Fifty years ago, Lawrence of Arabia swept the Academy Awards, winning seven categories, including Best Picture and Best Director for David Lean. But Peter O'Toole, who turned in one of cinema's most memorable performances, did not win Best Actor.
The Irish star would be nominated seven more times but, shockingly, has never won a competitive Oscar. He was awarded an Honorary Oscar in 2003, a long-overdue recognition. He initially refused, saying he was "still in the game" and would like more time to "win the lovely bugger outright." As if to prove the Academy wrong, he was nominated again in 2006 for Venus at the age of 74.
As Leonard Maltin points out, the oversight of O'Toole not winning for Lawrence makes no sense, "until one checks the competition and sees that the Best Actor award went to Gregory Peck for his signature role as Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, a film as beloved today as Lawrence after more than half a century."
O'Toole isn't the only star whom Oscar has overlooked:
His Becket co-star Richard Burton was nominated seven times without ever taking home the prize.
Deborah Kerr was nominated six times for Best Actress (for From Here to Eternity, The Sundowners and Heaven Knows Mr. Allison, to name just a few) without winning.
Glenn Close was nominated for her debut role in The World According to Garp but, despite five more nominations, has never won.
Robert Mitchum, one of the most underrated actors whose 1955 film The Night of the Hunter is now recognized as a classic, never got his due: He was nominated just once, for The Story of G.I. Joe.
Alfred Hitchcock, possibly the most famous director of all time, never won an Oscar, despite a Best Picture win for Rebecca (a prize collected by producer David O. Selznick).
NDTV.com points out a few worthy actors who've never even been nominated:
Mia Farrow was Woody Allen's muse for several years; Several of his actors have found their way to Oscar glory, including Diane Keaton, Dianne Wiest, Michael Caine and Mira Sorvino, but not Farrow.
Donald Sutherland starred opposite Oscar winners Jane Fonda in Klute and Timothy Hutton in Ordinary People, but despite his powerful performances in both films, has never been nominated.