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Oscars 2021: Who Has the Most Oscar Nominations Without a Win?

The 2021 Oscar nominations are filled with historic firsts. In fact, the list of nominees is the most diverse in the ceremony's history, marking a long overdue change for the annual event. Here, learn who has been nominated for the most Oscars without ever winning at Hollywood's biggest night.

The 2021 Academy Awards will air live on April 25. And this year’s list of Oscar nominations could allow for historic wins at the 93rd annual ceremony. As Hollywood prepares for its biggest night, let’s take a look at Oscars records, like who has the most nominations without ever winning?

An Academy Award winner's hand holding an Oscar statue in the press room during the 90th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland Center on March 4, 2018 in Hollywood, California
An Academy Award winner’s hand holding an Oscar statuette | Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images

Who has the most Oscars ever?

Although audiences haven’t been able to go to the movies in over a year, the annual ceremony is still taking place. The show will forego a host again and will have a star-studded list of presenters.

Halle Berry, Brad Pitt, Zendaya, Don Cheadle, Bong Joon-ho, Regina King, Reese Witherspoon, Harrison Ford, Rita Moreno, Bryan Cranston, Marlee Matlin, Angela Bassett, Laura Dern, Joaquin Phoenix, and Renée Zellweger will all be presenting the night’s awards. Many of that list are past Oscar winners.

Speaking of Oscar winners, who has won the most in history? For female actors, Katharine Hepburn won four Oscars in her lifetime and was nominated for 12. Meryl Streep has won three, but is the most-nominated actor in history with 21.

For male actors, Jack Nicholson and Daniel Day-Lewis have each won three times. Nicholson has been nominated for his acting 12 times, compared to Day-Lewis’ six.

The person with the most Oscar wins in history is the late Walt Disney, who won 23 Oscars in his lifetime and was nominated for 45. He also won three honorary Oscars.

What is the only movie to win every Oscar it was nominated for?

The movies with the most Oscar nominations in history are The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, which was nominated for 11, Ben-Hur, which got 12, and Titanic has the most with 14. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is the only movie in history to win every category in which it was nominated.

There are also films that were famously nominated in many categories but won none of them. The Turning Point (1977) and The Color Purple (1986) hold the Guinness World Record for having the most Oscar nominations with zero wins. Both of the films were nominated in 11 categories, including Best Picture, but didn’t take any trophies home.

Academy Awards (Oscars) Statuette
Academy Awards (Oscars) Statuettes | Andrew H. Walker/Staff/Getty Images

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2 actors share the record for most Oscar nominations without a win

Of course, there has been lots of discussion over the years about actors who have been nominated for a slew of Oscars but have never won. That fact used to define Leonardo DiCaprio’s career, but that changed when he won Best Actor for The Revenant in 2016. He has been nominated for six total.

Although public discourse made it feel like DiCarpio had been nominated the most and won the least, that’s not the case. The late Peter O’Toole was nominated for eight Oscars in his lifetime, but never won. He holds the Guinness World Record for this category, but Guinness will have to update its records.

With her nomination for Best Supporting Actress for Hillbilly Elegy, Glenn Close is now the only living actor to be nominated for eight Oscars without ever winning. She has tied O’Toole’s record.

The 2021 Oscars will air live on Sunday, April 25, on ABC. The broadcast starts at 8 p.m. EST.