25 Most Nominated Stars in Oscar History
Which actors have racked up the most Oscar nominations? Acting legends Robert De Niro and Meryl Streep both have pretty great track records to rival – or exceed – classic stars.
Meryl Streep, 21 nominations
Acting Queen Meryl Streep long ago passed the nomination record set by Katharine Hepburn. She's won three Oscars, the most of any living actress. Although we love her Oscar-winning performance, we also enjoy her in some of the "only" nominated roles, like her delightfully bitchy boss in "The Devil Wears Prada."
Katharine Hepburn, 12 nominations
During her more than 50-year career, Hepburn won four Oscars -- and never attended a single awards ceremony. She won Best Actress for "Morning Glory," "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner," "The Lion in Winter," and "On Golden Pond."
Jack Nicholson, 12 nominations
Daniel Day-Lewis has as many Oscars (3), but hasn't been nominated as many times as Nicholson. He helped define the '70s with anarchic roles in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest," "Easy Rider" and "Five Easy Pieces."
Bette Davis, 11 nominations
Sorry eternal rival, Joan Crawford: Bette wins this round. Davis won two Oscars (for "Jezebel" and "Dangerous") in the '30s, but was a tour de force well into the '60s. We'll always think of her as dramatic theater star Margo Channing in "All About Eve," even though she didn't win an Oscar for her signature "fasten your seatbelts" role.
Laurence Olivier, 10 nominations
One of the greatest actors of all time on both stage and screen won a Best Actor Oscar for playing the tormented title character in "Hamlet" (1948). (The film, which he also directed, won Best Picture.) He was also nominated for "Wuthering Heights," "Rebecca," "Henry V" and his chilling Nazi dentist in "Marathon Man."
Spencer Tracy, 9 nominations
One of the most beloved leading men of the '30s through the '60s, Tracy won Best Actor Oscars for "Boys Town" and "Captains Courageous." He was nominated posthumously for 1967's "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner."
Paul Newman, 9 nominations
The Academy likes to make handsome stars like Paul Newman wait and wait for their Oscars. After being nominated 7 times for such landmarks films as "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof," "The Hustler," and "Cool Hand Luke," he finally won Best Supporting Actor for "The Color of Money." He was nominated twice more, for "Nobody's Fool," and "Road to Perdition." He was received an Honorary Oscar in 1986 and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994.
Marlon Brando, 8 nominations
Brando, the most famous Method actor of all time, won his first Best Actor Oscar for "On the Waterfront." He was nominated, but didn't win for his unforgettable Stanley Kowalski in "A Streetcar Named Desire." He made Oscar history when he won Best Actor for "The Godfather," and then refused to accept the award.
Cate Blanchett, 7 nominations
We have a feeling Blanchett will rack up even more nominations: She's already won two Oscars, for "Blue Jasmine," and for playing another Oscar-winner, Katharine Hepburn, in "The Aviator." And, yes, she was robbed for "Elizabeth."
Jack Lemmon, 8 nominations
Jack Lemmon, who was brilliant in both comedy and drama, might be best known for his nominated roles in Best Picture winner "The Apartment" and "Some Like it Hot,” both for director Billy Wilder. But his two Best Actor Oscars are or lesser-seen films "Mister Roberts" (1955) and "Save the Tiger" (1973).
Denzel Washington, 8 nominations
A force in films for more than 30 years, Denzel was first nominated for his role as South African anti-apartheid activist in 1987's "Cry Freedom." Two years later, he won Best Supporting Actor for the Civil War drama "Glory." He collected his first Best Actor Oscar for his crooked cop Alonzo in "Training Day” and was nominated again for “Flight,” “Fences,” and “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”
Al Pacino, 8 nominations
Another actor who had two wait more than 20 years for a win: Pacino was nominated for "The Godfather," "The Godfather, Part II," "Serpico," "Dog Day Afternoon," “...and justice for all, "Dick Tracy," and "Glengarry Glen Ross." He finally won Best Actor for his role as a crotchety blind military man in "Scent of a Woman."
