So finally Leo got his Oscar for the Best Actor for The Revenant. Do you know that he got his first Oscar nomination for a supporting actor at the age of 20? The film was What’s Eating Gilbert Grape in 1994 in which he played younger brother to Johnny Depp. Here comes Johnny Depp. He has been nominated for the best actor award for three times but has never won. There are some really great actors who never won an Oscar.
So, aren’t you curious about which actor received maximum nominations but no wins? Yes, our DiCaprio was leading the current generation of actors with 5 nods before winning it. But it’s Peter O’Toole leading the all-time charts with his 8 nominations and no win. The unluckiest of them all, Peter O’Toole chased the Oscar gold for more than four decades. He received his first nomination in 1963 for Lawrence of Arabia and his last was in the year 2007 for Venus. In between these 44 years his other nominations were; Becket (1965), The Lion In Winter (1969), Goodbye, Mr. Chipps (1970), The Ruling Class (1973), The Stuntman (1981), and My Favorite Year (1983). All of his nominations were for actor in a leading role. The Academy, showing some grace, gave him an honorary award in 2003.
Guess who is next in the list. His seven Oscar nominations are only two more than the times he got married. More interesting is that he even married the same woman twice. Our hero here is none other than Richard Burton. Burton’s personal life and relationships were more dramatic than his film career. His first nomination came in 1953 for a supporting role in My Cousin Rachel. His all six remaining nominations were for an actor in a leading role starting with The Robe (1954) then Becket in 1965, then my favorite, The Spy Who Came In From The Cold (1966), Who’s Afraid of Virginia Wolf (1967), Anne of The Thousand Days (1970) and the final was in 1978 for Equus when he was 52 years old. I am sure he would have won one if he had not died at the young age of 58.
Oh! I didn’t tell you about the lady whom he married twice. No points for guessing, of course, she was Elizabeth Taylor.
Now we have this year’s favorite Leonardo DiCaprio with five nods including this year’s too. He is judged by most of the critics to be the greatest actor without having won an Oscar. After his first nomination in a supporting role category, all his nominations are for actor in a leading role, Aviator (2005), Blood Diamond (2007), The Wolf Of Wallstreet (2014) and finally this year for The Revenant and finally he is out of this list now. IMDB’s first para in his Bio depicts the man as he is- “Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio’s. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains (1985) and low-budget horror movies, such as Critters 3(1991), to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet (1996) and Titanic (1997), to then become a leading man in Hollywood blockbusters, made by internationally renowned directors such as Martin Scorsese and Christopher Nolan.”
I am compelled to write more about DiCaprio but we have a list to complete first. Next in line is his elder brother from What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, Johnny Depp with three nominations. The most versatile actor in Hollywood is famous for the choice of the scripts for his films. By the nominations he got, one can judge how versatile he is. His first was for Pirates of the Caribbean: the curse of the Black Pearl in 2004. The other two are Finding Neverland (2005) and Sweeny Todd: the Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008). His versatility doesn’t end in cinema. At the age 15, he was the front of a series of garage bands and even took up the job of a ball-point pen salesman after getting married, to support his family. It’s interesting to know that Nicolas Cage advised him to become an actor.
But our list is not complete because it’s a tie with Tom Cruise, also with three nominations. First, I must tell you I can’t believe it, the man is 54 years old!! With an ambition to become a priest, he landed in Hollywood (thank god) and became one of the most successful superstars of all time in the whole world. He got his nominations for Born on The 4th of July (1990), Jerry Maguire (1997) and Magnolia (2000). My personal favorite of his films is Jerry Maguire.
Wait!! I completely forgot Edward Norton, also with three nominations; the last one came last year for a supporting role in Birdman. The other two were Primal Fear in 1997 and American History X in 1999. I don’t know why I forgot him, may be because he is an underdog and they don’t brand him as a star.
The other actors with two nominations are Will Smith for Ali (2002) and The Pursuit of Happiness (2007), John Travolta for Saturday Night Fever (1978) and Pulp Fiction (1995), and James Dean for East of Eden (1956) and Giant (1957).
This article would not be complete without talking about James Dean, The Rebel Without a Cause Star started his career doing uncredited, unconfirmed roles in various films and small roles in TV. He was the lead character in only three films out of which two gave him an Oscar nomination. He died at the young age of just 24.
This completes our first article on the build-up to the Oscars. In the next one, I will bring some amazing facts about the Directors. And don’t tag me as a misogynist as I have not included female actors here. Female actors deserve a special treatment and I am working on that.