From the Washington Post:
The missing Oscars
A definitive accounting of the 37 living actors deprived of an Academy Award — and the performances that deserved one.
By Travis M. Andrews Sept. 25, 2019
Peter O’Toole never won an Oscar. Nor did Marilyn Monroe, Cary Grant or Vincent Price. That, right there, should tell you how flawed the awards have been, despite the best intentions of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. As we barrel toward awards season and its annual slate of serious awards-bait films, we decided to remind you of 37 living actors you probably thought already had statues at home — and the roles they should have won them for.
A lot of the following list is Most Iconic Roles
Harrison Ford for“Blade Runner” (1982)
Eh, a misfire, Ford, coming off Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Last Arc [Lost Ark] was on a historic hot streak, but Ryan Gosling was better in the recent sequel.
Samuel L. Jackson for “Jungle Fever” (1991)
Okay, he was really good in this early role, but he was great 3 years later in “Pulp Fiction.”
Glenn Close for “The Big Chill” (1983)…
Brad Pitt for“Fight Club” (1999) ….
Okay, but how about Gosling?
Michael Keaton for “Beetlejuice” (1988)n.
John Malkovich for “Being John Malkovich” (1999)
Eddie Murphy for“Dreamgirls” (2006)
Mia Farrow for“Rosemary’s Baby” (1968)
Joaquin Phoenix for “I’m Still Here” (2010)
Soooo, maybe it’s a lot to ask for the academy to reward an artistic statement that basically amounted to trolling. Dismayed that so many viewers fell for reality TV, Phoenix grew out a beard, became generally unkempt and announced his retirement from acting to become a rapper. For several months, he didn’t break character . . . ever. He’s a jerk throughout this sort-of-mockumentary, but damn if he isn’t committed. Watching David Letterman desperately try to pull something from him, or Ben Stiller trying to discuss a role for him in “Greenberg” only to learn Phoenix hasn’t read the script, is deeply uncomfortable — the Oscar is for acting, and there’s no denying Phoenix completely inhabits the role.
Steve Buscemi for “Fargo” (1996)
Meg Ryan for “When Harry Met Sally . . .” (1989)
Jim Carrey for “Man on the Moon” (1999)
John Goodman for “The Big Lebowski” (1998)
Tom Cruise for “Mission: Impossible — Fallout” (2018)
This is an interesting example of a late role by a famous actor. Generally, most stars do their most characteristic role early, but Tom Cruise keeps getting better at playing Tom Cruise.
Rosie Perez for“Do the Right Thing” (1989)
Willem Dafoe for “Platoon” (1986)
Emily Watson for“Hilary and Jackie” (1998)
John C. Reilly for “Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story” (2007)
Jeff Daniels for “The Squid and the Whale” (2005)
Amy Adams for “The Master” (2012)
Debra Winger for“Urban Cowboy” (1980)
Matt Damon for “The Talented Mr. Ripley” (1999)
Liam Neeson for“Schindler’s List” (1993)
Angela Bassett for “What’s Love Got to Do With It?” (1993)
Diane Lane for “Unfaithful” (2002)
Kris Kristofferson for “A Star is Born” (1976)
I never saw this version. The 2018 Bradley Cooper version is very enjoyable. Cooper, a jittery Philadelphia suburbs boy, took his slow-talking southwestern accent from “American Sniper” and turned him into a singer. but I’m unsure how original it is. Kristofferson was this amazing all-around American — Rhodes Scholar, military officer, helicopter pilot, songwriter, and country star — whom Hollywood was sure would be the next big leading man, but he didn’t quite make it. Kristofferson’s life would make an interesting biopic.
John Travolta for“Pulp Fiction” (1994)
Laurence Fishburne for “The Matrix” (1999)