Though my list of Oscar less actors and actresses mostly consist of the Hollywood variety, Americans usually don’t seem aware that Hollywood, California isn’t the only place where people are making movies and never was. In fact, as you may have read, some of these stars were from different countries and spent a certain amount of time working in their local film industry. Sometimes they got their start there. Yet, despite that other countries manage to produce great films throughout movie history, a lot of Americans don’t watch foreign films mostly because watching a film with subtitles commands one’s full attention. Not to mention, most foreign movies are played in select cities which put many out of reach unless they have money. Yet, Americans also fail to notice that the US isn’t the English speaking country making movies either, yet at least they don’t have subtitles to follow. However, even though Americans may not watch foreign movies, this doesn’t mean that they haven’t influenced culture or else Toshiro Mifune wouldn’t be on here since his movies have inspired many American films. Now in this selection, we have 10 more actors and actresses who have never won an Oscar in their careers. First, we have Robert Walker best known as Bruno Anthony from Strangers on a Train as well as John Cazale remembered as Fredo from The Godfather yet both these guys had short careers. Second, we have British actors like Richard Griffiths, Stanley Holloway, Lynn Redgrave, Celia Johnson, and Sir Anthony Quayle who were famous on both sides of the Atlantic doing films in the US and their home country. After that is Betsy Blair best known for being married to Gene Kelly, Marty, and being blacklisted. Then there’s Barbara Bel Geddes who most people remember playing Jimmy Stewart’s smart ass ex-girlfriend from Vertigo. Finally, comes Lee Remick who is best known for playing a deeply disturbed army wife, an alcoholic housewife, and an adoptive mother to the son of Satan. So sit back and relax as I give you 10 more actors who never gave their Oscar speech.
141. Robert Walker
Personal Life: (1918-1951) Born in Salt Lake City, Utah. Parents divorced while he was still a child which emotionally scarred him. Attended American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. Married twice with his first marriage to Jennifer Jones to whom he had 2 sons. Was distraught over Jones’ affair with David O. Selznick and their eventual divorce that he was prone to drinking, emotional outbursts, and a nervous breakdown. Spent time in the Menninger Clinic in 1949 for a psychiatric disorder. Died from and adverse reaction to prescription drugs which followed an emotional outburst at 32.
Famous for: American actor best known for Strangers on a Train. Notable roles are Leonard Purckett from Bataan, David Le Gros from Madame Curie, Corporal William G. “Bill” Smollett II from Since You Went Away, David Thatcher from Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, Corporal Joe Allen from The Clock, Jimmy Dobson from Her Highness and the Bellboy, Eddie Hatch from One Touch of Venus, and Bruno Anthony from Strangers on a Train.
Nominated for: Walker was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 1951 for Strangers on a Train.
Reasons: Walker was twice divorced by 30 and suffered from alcoholism and mental illness, especially after his divorce from Jenifer Jones. Not to mention, he died at 32 and was in his twenties for most of his film career.
Trivia: Aunt was president of Botwin Teller.
142. Richard Griffiths
Personal Life: (1947-2013) Born in Yorkshire, England. Father was a steelworker who fought in bars for money. Parents were both death and learned sign language at an early age to communicate with them. Attempted to run away many times and dropped out of school at 15 yet returned after working as a porter. Attended the Manchester Polytechnic School of Drama. Began his acting career in small theaters and radio. Married to Heather Gibson for 33 years. Died from complications from heart surgery at 65.
Famous for: British actor whose career spanned for nearly 40 years. Notable roles are Head Porter at Caius College from Chariots of Fire, Sir Tom from The French Lieutenant’s Woman, Collins from Gandhi, Uncle Monty from Withnail and I, Duncan Phipps from King Ralph, Magistrate Philipse from Sleepy Hollow, Vernon Dursley from the Harry Potter series, Donald from Venus, Hector from The History Boys, King George II from Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Monsieur Frick from Hugo.
Nominated for: Griffiths was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Actor in 2006 for The History Boys.
Reasons: Other than appearing on Harry Potter, Griffiths was much more famous in Britain.
Trivia: Performed with Daniel Radcliffe in Equus. Ordered people out of a theater during a performance over their cell phones ringing. Appeared in 2 Best Picture winners for 2 consecutive years.
