We thought Glenn Close would finally win an Oscar on her lucky seventh try for her role as an underappreciated spouse in “The Wife,” but her surprise loss to Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”) means that Close is now zero-for-seven. That extends her record as the most nominated living actress without a single victory. But she’s not alone. Other Oscar also-rans this year have racked up multiple nominations without any victories. So who really is the most overdue after the 2019 prizes were handed out? Consider them below, and then vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
Diane Warren (10 nominations) — Warren’s loss this year for Best Original Song came with a couple of doses of cruel irony. There was the fact that she lost to Lady Gaga (“Shallow” from “A Star is Born”), whom she shared a nomination with three years ago for “Til it Happens to You” from “The Hunting Ground.” We thought they would win, but they were upset by Sam Smith‘s “Spectre” song “Writing’s on the Wall.” On top of that, Warren actually contributed to the “Star is Born” soundtrack too but wasn’t pushed for consideration as the film threw all its weight behind “Shallow.” Now Warren has double-digit nominations without a victory.
Glenn Close (7 nominations) — She hasn’t just lost seven times, she has lost for the kinds of iconic performances that have stood the test of time better than most Oscar-winning roles, like her Best Actress bids for “Fatal Attraction” (1987) and “Dangerous Liaisons” (1988). Her career nominations now span 36 years, so will they ever finally give her a win?
Bradley Cooper (7 nominations) — Earlier in the awards season we thought Cooper was likely to win at least Oscar for writing, directing, producing and starring in the latest remake of “A Star is Born,” which was both a box office hit and a critical darling — a rare feat. He ended up with three nominations for the musical romance: Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Adapted Screenplay. Added to the nominations he had earned in previous years that brought his career total to seven. But he still didn’t come away with any hardware.
Wes Anderson (7 nominations) — We thought he might win four years ago when he was up for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay for “The Grand Budapest Hotel” (2014), but he was shut out. So this year looked promising for him since he directed the critically acclaimed animated film “Isle of Dogs.” It looked like there might be room to maneuver in this year’s Best Animated Feature race. But then “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” swung in at the end of the year with more adulation than most of us expected. The visually innovative superhero film ended up dominating the animated field throughout the awards season, so the quirky auteur is still awaiting his first victory.
Amy Adams (6 nominations) — Adams has racked up her noms in less than 15 years, so it seems pretty likely that she’ll get another chance sooner rather than later. It seemed like “Vice” might be her ticket to her first victory, especially after Regina King (“If Beale Street Could Talk”) was snubbed at the SAG and BAFTA Awards, but Adams still didn’t win at those events, and King rallied to win the Oscar.
Willem Dafoe (4 nominations) — The veteran actor was always an underdog for his performance this year as Vincent Van Gogh in “At Eternity’s Gate,” which was actually his very first nomination as a lead actor. But we actually thought he might win Best Supporting Actor last year for “The Florida Project” and he was overtaken then too. After these two consecutive losses perhaps Oscar voters will feel more urgency around his next prestige project.
Viggo Mortensen (3 nominations) — Poor Viggo has now had leading roles in two Best Picture winners — “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) and “Green Book” (2018) — but he still hasn’t won. He has only been nominated three times, but that belies a strong resume that includes films like “Witness” (1985), “Crimson Tide” (1995), “A History of Violence” (2005) and “A Dangerous Method” (2011).
Sam Elliott, Richard E. Grant, Nicole Holofcener, Paul Schrader, Terence Blanchard (1 nomination each) — Actors Elliot and Grant, writers Holofcener and Schrader, and composer Blanchard have in common that they’ve been working in the industry for decades but only received their first nominations this year. So while they’re not overdue in terms of their number of awards they have contended for, they’ve still waited a long time for Oscar recognition.