25 Oscar Nominees Who Lost, But Should Have Won (1970-2013)


Yes we know they exist, those extraordinary performances that should have won Best Actor, Best Actress but for whatever reason did not. Perhaps they lost to a sentimental choice (which drives me batty), perhaps it was the year to celebrate another actor (another rage inducer) or perhaps their work was lost in the shuffle. Great work is often on the losing end of the Oscars, and always will be. Let me state however, that one thing was clear in researching this piece…the Academy often gets it right too. Though actors will say that the nomination is often enough, make no mistake, they all covet an Oscar.

1973 – Marlon Brando in ‘Last Tango in Paris’ loses Best Actor to Jack Lemmon in ‘Save the Tiger’
1974 – Al Pacino in ‘The Godfather Part II’ loses Best Actor to Art Carney in ‘Harry and Tonto’
1976 – Robert De Niro in ‘Taxi Driver’ loses Best Actor to Peter Finch in ‘Network’
1981 – Burt Lancaster in ‘Atlantic City’ loses Best Actor to Henry Fonda in ‘On Golden Pond’
1981 – Meryl Streep in ‘The French Lt.’s Woman’ loses Best Actress to Katherine Hepburn in ‘On Golden Pond’
1982 – Dustin Hoffman in ‘Tootsie’ loses Best Actor to Ben Kinglsey in ‘Gandhi’
1985 – Meryl Streep in ‘Out of Africa’ loses Best Actress to Geraldine Page in ‘A Trip to Bountiful’
1987 – Jack Nicholson in ‘Ironweed’ loses Best Actor to Michael Douglas in ‘Wall Street’
1988 – Meryl Streep in ‘A Cry in the Dark’ loses Best Actress to Jodie Foster in ‘The Accused’
1990 – Anjelica Huston in ‘The Grifters’ loses Best Actress to Kathy Bates in ‘Misery’
1992 – Denzel Washington in ‘Malcolm X’ loses Best Actor to Al Pacino in ‘Scent of a Woman’
1996 – Tom Cruise in ‘Jerry Maguire’ loses Best Actor to Geoffrey Rush in ‘Shine’
1997 – Robert Duvall in ‘The Apostle’ loses Best Actor to Jack Nicholson in ‘As Good As It Gets’
1998 – Cate Blanchett in ‘Elizabeth’ loses Best Actress to Gwyneth Paltrow in ‘Shakespeare in Love’
1998 – Edward Norton in ‘American History X’ loses Best Actor to Roberto Bengini in ‘Life is Beautiful’
2000 – Tom Hanks in ‘Cast Away’ loses Best Actor to Russell Crowe in ‘Gladiator’
2000 – Ellen Burstyn in ‘Requiem for a Dream’ loses Best Actress to Julia Roberts in ‘Erin Brockovich’
2002 – Julianne Moore in ‘Far from Heaven’ loses Best Actress to Nicole Kidman in ‘The Hours’
2002 – Jack Nicholson in ‘About Schmidt’ loses Best Actor to Adrien Brody in ‘The Pianist’
2005 – Heath Ledger in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ loses Best Actor to Phillip Seymour Hoffman in ‘Capote’
2010 – Jeff Bridges in ‘True Grit’ loses Best Actor to Colin Firth in ‘The King’s Speech’
2010 – Annette Bening in ‘The Kids are Alright’ loses Best Actress to Natalie Portman in ‘Black Swan’
2011 – George Clooney in ‘The Descendants’ loses Best Actor to Jean Dujardin in ‘The Artist’
2012 – Jessica Chastain in ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ loses Best Actress to Jennifer Lawrence in ‘Silver Lining Playbook’
2013 – Leonardo Di Caprio loses Best Actor in ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ to Matthew McConaughey in ‘Dallas Buyers Club’

Read More: Every Best Picture Winner Since 2000, Ranked