143. Lee Remick
Personal Life: (1935-1991) Born in Quincy, Massachusetts. Mother was an actress while father owned a department store. Studied acting at Barnard College and the Actors Studio. Debuted on Broadway in 1953 and made her first film in 1957. Married twice and had 2 children to first husband Bill Colleran. Married to second husband William Rory “Kip” Gowans for 21 years. Died of kidney cancer at 55.
Famous for: American actress best known for Anatomy of a Murder (1959), Days of Wine and Roses (1962), and The Omen (1976). Notable roles are Betty Lou Fleckum from A Face in the Crowd, Eula Varner from The Long, Hot Summer, Laura Manion from Anatomy of a Murder, Kirsten Arnesen Clay from Days of Wine and Roses, Stella from The Running Man, Cora Templeton Massingale from The Hallelujah Trail, Karen from The Detective, Katherine Thorn from The Omen, and Eugenia Young from The Europeans.
Nominated for: Remick was nominated for Best Actress in 1962 for Days of Wine and Roses.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Anne Bancroft for Best Actress in 1962. Sure I do feel that Bancroft deserved her Oscar. However, Remick’s character is very realistic portrayal of an alcoholic that really had Bette Davis say, “Miss Remick’s performance astonished me, and I thought, if I lose the Oscar, it will be to her.” Turns out the both lost to Mel Brooks’ wife (or future wife at the time).
Reasons: The Miracle Worker was an inspirational film about Helen Keller and her teacher while Days of Wine and Roses was about the dangers and harms associated with alcoholism. Also, she was burned by the competition. Not to mention, she died young. Also was said to be “America’s Answer to Brigitte Bardot” so take that what you will.
Trivia: Great grandmother was an English born preacher. Was the queen of reality based TV movies from the 1970s. Played Eleanor Roosevelt and Lady Jennie Jerome Churchill.
144. John Cazale
Personal Life: (1935-1978) Born in Revere, Massachusetts. Studied drama at Oberlin College and Boston University. Moved to New York City, worked as a messenger for Standard Oil and met Al Pacino. Made his first film in 1972. Was romantically involved with Meryl Streep for 2 years. Died of lung cancer at 42.
Famous for: American actor who appeared in 5 films over his 6 year career which were all nominated for Best Picture. Normally played violent and desperate characters onscreen. Notable roles are Fredo Corleone from The Godfather Trilogy, Stan from The Conversation, Salvatore Naturale from Dog Day Afternoon, and Stanley from The Deer Hunter.
Nominated for: Cazale was never nominated for an Oscar.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1972 for The Godfather or in 1974 for its sequel.
Reasons: Cazale was a rather promising actor whom the Academy thought would get his chance later. Yet, he died at 42.
Trivia: Was close friends with Al Pacino and live-in boyfriend to Meryl Streep. Has a theater named after him. Said to be a kind and gentle person who was a close friend to most of the actors he worked with.
145. Betsy Blair
Personal Life: (1923-2009) Born Elizabeth Winifred Boger in Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Began her career playing supporting roles. Worked as a child dancer from the age of 8 and was a model at 12. Won a scholarship Sarah Lawrence College but was told to wait one year before she could attend. Yet, she performed as a chorus girl at the International Casino in New York and Billy Rose’s Diamond Horseshoe where she met Gene Kelly. Made her first film in 1947. Married twice and had a daughter with first husband Gene Kelly. Married to Karl Reisz for 39 years. Moved to Europe and London after divorcing Kelly. Retired in 1994. Died of cancer in London at 85.
Famous for: American actress long based in London. Notable roles are Girl in Wig Shop from A Double Life, Birdie Bagtry from Another Part of the Forest, Hester from The Snake Pit, Clara from Marty, Elvia from Il Grido, Mother from Lies My Father Told Me, Emily from All Night Long, Amalia Brentani from Careless, Edna from A Delicate Balance, Helen from Flight of the Spruce Goose, and Gladys Simmons from Betrayed.
Nominated for: Blair was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1955 for Marty.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Jo Van Fleet in the Best Supporting Actress race in 1955. What’s even more crushing is that her loss might’ve had less to do with her performance in Marty, a role she’s best known for.
Reasons: For lack of a better word, politics for her interest in Marxism led to an investigation by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. She was blacklisted for some time because of this and almost didn’t get to play the school teacher on Marty. Yet, she had to seek work in Europe and Great Britain for her career in the US was damage. It’s also said to ruin her marriage to Gene Kelly.
