Our next profile is not a total shock that he has never been nominated but not because he is untalented but because of the lack of love for comedic performances from the Academy. Steve Martin is one of the most beloved comedic actors and has hosted the Oscars multiple times and recieved an honorary Oscar.
The Jerk (1979)
Pennies From Heaven (1981)
Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles (1987)
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)
L.A. Story (1991)
Grand Canyon (1991)
I think his best is The Jerk and he really deserved a nomination honestly (I would have even given him the win). His performance is just so great in that movie. I also thought he was the strongest part from Little Shop of Horrors. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is also a great comedic performance and then Parenthood is probably his best somewhat dramatic performance. I haven’t seen the others but I think Steve is a great actor and I wish he had a big comeback movie performance or even a TV show like Billy Crystal
I actually voted other because I think one of his best performances and also the closest he came to a nomination seemed to be for All of Me, for which he won the NY and National Society Critics Awards and also received a Globe nom that many feel he lost in an upset to Dudley Moore for the now forgotten Micki & Maude.
It was a funny performance but also mixed in a little drama which is always a plus but it was a great performance.
There isn’t a bad performance listed here, but I would single out The Jerk, Roxanne, and especially Pennies From Heaven as being among some of his best work. Oh, and I probably would have also nominated him for the mentioned work as the demented Orin Scrivello D.D.S in Little Shop of Horrors.
All of Me should definitely up there, but I think I’m going to go with Roxanne, which also won Martin Best Actor prizes at the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and National Society (the latter must have been really taken by him to award him 2 Best Actor prizes in less than 5 years). The film itself is a bit quaint for me, but Martin shines and is incredibly empathetic as the Cyrano figure.
It also probably helps that I think 1987 was a weaker year for Best Actor contenders than 1984.