from Hamlet, General Memnon from Alexander the Great, Victor Frankenstein from The Curse of Frankenstein and others, Doctor Van Helsing from Dracula and other films, Sherlock Holmes from The Hound of the Baskervilles, Captain Richard Pearson from John Paul Jones, Merrywether from The Hellfire Club, Dr. Who from Dr. Who and the Daleks and Daleks – Invasion Earth: 2150 A.D., John Meredith from Some May Live, Sir John Rowan from Corruption, and Grand Moff Tarkin from Star Wars as well as others from his Hammer Horror films.
Nominated for: Cushing was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1977 for Star Wars.
Reasons: Face it, despite having a great voice and talent, there’s no way Cushing could win an Oscar after spending much of his career doing Hammer Horror films.
Trivia: Was best friends with Christopher Lee. Was an avid bird watcher and painter as well as a gentlemanly figure who adored his wife. Wrote and illustrated a children’s book. Was a vegetarian at least from 1987.
115. Eve Arden
Personal Life: (1908-1990) Born Eunice M. Quedens in Mill Valley, California. Parents divorced when she was still a child. Dropped out of high school at 16 and joined a stock theater company. Made her first film in 1929. Adopted her stage name during her Broadway debut in 1934. Married twice and had 4 children to second husband Brooks West to whom she was married to for 32 years. Died of colorectal cancer and heart disease at 82.
Famous for: American actress whose career spanned some 60 years crossing most media frontiers in both supporting and leading roles. Notable roles are Eve from Stage Door,
Sophie De Lemma from Coconaut Grove, Carrie Ashburn from The Forgotten Woman, Gloria from Eternally Yours, Kitty from No, No, Nanette, Patsy Dixon from Ziegfeld Girl, Gabby Trent from San Antonio Rose, Dolly from Manpower, Cornelia Jackson from Cover Girl, Ida Corwin from Mildred Pierce, Paula from The Unfaithful, Molly Stewart from One Touch of Venus, Tommy Thompson from Paid in Full, Pauline Hastings from Tea for Two,
Miss Constance ‘Connie’ Brooks from Our Miss Brooks, Maida Rutledge from Anatomy of a Murder, Lottie Lacey from The Dark at the Top of the Stairs, Lt. Charlotte Kinsey from Sergeant Dead Head, and Principal McGee from Grease.
Nominated for: Arden was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1946 for Mildred Pierce.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Anne Revere in the 1946 Supporting Actress race. She should’ve at least lost to Ann Blyth that year.
Reasons: Arden was primarily known as a comedic actress with her wisecracking roles which works well for television but not so much when it comes to prestigious movie awards.
Trivia: Romantically linked to Danny Kaye. Played the title role in Our Miss Brooks during the 1950s. Was an honorary member of the National Education Association. Recipient of the Sarah Siddons Award for Chicago theatre.
116. Toshiro Mifune
Personal Life: (1920-1997) Born in Tsingtao, Shandong in China to Japanese Methodist missionaries. Father was also a commercial photographer whom he assisted in his shop. Spent his first 19 years in China before being drafted into the Imperial Japanese Army Aviation Division where he served in aerial photography during WWII. Was an assistant cameraman at Toho Productions which later went on strike. Basically stumbled into acting by accident when his friends submitted a photo of him without his knowledge. Married to fellow actress Sachiko Yoshimine for 45 years and had 2 sons. Also had a daughter to a mistress actress Mika Kitagawa. Died of multiple organ failure at 77.
Famous for: Japanese actor who appeared in more than 170 films and best known for his collaboration with Akira Kurosawa. He is probably the most famous actor in Japanese history. Notable roles are Tajômaru from Rashomon, Kikuchiyo from Seven Samurai, Musashi Miyamoto (Takezo) from The Samurai Trilogy, Taketoki Washizu from Throne of Blood, General Rokurota Makabe from The Hidden Fortress, Sanjuro Kuwabatake / The Samurai from Yojimbo, Sanjûrô Tsubaki / The Samurai from Sanjuro, Genba Tawaraboshi from 47 Samurai, Dr. Kyojô Niide from Red Beard, Captain Tsuruhiko Kuroda from Hell in the Pacific, Izo Yamura from Gran Prix, Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto from Midway, and Cmdr. Akiro Mitamura from 1941.
Nominated for: Mifune was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1954 for Seven Samurai. Not to mention not receiving any Oscar recognition for playing the role that would inspire the Man With No Name, which would make Clint Eastwood’s career.
Reasons: He was primarily a Japanese actor who made Japanese films which weren’t on the Hollywood radar screen until the 1960s.
