Written By Jim White
Ninety – five years ago Louis B. Mayer of M G M fame, and some of his cinema cronies came up with the idea of forming The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science. The original awards were just that, awards. You won an award. Later, you won an Academy Award.
Where the name “Oscar” came from has many stories. The statuette that designed by Cedric Gibbons was said by Bette Davis to, “look like my uncle Oscar”, thereby baptizing the statuette.
Over the past ninety-five years some 3,000 awards have been handed out. Some more deserved than others. This year some one billion people, that’s BILLION with a B, will oooh and aaah and say, ”not her again” or, “how did they NOT pick him”! You can’t please everyone. For every, winner there are non-winners or, “losers”. So, while others will focus on the Red Carpet and the those who would heap praise on their fellow performers in hopes that their fellow performers will heap praise on them.
I will present you with, a bunch of incredibility talented performers who Oscar ignored.
Take for example the 1964 film Becket, starring two of the British Empire’s greatest English-speaking actors, EVER. Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton. Both men were nominated for the Best Actor award and neither won. That is not the tragedy here, the tragedy lies in the fact that between these two actors, they hold the record for having the most Best Actor nominations without a single victory!
Peter O’Toole garnered eight nominations and Burton had six. To add insult to injury, Richard Burton, early on in his career in 1952 was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor award for his role in, “My Cousin Rachel”, for which he did not win either. That makes a total of fifteen nomination with zero wins between them!
The ladies are not to be outdone either. Take the case of Scottish born Deborah Kerr; a wonderful actress, on whom, in 1994, the Academy bestowed an Honorary Academy Award citation, calling her, “an artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance.”
Deborah Kerr was nominated six times for the Best Actress award and never won. She holds the record for having the most Best Actress nomination without winning.
Thelma Ritter shared the same fate, only as the women with the most Best Supporting Actress nomination without a win, totaling six. There was no honorary award for Thelma.
A quick quiz. Which of the following NEVER won an Academy Award: Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Hitchcock, Meg Ryan, Cary Grant or Stanley Tucci.
Answer, NONE of these performers ever won an Academy Award.
Sharing the stage with Deborah Kerr and Thelma Ritter is one of today’s finest actresses, Glenn Close. Add her name as a share holder of the title, “actress with the most nominations without a win”. A Connecticut Yankee in the spirit of Katherine Hepburn, Glenn Close has been nominated four times as Best Actress and three times as Best Supporting Actress. Still active, Ms. Close at least still has a shot at ridding herself of this dubious distinction.
Films too have received the famous Oscar snub. Lady Luck did not blow on Steven Spielberg’s dice at the 1985 awards ceremony. Even though he was not nominated as Best Director for his film that was nominated as Best Picture (that’s just nuts); his cast in the groundbreaking, The Color Purple, was nominated for eleven awards in ten categories, including Best Actress for Whoopi Goldberg and two Best Supporting Actress nods for Margaret Avery and Oprah Winfrey. The film was shut out of all eleven nominations. However, it only ties for the prize because, with director Herb Ross’, The Turning Point, that 1977 battle of the bitchy ballerinas starring Shirley MacLaine and Ann Bancroft, who were both nominated in the Best Actress category.
Watch out Everything Everywhere All At once.
Finally, there is the case of Mutiny On The Bounty. This 1935 sea epic directed by Frank Lloyd starred Clark Gable as Fletcher Christian, Charles Laughton as the prickly Captain Bly (hiss), with Franchot Tone in a smaller role. As there was no Best Supporting Actor category at the time, Franchot was also nominated as Best Actor. This is the first and only time in the Academy’s history where three male stars were nominated for the same film.. All three performances were snubbed by the Oscar committee in lieu of Victor McLaglen’s strong performance as the Irish traitor, Gypo Nolan, in the John Ford classic, The Informer
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