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10 Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar & Why?

Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar!!

Is there anyone who has already done so? The answer to this mystery is, “Indeed. Many actors have historically turned down Oscar awards.”

The Oscar is one of Hollywood’s most star-studded and acclaimed awards.

It recognizes performances of every movie artist, voted on by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences‘ 10,000 members, with the artist’s recognition frequently validating years of dedication and efforts to the cinema.

This year’s 94th Academy Awards 2022 seems to be an incredible treat for all superstars and spectators. The ceremony will be on March 27, 2022, at 8:00 p.m.

The most awaited event will be broadcasted on ABC and available for streaming via various apps and TVs.

A Glimpse of Previous Oscar Ceremony (Source: Pinterest)

There is no better honor for many performers than being nominated for an Academy Award for their work. Many performers aspire to own the accolade and work hard their entire lives to achieve this feat.

While many actors work toward the amazing accomplishment, a handful of them have rejected the Oscars, refusing to accept an award or even attend the event.

Here are ten Hollywood celebrities who have declined the award, along with their reasons.

Quick Overview

Name of Artist Year of Rejection
10. Eminem 2002
9. George C Scott 1970
8. Katharine Hepburn 1974
7. Paul Newman 1987
6. PeterO Tule 2003
5. Terrence Malik 1998, 2012
4. Jean-Luc Godard
3. Woody Allen 1986, 1997, 2011
2. Elizabeth Taylor  1966
1. Marlon Brando 1979

10. Eminem

The rap king Eminem has stunned fans with his incredible raps over the years.

His shockingly incredible performance in the 2002 semi-autobiographical film 8 Mile was a treat for his fans.

It was about an aspiring rapper who used a series of freestyle rap tracks, trying to achieve a better life for himself and his family.

Though he did not receive an Oscar for his acting ability, he did receive an award for Best Original Song for “Lose Yourself.”

Eminem (Source: Pinterest)

His song gained chart-topping popularity; however, Eminem did not attend the 75th Academy Awards ceremony.

Therefore, his producer, Luis Resto, claimed the trophy on his behalf.

In an interview, the rapper stated that he did not go because he did not believe he stood a chance of winning.

Interestingly, Eminem said that when his song won, he was sleeping the entire time.

9. George C Scott

Another famous personality who rejected the Oscar is none other than George C Scott.

He was actually the first actor ever to decline the award.

In 1970, George C. Scott turned down his Best Actor award for Patton, a World War II film in which he played General George Patton.

George C Scott in Patton (Source: Pinterest)

He not only refused the prize but openly mocked it. George believed that the actors should not compete with each other.

Moreover, he addressed the ceremony as a “two-hour meat parade, a public exhibition with artificial suspense for economic purposes.”

Since Scott abandoned the event, his producer, Frank McCarthy, accepted the trophy on his behalf at the 1971 Academy Awards ceremony.

Regardless of his criticism and insults, the group nominated him for his performance in The Hospital the following year.

8. Katharine Hepburn

Over the course of her career, this well-known leading woman was nominated for 12 Oscars and won four of them.

She still retains the record for the most Oscars won by any actor even after 20 years of her death.

Hepburn never showed up to the Oscar ceremonies to accept any of her trophies on stage, though she did not reject the awards technically.

Katharine Hepburn (Source: Pinterest)

She is was not really a fan of the event, so she didn’t go. However, she was not against it since she proudly kept her awards at her Connecticut home.

However, she attended one of the Academy Awards ceremonies in 1974 to present producer Lawrence Weingarten with a Thalberg Award.

During the event, Hepburn said, “I’m very happy that I didn’t hear anyone call out ‘it’s about time.’ I am living proof that a person can wait forty-one years to be unselfish.”

Hepburn is still regarded as one of the most successful actresses of all time.

7. Paul Newman

The film legend Paul Newman had a three-decade-long career as an actor. He was nominated for six Oscars between 1961 and 1982.

Paul attended every ceremony in the hopes of winning at least once. However, each time, he was disappointed.

He eventually became tired of the Academy pranks and quit, focusing entirely on his career rather than running for validation of his success.

Paul Newman (Source: Pinterest)

Newman eventually won an Oscar for “The Color of Money” in 1987, after six acting nominations and two honorary Oscars.

He was not, however, present to accept it. Newman told the press that it felt like he had been chasing a pretty woman for more than seven decades, and when she returned, he was exhausted.

Whether or not he got an award, Paul is still considered as one of Hollywood’s top legends for his standout performances.

6. Peter O’Toole

Peter O’Toole was nominated eight times in the leading actor category for films ranging from Lawrence of Arabia in 1962 to Venus in 2006.  But he never won any.