Trivia: Founded an acting school that closed after 3 years due to financial mismanagement. Played Lord Toranaga in NBC’s Shogun. Was George Lucas’ original choice to play Obi Wan Kenobi.
117. David Carradine
Personal Life: (1936-2009) Born John Arthur Carradine in Hollywood. Second (but oldest biological) child of actor John Carradine. Had a turbulent childhood for his parents divorced and repeatedly remarried. Parents divorced when he was 7. Spent a few years shuffled between foster homes, boarding school, and reform school due to his dad being involved in heated custody and alimony battles with his first two wives, one of which landed him in jail. Attended San Francisco State College where he studied in music and drama but dropped out. Was arrested for assaulting a police officer in the late 1950s but plead guilty for disturbing the peace. In 1960, he was drafted into the US Army where he drew pictures for training aids. Started acting while stationed at Fort Eustis, Virginia where he as court martialed for shoplifting, but was honorably discharged when his 2 year tour was up. Changed his name to David in 1963 to avoid confusion with his father and made his TV debut that year. Made his first film in 1965. Married 5 times and had a relationship with Barbara Hershey that produced a son as well 2 daughters with his first and third wives. Died in Bangkok of autoerotic asphyxiation at 72.
Famous for: American actor and martial artist. Member of a productive family that began with his father John. Career spanned 4 decades and appeared in 100 films as well as numerous other TV shows. Notable roles are ‘Big’ Bill Shelly from Boxcar Bertha, Drunk from Mean Streets, Woody Guthrie from Bound for Glory, Detective Shepard from Q, Rawley Wilkes from Lone Wolf McQuade, Sorenson from Bird on a Wire, Bill from Kill Bill 1 and 2, and Buckingham from Richard III as well as other roles from action movies.
Nominated for: Carradine was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1976 for Bound for Glory which was one of his best roles and demonstrated his talent as a musician.
Reasons: Carradine wasn’t one of the most stellar actors in Hollywood. I mean the guy has been arrested multiple times throughout his life such as for marijuana possession, shoplifting, attempted burglary, malicious mischief, assault, drunk driving, and kicking the door of the SkyDome during a Rolling Stones concert. Of course, on one occasion, while under the influence of peyote, he wandered around his neighborhood nude and broke into a neighbor’s home (where nothing was stolen but he hurt his arm and bled on the guy’s piano). Later he accosted and allegedly assaulted 2 women while demanding whether she was a witch. Not to mention, as an actor, I’m sure Asians wouldn’t be comfortable with a Caucasian playing a guy on TV who’s supposed to be Chinese, especially during the 1970s. Also did a lot of action movies.
Trivia: Great-grandson of evangelical author Beverly Carradine. Was called, “Jack” by his family. Brother of Bruce Carradine (who was adopted) and half-brother of Christopher, Keith, and Robert. Played Kwai Chang Caine in Kung Fu (yes, he’s white but you know the era) but he learned martial arts while on the set. Was also a musician who played piano, guitar, and flute as well as sang. Was at his father’s side when he died.
118. Paul Henreid
Personal Life: (1908-1992) Born Paul Georg Julius Freiherr von Hernried Ritter von Wassel-Waldingau in the Austro-Hungarian city of Trieste which is now part of Italy. Father was an aristocratic Viennese banker. Studied theater in Vienna and under Max Reinhardt. Began his film career in Germany during the 1930s but fled to Great Britain in 1935 due to the Austrian Civil War that contributed to the rise of Fascism. Became a US citizen in 1946. Married to Elizabeth “Lisl” Gluck for 56 years and had 2 daughters. Retired in 1977. Died of pneumonia at 84.
Famous for: Trieste-born American actor and director. Notable roles are Staefel from Goodbye, Mr. Chips, Karl Marsen from Night Train to Munich, Paul from Joan of Paris, Jerry Durrance from Now, Voyager, Victor Laszlo from Casablanca, Henry Bergner from Between Two Worlds, Vincent Van Der Lyn from The Conspirators, Capt. Laurent Van Horn from The Spanish Main, Rev. Arthur Nicholls from Devotion, Philip Carey from Of Human Bondage, Karel Novak from Deception, Robert Schumann from Song of Love, and Jean Lafitte from Last of the Buccaneers.
Nominated for: Henreid was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1942 for Casablanca.
Reasons: Henreid was an Austrian refugee during WWII and ran the risk of interment and deportation in Britain. After the war, he was effectively blacklisted from film for joining the Committee for the First Amendment. And by the 1950s, he was already a has been as far as the movies were concerned and had a more successful career on TV until the 1970s.
Trivia: At the start of WWII risked deportation or internment but was able to stay free in England thanks Conrad Veidt (which is ironic, considering the roles they played in Casablanca). Worked as a translator and book designer with Otto Preminger when they were first starting out.