Peter O'Toole, 8 nominations
First nominated for his signature role in "Lawrence of Arabia," O'Toole never won a competitive Oscar. He accepted an Honorary Oscar in 2003 after nearly refusing it, saying he was “still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright.” He was nominated for Best Actor once more for "Venus" in 2007, but went down in history as the most-nominated actor to never win.
Ingrid Bergman, 7 nominations
Ingrid Bergman won a Best Actress Oscar for her role as a woman whose husband is trying to drive her mad in the 1944 classic "Gaslight.” She earned her second Oscar for 1956's "Anastasia,” her comeback film after leaving Hollywood. She unexpectedly won a third Oscar for her role in "Murder on the Orient Express." Surprisingly, she wasn't nominated for her most famous role of Ilsa in “Casablanca.”
Robert De Niro, 7 nominations
Robert De Niro's latest films haven't always been so great, but his performances from the '70s and '80s are still legendary. He won Best Supporting Actor for "The Godfather, Part II,” and a Best Actor Oscar for "Raging Bull," for which he learned to box and gained 60 pounds to play champ Jake La Motta.
Jane Fonda, 7 nominations
Jane Fonda won Best Actress Oscars for "Klute" and "Coming Home." She was also nominated for “They Shoot Horses, Don't They?” (1969), “Julia” (1977), “The China Syndrome” (1979), “On Golden Pond” (1981), and "The Morning After” (1986).
Dustin Hoffman, 7 nominations
Dustin Hoffman was first nominated for 1968's "The Graduate" and went on to win two Best Actor Oscars for "Kramer vs. Kramer" and "Rain Man." He was most recently nominated for his role as a Bob Evans-esque movie producer in the 1997 political satire "Wag the Dog."
Jeff Bridges, 7 nominations
This second-generation actor (dad was Lloyd Bridges) finally collected an Oscar as a country musician in "Crazy Heart." Other nominations include "Starman," "True Grit," and "Hell or High Water." But nothing, alas, for playing The Dude in "The Big Lebowski."
Judi Dench, 7 nominations
Dame Judi Dench earned her Best Supporting Actress Oscar for only 8 minutes of screen time in "Shakespeare in Love." Now that's presence. Her other nominated films include "Mrs. Brown," "Iris," and "Philomena."
Robert Duvall, 7 nominations
Duvall, now 88, made his screen debut in 1962's Best Picture winner “To Kill a Mockingbird” and earned his first Oscar nomination 10 years later as consigliere Tom Hagen in “The Godfather.” After being nominated for his napalm-loving Lt. Col in “Apocalypse Now,” and “The Great Santini,” he won Best Actor for “Tender Mercies.” Playing an on-the-rocks country singer is clearly the key to winning an Oscar after several tries.
Kate Winslet, 7 nominations
At 43, she's the youngest living actress on this list. Her nominations include "Sense and Sensibility," "Titanic," and "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." She won Best Actress for her role as a former concentration camp guard in 2008's "The Reader."
Richard Burton, 7 nominations
After Peter O'Toole, Richard Burton was the most-nominated actor who never won an Oscar. He reportedly convinced then-wife Elizabeth Taylor not to attend the ceremony when they were both nominated for “Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” She won (her second Oscar), he didn't. He was also nominated for “My Cousin Rachel” (1952), “The Robe” (1953), “Becket” (1964), “The Spy Who Came in from the Cold” (1965), “Anne of the Thousand Days” (1969), and “Equus” (1977).
Glenn Close, 7 nominations
Glenn Close's nomination this year for "The Wife" is her seventh. She was first nominated for Best Supporting Actress for 1982's "The World According to Garp." She was also recognized for her work in "The Big Chill," “The Natural,” "Fatal Attraction," "Dangerous Liaisons" and “Albert Nobbs.”