The Wife opens in select U.S. theaters tomorrow (August 3), and stars Glenn Close as a woman who questions her choices in life when her husband (Jonathan Pryce) is awarded the Nobel Prize.
It’s been getting plenty of buzz since premiering at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, with many critics wondering if it might be the film that finally bags Glenn a long-overdue Oscar. She’s been nominated six times, for films such as The World According to Garp and Fatal Attraction, losing out to acting peers like Jessica Lange, Cher, Jodie Foster, and Meryl Streep.
If it is, then she’ll no longer be counted among the extremely well-respected actors who’ve somehow never won an Oscar. Below are 10 of the others.
The Lawrence of Arabia star received eight nominations over his near 60-year career, but failed to bag any of them. When he was offered an honorary Oscar in 2003, he hesitated, on the grounds that he was “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright.” But it was not to be. He died in 2013, seven years after losing out on the Best Actor trophy for his performance in Venus to Forest Whittaker.
The Venom star has proved she’s much more than a teen-soap star since her stint on Dawson’s Creek. She’s impressed the Academy enough to receive four Oscar nominations for her performances in Brokeback Mountain (2005), Blue Valentine (2010), My Week with Marilyn (2011), and Manchester by the Sea (2016), but just come short of convincing them. She’s used to the rejection, though, if this interview with BAFTA is to be believed.
Sir Kenneth Branagh
The Henry V star may seem like the quintessential English actor, so much so that he’s been compared with Sir Laurence Olivier. He’s never won a coveted statuette though, despite five nominations and his own critically-acclaimed version of the same Shakespeare play that earned his forebear two Oscars.
You’d be hard pressed to find another actress who can so convincingly play such varied roles like Abigail Adams (John Adams), Annabeth Markum (Mystic River), “Meryl Burbank” (The Truman Show), Sammy Prescott in You Can Count on Me, and Clara McMillen in Kinsey, but Laura Linney is yet to win The Big One.
Sir Christopher Lee
He has 250 acting credits to his name, collected over a career spanning over seven decades, a knighthood, and a BAFTA Fellowship Award, but this legendary actor never received a single Oscar nomination. Best known for playing villains such as Scaramanga in The Man with the Golden Gun and Saruman in the Lord of the Rings movies, it could be argued that the Academy is the bad guy in this story.
No-one was surprised when Angela won a Golden Globe for her depiction of the great Tina Turner in biopic What’s Love Got to Do With It?; her performance was widely regarded as a whirlwind tour de force. The Oscar was therefore expected to go her way too, until it went to Holly Hunter for her near-mute performance in The Piano, that is.
The Golden Globe-winning Roseanne star is the quintessential supporting actor, having stolen the show numerous times in films such as Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), Flight (2012), O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000), The Big Lebowski (1998), Barton Fink (1991), and Raising Arizona (1987). He appeared in the Best Picture winning movie two years in a row (2012’s Argo and 2011’s The Artist), but still has not even been nominated for, let alone won, a gold statue.
Being left out of the Oscar race for her subtle lead performance in Rosemary’s Baby is one thing, but Mia‘s bad luck was compounded when her co-star Ruth Gordon took away an Oscar for playing Rosemary’s crazy neighbor. None of her performances since — not even those in Oscar-winning films such as The Great Gatsby, The Purple Rose of Cairo and Hannah and Her Sisters — have garnered her as much as a nod from the Academy.
Tom is famous for his action stunts, but none of them include converting any of his three nominations (for Born on the Fourth of July, Jerry Maguire and Magnolia) into actual Oscars. And then there are the performances that were ignored: Rain Man, A Few Good Men and Collateral, to name a few. Tom’s biggest chance came in 1999, when he was up for the Best Supporting Actor gong thanks to his staggering performance as a charismatic, women-hating “pick-up artist” with deep-seated personal issues. If that wasn’t enough for the Academy, what was? He lost out to Michael Caine for The Cider House Rules.
Sir Ian McKellen
“My speech has been in two jackets,” the Gandalf actor told the Guardian in 2016. “‘I’m proud to be the first openly gay man to win the Oscar.’ I’ve had to put it back in my pocket twice.” The first time, he missed out on the Best Actor award in 1998 to Roberto Benigni for Life is Beautiful, and the second, on the Best Supporting Actor gong for his performance as Gandalf in the first Lord of the Rings film to Jim Broadbent for Iris. As Dame Maggie Smith pointed out, his lucky charm clearly isn’t working.
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