119. Sir Ralph Richardson
Personal Life: (1902-1983) Born in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, in England. Father was senior art master at Cheltenham Ladies’ College. At 4, his family split up with this mother taking him and his brothers left with his dad. Split was said to be over his mother’s choice of wallpaper or father’s extramarital affair. Was an altar boy but though his mother wanted him to be a priest, he ran away at 15 after he was sent to Saint Xavier College (he’d later go back to the Catholic faith as a lay adult though). Worked as an office boy for the Liverpool and Victoria insurance company in Liverpool and went to Brighton art school. Was inspired to become an actor when he saw a touring production of Hamlet. Made his stage debut in 1920. Joined the Old Vic in 1931. Made his first movie in 1933. Was knighted in 1947. Married twice and had a son to second wife Meriel Forbes whom he was married for 39 years. Crashed his motorcycle in a cottage where his first wife was staying in 1942 that put him in the hospital for weeks and took her life. Died at 80 after a series of strokes.
Famous for: British actor who dominated the stage and screen during the mid-20th century along with Sir John Gielgud and Sir Laurence Olivier. Made more than 60 films over his over 50 long year career. Notable roles are Lorde Mere from The Divorce of Lady X, Dr. Denny from The Citadel, Karenin from Anna Karenina, Baines from The Fallen Idol, Dr. Sloper from The Heiress, Buckingham from Richard III, James Tyrone from Long Day’s Journey Into Night, Alexander Gromeko from Doctor Zhivago, Joseph Finsbury from The Wrong Box, Gladstone from Khartoum, Wikins Micawber from David Copperfield, Dr. Rank from A Doll’s House, the Supreme Being from Time Bandits, and The Sixth Earl of Greystoke from Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.
Nominated for: Richardson was nominated twice for Best Supporting Actor in 1950 for The Heiress and 1985 for Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Dean Jagger in 1949. Sure Jagger is good in Twelve O’Clock High. But Richardson does a great portrayal of an emotionally abusive father who treats his little girl like shit (even if he is right about her boyfriend just wanting her money).
Reasons: Being burned by the competition more than anything. Not to mention, he was a much more significant figure in Great Britain than in America, especially in the theater.
Trivia: Could be deeply private or flamboyantly unconventional. Would introduce his colleagues to his ferrets by name, ride high speed on his motorcycle in his seventies, have his parrot fly around eating pencils in his study, and take his pet mouse for a walk. Hobbies included painting and tennis. Was a sub-lieutenant pilot in the British Royal Navy Reserve.
Co-Director of the Old Vic Company.
120. Clifton Webb
Personal Life: (1889-1966) Born Webb Parmelee Hollenbeck in Indianapolis, Indiana. Father was a ticket clerk. Parents separated shortly after his birth and were divorced by 1900. Spent most of his childhood in New York City. At 11, his mother married a copper foundry worker. Changed his name to Clifton Webb by 19 while he was a professional ballroom dancer. Made his acting debut on Broadway in 1913 and was also appearing in vaudeville in the 1920s. Made his first film in the late 1920s. Never married or had children and lived with his mother until her death in 1960. Spent his last 5 years as a recluse at his Beverly Hills home before dying of a heart attack at 76.
Famous for: American actor, dancer, and singer. Notable roles are Waldo Lydecker from Laura, Elliott Templeton from The Razor’s Edge, Lynn Belvedere from Sitting Pretty and other films, Frank Bunker Gilbreth from Cheaper by the Dozen, John Philip Sousa from Stars and Stripes Forever, John Frederick Shadwell from Three Coins in the Fountain, Lt. Cmdr. Ewen Montagu from The Man Who Never Was, Victor Parmalee from Boy on Dolphin, and Father Bovard from Satan Never Sleeps.
Nominated for: Web was nominated 3 times once for Best Actor and twice for Best Supporting Actor in 1945 for Laura, 1947 for The Razor’s Edge, and 1949 for Sitting Pretty.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Barry Fitzgerald for Best Supporting Actor in 1945. Now I’m not familiar with Barry Fitzgerald. However, I think Webb should’ve won for playing a “nice guy” who really hates being friend zoned.
Reasons: Let’s just say though it’s still a matter of dispute, Webb’s prissy and elegant stage persona might’ve led Academy voters suspect he was a little light in the loafers. This didn’t help that he actually lived with his mother, never married, and never had children.
Trivia: Was called “Little Webb” by his mother. Grieved for his mother well over a year after her death. His elegant taste kept him on Hollywood’s best dressed lists for decades. Was friends with Noel Coward and appeared in a lot of his plays. Said to be the inspiration for Mr. Peabody.