Marilyn Monroe. Marlene Dietrich. Judy Garland. These women were some of the biggest stars in Hollywood, women whose mere presence set the screen ablaze. And yet, when it came to Hollywood’s highest honor, each of them went home empty-handed. Click through our photo gallery above highlighting the Top 10 silver screen divas who never won an Oscar.
Many of the actresses on this list, like Barbara Stanwyck, Rosalind Russell and Deborah Kerr, earned multiple Oscar nominations over the course of their career, and eventually were feted with honorary or lifetime achievement awards. But some, like Monroe, were never even nominated despite appearing in acclaimed films that are now considered classics.
And then there was Judy Garland. The legendary singer-actress had a troubled history in Hollywood, but her role in “A Star is Born” was a monumental comeback, bringing her critical acclaim and her first competitive Oscar nomination (she had won a special Juvenile award in 1939). Garland was unable to attend the ceremony, having just given birth to her son. Cameras were set up in Garland’s hospital room as she was heavily favored to win. Presenter William Holden opened the envelope and announced Grace Kelly as the winner for “The Country Girl,” a win that Groucho Marx famously called “the biggest robbery since Brinks.” Garland was nominated again for her supporting role in 1961’s “Judgment at Nuremberg,” losing to future EGOT-recipient Rita Moreno for “West Side Story.” Garland died eight years later at the age of 47.
As of this writing, Glenn Close holds the record of a living actor with the most Oscar noms without a win (six), most recently nominated as Best Actress for 2011’s “Albert Nobbs.” Close may be joined this year by Amy Adams, who has five career losses and is a likely nominee this year for her performance in “Arrival,” which has already earned her nominations at the Critics’ Choice, Golden Globes and SAG Awards.
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