The Academy Awards’ Board of Governors voted to honor O’Toole with an Honorary Oscar in 2003, citing his “remarkable talents in providing movie history with some of its most iconic characters.”

Peter O’Toole (Source: The New Yorker)

However, O’Toole politely declined the honor.

He requested to the board of governors with a letter that he was still in the game and also asked them to wait until he was 80.

Frank Pierson, the organization’s then-president, responded to O’Toole by claiming that stars like Paul Newman and Henry Fonda were given Honorary Oscars and went on to win them shortly after.

Following the response, he attended the ceremony and accepted his medal. As he accepted the trophy from Meryl Streep, he said:

“Always a bridesmaid, never a bride my foot! I have my very own Oscar now to be with me ’til death does us part.”

5. Terrence Malik

Malik received his first best director nomination for the film “The Thin Red Line.”

But he did not attend the ceremony because the producers who had betrayed him were also scheduled to be there.

Terrence Malik (Source: Pinterest)

Malick again skipped the 2012 Oscars, where he was nominated but did not win for “The Tree of Life.”

Despite garnering many nominations, the reclusive director appears uninterested in the honor. He did not attend either of the ceremonies.

4. Jean-Luc Godard

Godard received an Honorary Oscar from the Academy in late 2010. But he was unavailable to receive his award.

The Academy board tried to contact him in every way available for months but never received a response.

Over time, Godard made an explanation, why he would not answer the Academy’s phone call.

Jean-Luc Godard (Source: Pinterset)

During an interview, Godard was asked what the honorary medal meant to him, and he replied,

 “Hardly anything. They can do whatever they really want to . But it strikes me as odd. Which of my movies have they watched. Do they actually know my films? The award is called The Governor’s Award. Does this necessarily mean that Arnold Schwarzenegger will present me with the honors?”

He explained in the same interview that he was unable to attend the award ceremony because he did not have a visa for the United States and did not want to apply for one.

Goddard appears completely disinterested in the ceremony, considering it to be nothing but a waste of time.

3. Woody Allen

One of the most brilliant filmmakers and actor Woody Allen has received a whopping 24 Academy Award nominations.

Allen earned the prized honor four times. Most of the films that earned him an Oscar nomination were in the category of Best Original Screenplay.

Woody, on the other hand, believes that he does not require anyone’s validation for his dedication and talents; not even an Oscar can define his accomplishments.

Woody Allen (Source: Pinterest)

Even before Woody Allen won an Oscar for Annie Hall, he was outspoken about why the Oscars are pointless:

“The whole concept of awards is silly. I can’t stand other public perceptions because if you accept it when they say you deserve recognition, you should always accept it when they say you don’t.” 

2. Elizabeth Taylor 

The most talented woman of the era, Elizabeth Taylor, and her then-husband Richard Burton were nominated for Academy Awards for their roles in Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

Even though Taylor and her husband have a successful career, her husband, Burton, had previously experienced a slew of disappointments.

Despite multiple nominations, he had never made the list of Oscar winners.

Elizabeth Taylor (Source: Pinterest)

So, rather than being humiliated in front of his friends for the seventh time, he convinced Taylor to have the vacation to Paris.

Burton received another Oscar rejection at the 1966 Academy Awards, though Elizabeth Taylor won Best Actress.

Taylor declined the award and didn’t attend the ceremony as a sign of solidarity, showing to the Academy that she would not bow to them.

1. Marlon Brando

The man who made offers that others couldn’t refuse once turned down the film industry’s highest honor.

Marlon Brando refused the Academy Award for Best Actor for his iconic portrayal as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather” on March 5, 1973.

On the eve of the 45th Academy Awards, Brando revealed that he would boycott the ceremony, knowing he was to win the best actor for his role.

Instead of Marlon, the Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather took to the stage when Brando was officially announced as the winner.

She was booed when she read Brando’s speech against the mistreatment of Native Americans in film.

Marlon Brando (Source: Pinterest)

Instead of thanking everyone, as most Oscar winners do, Sacheen Littlefeather proceeded to show Hollywood the mirror for representing Native Americans so negatively.

Brando declined for the reasons stated, as well as he thought that honoring an award for art is ridiculous.

Marlon Brando thought that the acting was nothing exceptional. He considered it as a form of deception, and while he enjoyed performing, he thought the industry’s ethos was self-indulgent and artificial.


We have only included ten of the most well-known people who have declined to attend the Oscar ceremony.

However, there are other legendary figures, too, who never ran for credit to show their accomplishments and success.

Oscar may be the one who determines a person’s level of achievement, but these people may not see the need.

They are still considered as one of the most accomplished and iconic figures in the entertainment world.

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