Trivia: Married Gene Kelly at 17 years old. Performed before Eleanor Roosevelt at 8. Was juror at the 30th Berlin International Film Festival.
146. Barbara Bel Geddes
Personal Life: (1922-2005) Born in New York City. Daughter of stage and industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes. Came to prominence on Broadway in 1946. Made her first film in 1947. Married twice and had a daughter to each husband. Married to second husband Windsor Lewis for 21 years. Underwent a radical mastectomy in the early 1970s. Suffered a massive heart attack in 1983 and underwent triple bypass surgery. Retired in 1990 and settled in her Northeast Harbor home in Maine where she died at 82.
Famous for: American actress whose career spanned 6 decades. Notable roles are Jo Ann from The Long Night, Katrin from I Remember Mama, Leonora Eames from Caught, Nancy Reed from Panic in the Streets, Midge Wood from Vertigo, Marja from Five Branded Women, and Mrs. Todd from The Todd Killings.
Nominated for: Bel Geddes was nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1948 for I Remember Mama.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1958 for Vertigo in which she’s the only character you’d want to have a beer with.
Reasons: Her career was stalled during the 1950s because she was on the Hollywood blacklist during an investigation on her by the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Nevertheless, Alfred Hitchcock basically saved her career by casting her in Vertigo and 4 episodes of his TV show Alfred Hitchcock Presents.
Trivia: Wrote 2 children’s books and created a popular line of greeting cards. Was Miss Ellie on Dallas and was the only cast member from the show to win an Emmy Award and a Golden Globe (sorry, Larry Hagman). Honored by Betty Ford for helping raise breast cancer awareness. Played Maggie the Cat in the original production of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
147. Celia Johnson
Personal Life: (1908-1982) Born in Richmond, Surrey in England. Made her first public performance in 1916 in a charity performance to raise funds for returning WWI soldiers. Studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Comédie Française. Made her stage debut in 1928. Made her first film in 1941. Married to Peter Fleming for 35 years and had 3 children. Died of a stroke while playing bridge with her friends at 73 in Nettlebed Oxfordshire.
Famous for: British actress whose career spanned 43 years. Notable roles are Mrs. Kinross/Alix from In Which We Serve, Laura Jesson from Brief Encounter, Matty Matheson from I Believe in You, Maud St. James from The Captain’s Paradise, Miss Mackay from The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, and Mrs. Wheeler from The Hostage Tower.
Nominated for: Johnson was nominated for Best Actress in 1945 for Brief Encounter.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actress in 1969 for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.
Reasons: Well, Johnson was just burned by the competition during her nomination and wasn’t as well known to American audiences as her fellow Brit Olivia deHavilland. Also, To Each His Own is about a woman who gets knocked up after a fling and unwittingly gives up her child for adoption while Brief Encounter is about two married people engaging in sympathetic adultery. Not to mention, she was always torn between family and her career.
Trivia: Was James Bond author Ian Fleming’s sister-in-law and since the 1990s, her daughters co-owned his estate. Nicknamed, “Betty.” Nominated for 5 BAFTAs and won twice.
148. Lynn Redgrave
Personal Life: (1943-2010) Born in London to actors Sir Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson. Trained at London’s Central School of Speech and Drama. Made professional debut in 1962. Made her first film in 1963. Was a member of the National Theatre at the Old Vic. Debuted on Broadway in 1967. Married to John Clark for 33 years and had 3 children. Divorced him after she found out he fathered a child with her personal assistant who was said to marry and divorce their son Benjamin. The proceedings were acrimonious and made front page news. Became a US citizen. Had health problems associated with bulimia and breast cancer which she was diagnosed with in 2002 and underwent a mastectomy and chemotherapy. Yet, she died from the disease at her Kent, Connecticut home at 67.
Famous for: British American actress who appeared in several films during the 1960s. Notable roles are Susan from Tom Jones, Georgy from Georgy Girl, Virgin from The Deadly Affair, The Queen from Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex* (*But Were Afraid to Ask), Xaviera Hollander from The Happy Hooker, Gillian from Shine, Hanna from Gods and Monsters, Helen Whittaker from The Next Best Thing, Miss McVane from The Hairy Bird, Cordelia Thornberry from The Wild Thornberrys Movie, Aunt Millicent from Peter Pan, Final Interview Subject from Kinsey, Olga Belinskya from The White Countess, and Mama Sky from The Jane Austen Book Club.
