Though they’ve given some of the best, iconic, and award-worthy performances in horror history, the actors and actresses below have never been nominated for an Oscar.
- Asia Argento
Perhaps because of charges of nepotism, people are quick to overlook just how good Asia Argento was in those films she made with Dario Argento. Her work in Trauma especially deserves to be reevaluated. Outside of her work with Dario, Asia gave great, self-directed performances in Scarlet Diva and The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things.
2. Jamie Lee Curtis
“Prom Night! Everything is all right!” Did you know that Jamie Lee Curtis received a Genie Nomination for her performance in Prom Night? That could be because, in 1980, there weren’t that many movies being produced in Canada but still, Jamie was pretty good in that film. And, of course, there’s a little film called Halloween…
3. Peter Cushing
The beloved Hammer horror veteran did wonderful work as both Frankenstein and Van Helsing. Personally, I love his odd cameo in Shock Waves.
4. Robert Englund
One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…
5. Lance Henriksen
One of the great character actors, Lance Henriksen gave one of the best vampire performances of all time in Kathryn Bigelow’s Near Dark.
6. David Hess
In just two films — Wes Craven’s Last House On The Left and Ruggero Deodato’s The House On The Edge of the Park — Hess defined screen evil. If nothing else, he deserved an Oscar for composing The Road Leads To Nowhere.
7. Boris Karloff
As our own Gary Loggins will tell you, it’s a crime that Boris Karloff never received an Oscar nomination. He may be best remembered for Frankenstein but, for me, Karloff’s best performance was in Targets.
8. Camille Keaton
Yes, Camille Keaton did deserve a Best Actress nomination for I Spit On Your Grave.
9. Klaus Kinski
The notorious and talented Klaus Kinski was never nominated for an Oscar. Perhaps the Academy was scared of what he would do if he won. But, that said, Kinski gave some of the best performances of all time, in films for everyone from Jess Franco to Werner Herzog.
10. Christopher Lee
That the amazing Christopher Lee was never nominated is a shock. Though he will always be Dracula, Lee gave wonderful performances in films of all genres. Lee always cited the little-seen Jinnah as being his best performance.
11. Bela Lugosi
The original Dracula, Lugosi never escaped typecasting. Believe it or not, one of his finest performances was in one of the worst (if most enjoyable) films of all time, Ed Wood’s Bride of the Monster.
12. Catriona MacColl
This English actress gave three excellent performances in each chapter of Lucio Fulci’s Beyond Trilogy, with her performance in The House By The Cemetery elevating the entire film.
13. Daria Nicolodi
This Italian actress served as a muse to two of the best directors around, Dario Argento and Mario Bava. Her award-worthy performances include Deep Red and, especially, Shock.
14. Bill Paxton
This great Texas actor gave award-worthy performances in everything from Near Dark to Aliens to Frailty. RIP.
15. Donald Pleasence
Dr. Loomis! As good as he was in Halloween, Pleasence also gave excellent performances in Roman Polanski’s Cul-de-Sac and a nightmarish Australian film called Wake in Fright.
16. Vincent Price
The great Vincent Price never seems to get the respect that he deserves. He may have overacted at times but nobody went overboard with as much style as Vincent Price. His most award-worthy performance? The Witchfinder General.
17. Giovanni Lombardo Radice
The greatest of all the Italian horror stars, Radice is still active, gracious, and beloved by his many fans. Quentin Tarantino is a self-described fan so it’s time for Tarantino to write him a great role.
18. Michael Rooker
To many people, this great character actor will always be Henry.
19. Joe Spinell
This character actor will always be remembered for playing the lead role in the original Maniac but he also appeared in some of the most acclaimed films of all time. Over the course of a relatively short career, Spinell appeared in everything from The Godfather to Taxi Driver to Rocky to Starcrash. He was the American Klaus Kinski,
20. Barbara Steele
Barbara Steele has worked with everyone from Mario Bava to Jonathan Demme to David Cronenberg to Federico Fellini. Among her many excellent performances, her work in Black Sunday and Caged Heat stands out as particularly memorable.