Most fans of established actors believe that one day their favorite will be nominated for an Oscar. In 2009 campaigns hopes are particularly high for Sandra Bullock, Alfred Molina, Colin Firth and Christopher Plummer. Fans of James McAvoy and Sam Rockwell still hold out longshot hope. But guess what? The odds are, generally speaking, against them on February 2nd (two months hence!) when the lucky 20 are called.
Most actors aren't ever nominated for the big prize. People seemed surprise to read in an old Oscar Mythbusting column I wrote years ago that the majority of nominated actors (approximately 67%) never receive a second nomination. But I did the research and it's true. Even less likely than a second nomination: a first one. Consider this...
The following (living) legends have still never been nominated despite rich bodies of work and several classic films or exuberantly praised performances: Mia Farrow, Isabelle Huppert, Christopher Plummer and Donald Sutherland. Outrageous, right?
Movie stars and/or respected actors who've never been nominated: Christian Bale, Drew Barrymore, Maria Bello, Paul Bettany, Gabriel Byrne, Steve Buscemi, Daniel Craig, Jamie Lee Curtis, John Cusack, Jeff Daniels, Hope Davis, Cameron Diaz, Kirsten Dunst, Dakota Fanning, Colin Farrell, Bruno Ganz, Hugh Grant, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Jackman, Scarlett Johansson, Ashley Judd, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Joseph Gordon Levitt, Tobey Maguire, Catherine O'Hara, Mary Louise Parker, Robin Wright, Parker Posey, Charlotte Rampling, Christina Ricci, Mark Ruffalo, Kurt Russell, Meg Ryan, Peter Sarsgaard, Bruce Willis, Evan Rachel Wood and Jeffrey Wright.
And that's just a sampling.
Moral of the Story: If you're rooting for any particular favorite this season, cross your fingers but never hold your breath.