Five Hollywood Icons Snubbed For An Oscar

Academy AwardThis Sunday, the actors of the silver screen will be headed down the red carpet for the 83rd Annual Academy Awards.  For over eight decades people have come out to see what the stars will be wearing and to hear the inside gossip from Hollywood.  Throughout the years, some names have become synonymous with movie making and we generally assume that these actors have won at least one Oscar, but you might be fooled!  I know I was when coming up with this list.  Some of the names downright shocked me because I know they had been named for an Oscar at least once.  See if you are surprised, as well, by those icons of the silver screen that never won a golden statue.

myfivebest -1Cary Grant
Born Archibald Alexander Leach, Cary Grant, as most of us know him, was a major leading man throughout the 1930s-1960s.  He starred in such films as: She Done Him Wrong (1933), Topper (1937), The Awful Truth (1937), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Gunga Din (1939), Only Angels Have Wings (1939), His Girl Friday (1940), The Philadelphia Story (1940), Suspicion (1941), The Talk of the Town (1942), Arsenic and Old Lace (1944), Notorious (1946), Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House (1948), To Catch A Thief (1955), An Affair to Remember (1957), North by Northwest (1959), and Charade (1963).  In all of that time, he was nominated for two Oscars – both for Best Actor.  However, he was passed over in both cases.  The films were Penny Serenade (1941) and None but the Lonely Heart (1944). In 1941, the Oscar ended up going to Gary Cooper in Sergeant York and in 1944 he was edged out by Bing Crosby in Going My Way. The Academy would finally offer him an Honorary Award in 1970 – nearly a decade after his career was over.

myfivebest - 2Fred Astaire
This song, movie and dance star, born Frederick Austerlitz, had a career spanning 76 years.  Even though he acted in more than four dozen performances and is ranked fifth from the American Film Institutes best actors of all time, Astaire was only nominated for an Oscar once – for Best Supporting Oscar in the movie, The Towering Inferno (1974).  That award went to Robert De Niro for his role in The Godfather, Part 2 (and one I think was deserving of the award).


myfivebest - 3Greta Garbo
How famous do you have to be to still have a recognizable name seventy years after you made your last movie?  Greta Garbo, born Greta Lovisa Gustafsson, was a Swedish actress that made most of her films during the silent movie period.  was one of the few silent movie actresses to successfully negotiate the transition to sound, which she achieved in Anna Christie (1930), for which she was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actress.  She lost to a woman who is barely remembered (if at all), named Marie Dressler for her performance in an equally forgotten film, Min and Bill.  Garbo would be nominated three more times (including another nomination in 1930), but would never see the gold.  The American Film Institute has ranked her fifth in their selection of Best Female Actors of all time.


myfivebest - 4Richard Burton
This one was a shocker to me because I know Richard Burton had been nominated for an Oscar several times.  The “several” in question, is actually seven times – six of which were for Best Actor.  He was the Susan Lucci of the Oscars.  At one time, Richard Burton – who was married to Elizabeth Taylor (think the Brad Pitt/Jennifer Lopez coupling of their time) – was the highest paid actor in Hollywood.  He was born Richard Walter Jenkins, in Wales, and took his name from the famous British explorer, Richard Burton.  His famous roles included: Cleopatra (1963), The Night of the Iguana (1964), The Sandpiper (1965), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966), and Raid on Rommel (1971).


myfivebest - 5Charlie Chaplin
I find this hard to believe, as well.  Charlie Chaplin helped to make Hollywood, yet was denied its highest honor.  Born in England, Sir Charles Chaplin is the only person on the list that kept his real name.  He became one of the best-known film stars in the world before the end of the First World War. Chaplin used mime, slapstick and other visual comedy routines, and continued well into the era of the talkies, though his films decreased in frequency from the end of the 1920s. His most famous role was that of The Tramp, which he first played in the Keystone comedy Kid Auto Races at Venice in 1914.  His career, which included directing and producing in addition to acting, spanned more than 75 years and 261 titles, never won him an Oscar.  Part of the reason for this is that Charlie Chaplin pulled a Charlie Sheen on the Academy, letting them know what he really thought about them.  Even still, they did give him the nod for a score that he wrote and two honorary Oscars after it didn’t count, but he never won a statue for his acting or other prime skills.  He used the Best Score Oscar (which was not even a category at the time – just a “special award”) as a doorstop when he would have people over.  Overall, the Academy nominated Chaplin 13 times.