Oscars: Studs Don't Win

Will Smith, "Ali" (2001)

Why do Academy Awards get doled out to everybody in Hollywood except its hottest actors? A list of Oscar's biggest losers looks like a roster of its top matinee idols through screen history -- from Cary Grant, James Dean, Montgomery Clift and Rock Hudson to Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise and Johnny Depp. Studs have had a much better shot winning Oscars for working behind the camera -- as proven by Best Director victories by Robert Redford ("Ordinary People," 1980) and Warren Beatty ("Reds," 1981) among others.

Above: Measured by box office gold, Will Smith is the biggest star in Hollywood, but he's never earned Academy gold. Twice he was nominated (for "Pursuit of Happyness" in 2006 and "Ali" in 2001), but the Oscar has eluded Smith just as it has most of Hollywood's biggest male matinee idols.

Gorgeous women win Oscars all time (Charlize Theron, Natalie Portman), but when handsome studs come close to victory, they usually get slapped down by the geezer guys who constitute the biggest voting bloc within the academy. It's as if the geezers are telling each Adonis: "That's quite enough, dude. You've got good looks, hot chicks, fame and fortune. Here's one thing you can't have! Aha!"

Will Smith, 'Ali' (2001)
Brad Pitt, 'The Curious Case of Benjamin Button' (2008)
Montgomery Clift, 'From Here to Eternity' (1953)
Johnny Depp, 'Finding Neverland' (2004)
Harrison Ford, 'Witness' (1985)
Leonardo DiCaprio, 'Blood Diamond' (2006)
Tom Cruise, 'Jerry Maguire' (1996)
Cary Grant, 'Penny Serenade' (1941)
James Dean, 'East of Eden' (1955)
Rock Hudson, 'Giant' (1956)
Steve McQueen, 'The Sand Pebbles' (1966)
John Travolta, 'Saturday Night Fever' (1977)
Paul Newman, 'The Color of Money' (1986)
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