Who’s Your Favorite Non-Winning Multiple Best Actress Nominee?

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  • junkanoo

    Nice List! Tough to choose.

  • NameFrank DeCavalcante

    Why is Jennifer Jones on that list? She won an Oscar for her unbelievably bad performance in “The Song of Bernadette.” Later on, she gave much finer performances in “Cluny Brown,” Beat the Devil” and “Portrait of Jenny.”

  • bogart10


  • Ron Stephenson


  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com Gary Cahall

    Sorry, folks. We incorrectly copied the name of Jennifer Jones, who did indeed win a Best Actress Oscar for The Song of Bernadette (good call, Frank). As a more than worthy substitute, please find new choice Glenn Close, nominated for Fatal Attraction and Dangerous Liaisons.

  • Jim

    How could it be anyone but Barbara Stanwyck?

  • Vince Briani

    Whenever Deborah Kerr was cast with Cary Grant, Robert Mitchum, David Niven or Burt Lancaster the results at the box offices were good news for the studios. Need anything else be said……

  • frank1951

    What about Judy Garland? Her Oscar for “A Star Is Born” was stolen from her by Grace Kelly, the bricklayer’s daughter! Groucho Marx said it was the greatest robbery since Brinks(big bank robbery in the 50′s). How can you compare what Judy accomplished (singing, dancing and emoting) with Kelly putting on a dowdy dress, low heels, no makeup and crying her way through the script with plenty of scowls??? Garland gave her life’s blood to make that movie. Hedda Hopper after watching Judy film some scenes said, “They ought to take that girl home in an ambulance after a day’s work.” And what did Judy get from the Academy for her great body of work? A miniature Oscar for the Wizard of Oz.

  • Mario Brescio

    Deborah Kerr was nominated for Best Actress six times and her performances would have justified a win every time.
    1949 Edward, My Son
    1953 From Here To Eternity
    1956 The King and I
    1958 Separate Tables
    1960 The Sundowners
    The biggest disappointment was when she lost for her performance as Sister Angela in Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison in 1957.

  • John S. Saul

    Stanwyck hands down – is there such a thing as a posthumous Oscar? – Stanwyck is a shocking oversight in any case (if, that is, you take the Oscars seriously)

  • Ken A

    Good list, tough choice; but Deborah Kerr has just been in so many great roles including non-nominated “Affair to Remember” and “Night of the Iguana”. To throw in a name…just watched (again) Marilyn Monroe in “Bus Stop”, a really good performance, her greatest. Couldn’t the Academy have nominated her just once?

  • Gord Jackson

    Totally agree with frank 1951 re the Judy Garland loss to Grace Kelly. If anything, the best result in that category that year would have been a Judy Garland/Dorothy Dandridge tie. They were both exceptional, which may have allowed Kelly to run up the middle. That said, I am not going to slag Grace Kelly’s performance as one of the hardest things for any actor to do is low-key it. It goes against just about every instinct in a performer.

    Re Deborah Kerr, she was my personal choice over Barbara Stanwyck, a very tough choice to make. For me, Ms Kerr really deserved Oscar for her mousy spinster in “Separate Tables.” That was a total revelation! Yes, Susan Hayward was great in “I Want to Live”, but I can’t help feeling Ms Hayward was really getting a ‘body-of-work’ Oscar because she could have won for any of her other nominated performances, especially “I’ll Cry Tomorrow.” Still, it is hard to argue with Anna Magnani (whom Tennesee Williams once described as ‘the magnificent Magnani’) taking the top prize in 1955. Another tie would probably have been the best result that year as well.

  • T Lady

    I’m surprised Ida Lupino didn’t make this list. She was an extremely underrated actress who gave unforgettable performances in films like “High Sierra”, “They Drive By Night”, and “The Hard Way”.

  • Dave Manning

    When at one point Garbo said she wanted be left alone, apparently the Academy took her seriously!!

  • Gloee Valens

    I don’t know if Angela Lansbury was ever nominated but I always thought her performance in the Manchurian Candidate should have been a shoe in for a Best Actress award..I have seen that movie several times & am still blown away by her performance every time I see it…

  • DIRK

    Everyone likes Irene Dunn in I REMEMBER MAMA, but to me it will always be PENNY SERENADE with Cary Grant — fantastic with a unique story device that drives the action in this mostly-flashback film.

  • hiram grant

    Dunne was great, but Jim’s right, and so far that’s what the plurality says. How could it be anyone but Stanwyck?

