When we say that the Golden Globe Awards are one of the most fun nights during awards season, it’s because they somehow cram just so many famous actors and actresses into one ballroom. The Hollywood Foreign Press hands out a lot of awards to actors every year — 14 of the 25 categories at this Sunday’s Globes belong to them — which is why so many actors have one. Almost all of the performers who are famous for their futility with Oscar? They’ve got Globes, at least. Glenn Close? She’s got three. Amy Adams? She won back-to-back Globes in 2014 and 2015. Peter O’Toole and Richard Burton? They have zero Oscars but seven Golden Globes between them.
That’s why it’s always so surprising to come across a highly regarded actor who’s never won a trophy from the HFPA. How exactly did that happen? What kind of dark stars had to align against them? These ten actors have never won a competitive Golden Globe (lifetime achievement awards don’t count, we can all agree). For a couple of them, the HFPA might have a chance to rectify that this weekend. For the others, their legacies may never recover.
Laurie Metcalf (3 nominations, 0 wins)
In pretty much every other context, Laurie Metcalf is an awards magnet. In the ’90s, she won three Emmy Awards in a row for her role as Aunt Jackie on Roseanne, part of her 11 career Emmy nominations. She’s got two Tonys! And yet the Golden Globes just never got it. They only nominated her twice for Roseanne, where she lost to Joan Plowright and Miranda Richardson, respectively, and her third nomination came for Lady Bird just a few years ago, where she was bested by Allison Janney.
Meg Ryan (3 nominations, 0 wins)
Famously, one of the things that sets the Golden Globes apart from the Oscars is that they recognize comedies far more readily. So you’d think that would have added up to at least one win for Meg Ryan, the queen of ’90s romantic comedies. But no: Ryan was nominated for all three of her Nora Ephron movies, 1989’s When Harry Met Sally, 1993’s Sleepless in Seattle, and 1998’s You’ve Got Mail, but she lost all three times. On all three occasions, she had the profound bad luck of running into awards-season juggernauts: Jessica Tandy in ’89 (Oscar winner for Driving Miss Daisy); Angela Bassett in ’93 (Oscar nominee for What’s Love Got to Do With It); and Gwyneth Paltrow in ’98 (Oscar winner for Shakespeare in Love).
Penelope Cruz (4 nominations, 0 wins)
The 2009 Golden Globes were a peculiar wrinkle in that year’s awards season. Kate Winslet was nominated as both a lead actress in Revolutionary Road and a supporting actress for The Reader. The HFPA were clearly so enamored of her that they voted her for the win in both categories, passing over Cruz’s performance in Vicky Christina Barcelona in the supporting category. Cruz would go on to win the Oscar when Winslet was only nominated in Best Actress later that year, but the Globes have never made it up to Cruz, despite subsequent nominations for the Rob Marshall musical Nine and the Ryan Murphy limited series The Assassination of Gianni Versace. (She was also nominated for Best Actress for her performance in the 2007 drama Volver.)
Harrison Ford (4 nominations, 0 wins)
Somewhat infamously, Harrison Ford has only ever received one Oscar nomination, for his performance in 1985’s Witness. But the Golden Globes are usually far friendlier to big box-office stars, so you’d think they’d have found a way to sneak a trophy into Ford’s pocket. But they’ve only given him the lifetime achievement Cecil B. DeMille Award in 2002, despite nominations for The Mosquito Coast, The Fugitive, and Sabrina.
Samuel L. Jackson (4 nominations, 0 wins)
I think we can all agree that we deserve to watch a Samuel L. Jackson acceptance speech at the Golden Globes. We’ve been through so much. But historically, the Globes keep passing him over. They’ve nominated him four times, which is three better than the Oscars have done, but none of those four nominations have led to a win. He was nominated twice at the 1995 Globes, for Pulp Fiction (where he lost, as he did at the Oscars, to Ed Wood’s Martin Landau) and for the TV movie Against the Wall, where he lost to a posthumously nominated Raúl Juliá for The Burning Season.
Will Smith (5 nominations, 0 wins)
Once again, the Golden Globes are supposed to be so celebrity obsessed, and yet Will Smith has zero trophies in his long career as one of the biggest movie stars in the business? Doesn’t make sense. The HFPA did nominate Smith twice for The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, which was more than the Emmys ever did. But otherwise, the Globes have done no better than the Oscars when it came to passing him over for his performances in movies like Ali and The Pursuit of Happyness.
Cynthia Nixon (6 nominations, 0 wins)
Nixon has been nominated four times for her role on Sex and the City and won zero times. At least she won an Emmy in 2004 for the first half of SATC’s final season, a year when the Globes’ chaotic supporting actress category (for a series, miniseries, or television film!) forced her to compete with Mary-Louise Parker’s unbeatable performance in Angels in America. If Nixon can pull out a win in Best Supporting Actress in a TV Series for Ratched, she can break her no-Globes streak.
Anthony Hopkins (8 nominations, 0 wins)
Hopkins’s legendary performance as Hannibal Lecter earned him the Academy Award for Best Actor, as part of a sweep of the top awards for The Silence of the Lambs. But the awards swell for Silence crested late, and at the Globes that year, Hopkins got beat by The Price of Tides star Nick Nolte. While the Welsh actor was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award for lifetime achievement in 2006, he’s never won a competitive Globe, despite a whopping eight nominations (including one just last year for his performance in The Two Popes). This is another streak that can end this year, with a Best Actor in a Drama nomination for The Father, though he’ll have to best a much-beloved performance from the late Chadwick Boseman in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom to do it.
Katharine Hepburn (8 nominations, 0 wins)
Perhaps the most stark depiction of the gulf between who the Hollywood Foreign Press loves and who the Oscars love is that Katharine Hepburn, the winningest actress in Oscar history, with four Best Actress trophies to her name, never won a single Golden Globe. It does make some sense, when you think about it. For one thing, the Golden Globes began in 1944, a whole decade after Hepburn won her first Oscar for Morning Glory. There’s also the fact that the Globes love celebrities who show up, and Hepburn never even showed up to the Oscars to collect her trophies. So instead of awarding Hepburn’s performances in Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, The Lion in Winter, and On Golden Pond, like the Oscars did, the Globes instead went to Dame Edith Evans (The Whisperers), Joanne Woodward (Rachel, Rachel), and Meryl Streep (The French Lieutenant’s Woman). The Globes did, however, give Hepburn one final nomination, for the TV movie The Man Upstairs, in which she starred as an old woman who befriends the criminal (Ryan O’Neal) hiding out in her attic. She lost to Laura Dern for Afterburn.
Susan Sarandon (9 nominations, 0 wins)
Back in the early ’90s, the drumbeat for Susan Sarandon to win her first Oscar was loud, especially after she’d starred in films like Thelma & Louise, and Lorenzo’s Oil. Usually when a performer is famously futile at the Oscars, the Globes are usually there as a consolation prize. Not for Susan, though. While the Globes have thrown more nominations her way — for Bull Durham, Stepmom, and Igby Goes Down — they’ve never given her a trophy. The year she won the Oscar for Dead Man Walking, she was upset at the Globes by a surprise Sharon Stone win for Casino. Most recently, Sarandon got a nod for Feud alongside her co-star Jessica Lange, though they were both bested by Nicole Kidman for Big Little Lies.