Nominated for: Redgrave was nominated twice once for Best Actress and once for Best Supporting Actress in 1966 for Georgy Girl and 1998 for Gods and Monsters.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Dame Judy Dench in 1998. Sure Dench is a great actress but still, she shouldn’t have won for Shakespeare in Love. Seriously, Shakespeare in Love is just a totally historically inaccurate movie. Redgrave should’ve at least lost to Kathy Bates.
Reasons: No matter how talented she was, Redgrave was always best known as “Vanessa Redgrave’s sister.” Also burned out by the competition during both nominations.
Trivia: Sister of Vanessa Redgrave and aunt of Natasha Richardson (meaning she was related to Liam Neeson by marriage). Narrated 20 audiobooks. Only actress to be nominated for a Tony, Oscar, Grammy, and Emmy and not win any of them.
149. Stanley Holloway
Personal Life: (1890-1982) Born in London. Father was a law clerk while mother was a dressmaker. Father deserted family in 1905 and was never seen or heard from again while his mother died the same year. Dropped out of school at 14 to work as a clerk at a boot polish factory and fish market before joining the military. Made his acting debut in 1910. Rejoined the military in 1915 and saw service during the Easter Rising and the French trenches. Married twice and had 5 children with 4 to his first wife of 24 years Alice “Queenie Foran and a son to second wife of over 40 years. Died at 91.
Famous for: British actor, comedian, singer, poet, and monologist. Famous for his comic and character roles on stage and screen. Had a career that spanned for 70 years. Made over 60 films. Notable roles are Policeman from Major Barbara, Alfred Godby from Brief Encounter, Belzanor from Caesar and Cleopatra, Vincent Crummles from Nicholas Nickelby, Gravedigger from Hamlet, Alfred Pendlebury from The Lavender Hill Mob, Mr. Lockit from The Beggar’s Opera, Alfred P. Doolittle from My Fair Lady, Detective William Henry Blore from Ten Little Indians, and Mr. Matthews from Journey Into Fear.
Nominated for: Holloway was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1965 for My Fair Lady.
Most Crushing Loss: Losing to Peter Ustinov in the Best Supporting Actor race of 1964. Sure Ustinov was a great actor but he already won an Oscar for Spartacus.
Reasons: Holloway was much better known in Britain than in the US and was more renowned for his comical and character performances mostly in British films.
Trivia: Named after explorer Henry Morton Stanley. Received the Victoria Cross for gallantry. Spent the later part of the war organizing shows to boost morale in France. Performed more than 20 monologues on stage as Sam Small, which he mostly wrote himself. Played Alfred P. Doolittle in the original cast of My Fair Lady and was the only cast member to do his own singing in the movie. Shares a granddaughter with Roald Dahl. Was friends with Maurice Chevalier and Sir Laurence Olivier as well as Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Burgess Meredith, and Groucho Marx.
150. Sir Anthony Quayle
Personal Life: (1913-1989) Born in Southport, Lancashire in England. Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and joined the Old Vic in 1932. Made his first film in 1938. Served as a British officer as a commander in area Auxiliary Units. Later joined the Special Operations Executive as a liaison to Albania. Was aide to the Governor of Gibraltar during General Władysław Sikorski’s plane crash in 1943. Married twice and had 3 children with second wife Dorothy Hyson to whom he was married to for 44 years. Died of liver failure at 76.
Famous for: British actor and director whose career spanned 54 years. Notable roles are Marcellus from Hamlet, Franklin from The Guns of Navarone, Colonel Brighton from Lawrence of Arabia, Verulus from The Fall of the Roman Empire, Sir John Edward Duncombe from Misunderstood, Older Englishman from MacKenna’s Gold, Cardinal Wolsey from Anne of the Thousand Days, Lord Minto from The Nelson Affair, Admiral Canaris from The Eagle Has Landed, Father Noessler from Magdalene, Frank O’Connor from The Wrong Man, and Lord Granville from King of the Wind.
Nominated for: Quayle was nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1970 for Anne of the Thousand Days.
Most Crushing Loss: Not being nominated for Best Supporting Actor in 1962 for Lawrence of Arabia.
Reasons: Quayle was much better known in the British theater and movie world than among American audiences.
Trivia: Wrote fictionalized memoirs about his wartime experiences. Helped lay the foundation for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Founded his own theater company in 1984. Was knighted in 1985.