  • http://www.moviesunlimited.com Gary Cahall

    Good points about Judy Garland, Frank1951. Her sole Best Actress nomination, however, came with A Star Is Born (plus a supporting one for Judgment at Nuremberg).
    And T Lady, believe it or not, Ida Lupino was never even nominated for an Academy Award, joining an “honor roll” that includes Jean Harlow, Myrna Loy, Marilyn Monroe, Kim Novak and Maureen O’Hara.

  • Gloria Briganti

    So many brilliant performances by these and other great actresses overlooked a lot of times by politics, but not by fans.

  • Joseph Imhoff

    I chose Irene Dunne, from tearjerker, ‘Back Street’ and ‘Penny Serenade’, to comedy, ‘My Favorite Wife’ (the Doris Day version was aweful, though the Marilyn Monroe outtakes could have given it some competition), to glorious Technicolor where we saw that red hair in ‘Life with Father’, she did it all, not to lessen others on the list. I do think the list should have been limited to those no longer able to appear in movies because they are playing roles in another venue!

  • deb alexander

    I agree with Ron,Irene Dunne is the best.

  • Ed

    Barbara is still my favorite. Liked her best in comedies, but she was always great in dramas. When she was younger, I think she was great in her movie THE GREAT MAN’S LADY where she was protraiting an old lady telling a story to a young reporter about the history of a man they were honoring.

  • Pat

    It was real tough to choose between Barbara Stanwyck and Deborah Kerr then someone had to mention Ida Lupino and Jennifer Jones. All of them were great actresses. Who can choose?

  • Trippy Trellis

    I voted for Deborah Kerr, the best actress who never won an acting Oscar. Of her six nominations she had only one real chance for the award, “The Sundowners” in ’60- it was her sixth nomination in a basically weak year and her performance was not only splendid but as uncharacteristic as that in “From Here to Eternity”. But no one could compete with Liz Taylor’s tracheotomy!
    There was always somebody standing between Deborah and the Oscar. In ’49 there was Olivia de Havilland in what I consider the best performance of all time. In ’53 there was Audrey Hepburn in her triumphant debut. In ’56 there was Ingrid Bergman in her triumphant comeback. In ’57 there was Joanne Woodward in a stunning tour de force. In ’58, the year of her greatest performance, there was Susan Hayward in her most dazzling tour de force to date. Of the five winning performances only Olivia’s was better.

    In ’64 she should have been nominated for “The Night of the Iguana” where she gave one of her best performances, In addition, that same year she was also splendid in “The Chalk Garden”. It was a weak year and I don’t think the Academy would have dared to pass over Deborah for the seventh time in order to console Julie Andrews for losing “My Fair Lady”.

  • llsee

    Myrna Loy

  • Marie Lazzari

    I choose Barbara Stanwyck because I think she is definitely one of the greats. She can play bad girl and good girl so magnificently.

  • Joy

    This works as a cross list thing. I just told the world the scariest movie I ever saw…then or now was The Innocents with Deborah Kerr. A brilliant old black and white that still scares today and her acting is one of its mainstays. Also Heaven Knows Mr Allison and The Sundowners are still a couple of my favorite movies and live in my movie collection forever.

  • xDJ@V.YouBraveWorld.Tube

    That’s an easy one — Barbara Stanwyck, of course.
    If the poll were split between Classic Actress and Modern Actress, Barbara and Ms. Annette Bening would be my two choices. Sigourney Weaver is a megastar, but is she an “actress” with many subtleties and range? I’m still not convinced, and I’ve seen quite a number of her films since the day one.

  • Ron Wood

    Barbara Stanwyck was awarded an Oscar a few years before her death. I think it was for her entire career. I remember she honoured William Holden and called him her “golden boy”.

  • Shawn

    Stanwyck’s pre-code to mid 40′s films and performances are amazing and the Golden Age of films wouldn’t have been nearly as golden without them. I love Irene Dunne also whod could be great in Drama as well as comedy. (The Awful Truth is one of greatest romantic comedies ever.)

  • Martin Stumacher

    My favorite but Irene Dunn coming up second. Stanwhyck’s role in Stella Dallas. The closing scene where she walks away in the rain with that eternal smile, I’ve done well with my daughter. That’s acting!

  • Diane

    Was tough to choose between Deborah Kerr and Irene Dunn – both were amazing actresses and no one in recent years has come close to their abilities. I voted for Deborah Kerr, but would like to vote again and pick Irene Dunn – is that fair? I can watch “I Remember Mama” and “Penny Serenade” over and over. Loved Deborah Kerr in “The Innocents” – a movie version of the book “The Turn of the Screw” – very scary in good old black and white. Also liked Deborah in “Separate Tables”, “Chalk Garden”, and “Tea and Sympathy”. She’s was so beautiful, but never dubbed a “beauty” by Hollywood. Nice that she was unspoiled by Hollywood – she seemed like a truly nice and lovely person.

