Not every great actor wins an Academy Award. (Rest in peace, Peter O’Toole.*) In fact, simply getting nominated for an Oscar or two might be the truer measure of excellence. There have been plenty of actors with as many Oscar statues as Paul Newman — one! — but few can hold a candle to his nine nominations, which represent a lifetime of brilliance.
But before an actor can pile up multiple nominations like Newman or O’Toole or Al Pacino, he or she needs that first nod. Sounds simple enough. Last year, four actors heard their name called for the first time, and when this year’s nominations are read on Jan. 16, several more — like Chiwetel Ejiofor — are likely to join the club.
Once an actor gets that prefix attached to her name — “Oscar-nominee” — voters seem more inclined to bestow it again and again. But getting that first nomination sometimes seems as hard as earning that first $1 million. Inevitably, there will be some great actors and great performances that will get passed over this year — again. For some young actors, it might be a slight disappointment tempered by a bright future that hopefully will bring other opportunities. But for other, more seasoned actors, every near-miss is a thud to the mid-section that can echo like a chiming grandfather clock.
It’s these “unrecognized” actors that highlight our Oscar Too-Due List. Some of them are Oscar contenders this year; others might not be in the mix but have been regularly overlooked by the Academy. I don’t approve when Oscar unofficially hands out career-achievement awards in the form of a nomination, but here is a list of 20 actors who are overdue for some love: READ FULL STORY