  • Al

    Dorothy Dandridge great performance in Carmen Jones. I don’t know why they needed to Dubb her singing voice or Harry Belafontes’ voice. We all know both of them had great voices. But that was Hollywood 1954.

  • Roger Phillips

    Barbara Stanwyck was wonderful. “Double Indemnity’ is the best ever film noir and she is delicisouly wicked. Also, wonderfully funny in the comedies “Ball of Fire” and “Lady Eve”. I admire her for not coloring her hair in later years or having a face lift and trying to look like a Roswell NM alien (like Joan Rivers today). She still was a beautiful woman to the end of her life.

  • Jeff Schneider

    These are all great choices. Irene Dunne in “Back Street” (1932) was outstanding. I am still waiting to find it on DVD. Overall my choice would be Barbara Stanwyck, especially for “Double Indemnity”.

    Angela Lansbury was nominated three times, “Gaslight”, “The Picture of Dorian Gray” and “The Manchurian Candidate” (her best for playing opposite her personality).

  • Mike Oldfield

    I, too, would nominate Deborah Kerr. She was incapable of giving a bad performance. From the shy dominated girl in “Separate Tables” to the courageous nun in “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” to the rugged sheepherder’s wife in “The Overlanders”, Deborah Kerr was always totally believable and always fascinating to watch on the screen.

  • Ted Chihara

    You left Rosalind Russell off your list!

  • Patrick O’Brien

    Deborah Kerr without a doubt came to my mind before I finished reading the list. I can’t think of an actress who played against type as well as her. “Haevan Knows Mr. Allison” and “From here to Eternity”. She was the one who made you think. Is all I have thought about you real?
    “Comments By an Innocent Bystander”

  • Mike DeVita

    DORIS DAY (not on your list)
    Nominated for PILLOW TALK (lost)
    should have won for all or any of these:

  • Ebeth

    Difficult pick but I have to select Barbara Stanwyck with a very close second for Irene Dunne. Performances hold up to this day. Both are great in comedy and drama but Stanwyck has Noir/Westerns going for her. Dunne could sing and was a trained opera singer in her youth. – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FvxfKYjJQiY&feature=related

  • BadGnx2

    If you look over a body of work, then Barbara Stanwyck SHOULD DEFINITELY be at the top of this list. She has shown her versatility in dramatic roles such as “Baby Face” and “Double Indemnity” and she can pull off comedy such as in “The Lady Eve” and “Christmas In Connecticut”.

    Natalie Wood was my second choice because she could also pull off drama such as “Rebel Without A Cause” and “West Side Story” and equally adept at comedy such as “The Great Race” and “Sex And The Single Girl”. Although no real singer or dancer, she could still get away with song and dance numbers on film. Her complete body of work is well represented.

    Deborah Kerr was a fine dramatic actress and mostly did drama or light dramatic roles. I can’t think of any comedies that she pulled off. Thus her body of work is not as rich or diverse as Stanwyck or Wood.

    Irene Dunne could also do comedy and drama but I don’t think she has the depth of Natalie Wood and definitely not as well as Stanwyck. Again her body of work is not rich or diverse as Stanwyck or Wood.

    Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Glenn Close, Sigourney Weaver and Michelle Pfeiffer are all contemporary actresses who are still very attractive and still have time to pull off an award or two before their careers veer off.

    Judy Garland should have also won for “A Star Is Born” over “The Country Girl”. If you compare the two films side by side you can EASILY see that she BLEW AWAY Grace Kelly. It was a robbery.

  • Ellen Urie

    I chose Deborah Kerr because of her many great movie roles. She was a wonderful actress portraying many different characters. I liked all of her movies, but especially “Heaven Knows Mr. Allison” and “From Here to Eternity.” I do agree with others that two other great actresses who should have won an award were Susan Hayward and Ida Lupino. I still say the Academy Awards are not fair in their choices and that is why I stopped watching them years ago.

  • Vicky D

    Agree with Mike DeVita. Doris Day was most underrated actress of all time. Comedy, Drama and Musicals she was FABULOUS!

  • Jeff C

    Yes Doris Day was magnificent and Barbara Stanwyck certainly deserved recognition from the academy at least once and she was and is a legend, but Irene Dunne was incredible. Once her contract with RKO expired and she no longer had to appear in so much melodramatic schlock, the equivalent of todays soaps, she was able to operate as an independent and pick and choose her roles. She then appeared less often but to greater effect and lit up the screen like nobody else. Her role in “The Awful Truth” or “Life With Father” couldn’t have been played any better by anyone else and she also sparkled in “I Remember Mama” among others. For me she was the best, numero uno hands down.