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10 Hollywood Stars Who Rejected Their Oscars

August 10, 2017
4 min read
rejected oscars

One would assume that for any movie artist winning an Oscar is the pinnacle of all achievements. And that’s evident from the way these artists react when they finally win the coveted golden statuette. Some laugh, some cry, some loose their mind (in a good way). And why not? These artists push their creative boundaries to entertain millions of people and give them respite from their busy but mundane life. They certainly deserve to get ecstatic when their talent is recognized in front of the very millions they entertained with their art.

But as it is true with everything, there are exceptions. In the history of Oscars, there have been several artists who didn’t show up to accept their Oscars. Some were displaying protest by rejecting their Oscars, while some did so because they felt Oscars undermined their talent. And then, there were others who simply so ignorant that they didn’t expect to win and therefore didn’t show up (I am looking at you Eminem). Whatever be their reasons, here is the list of 12 Hollywood stars who rejected their Oscars.

10. Eminem

Eminem won Best Original Song Oscar for “Lose Yourself” in 2003. But he wasn’t there to accept it. In an interview, he later clarified that he skipped the ceremony because he didn’t think he had a chance.

9. George C. Scott

When Scott received Best Actor nomination for ‘Patton’ in 1970, he informed the Academy that he would refuse the award if he won. Scott believed that every dramatic performance was unique and could not be compared to others. Interestingly, he won and as promised he didn’t show up to accept it.

8. Katharine Hepburn

Hepburn hold the record for most number Best Acting wins in the history of Oscars. Hepburn never showed to collect any of her Oscars, though she didn’t reject the award themselves. She just didn’t want to accept it in front of her peers. In 1974, when she presented the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award to producer and friend Lawrence Weingarten, she said “I’m living proof that a person can wait 41 years to be unselfish”.

7. Paul Newman

One of the great actors in his days, Newman felt so hurt for being snubbed six times that when he when finally won an Oscar for ‘The Color of Money’ he didn’t show up to accept the award. He later commented “It’s like chasing a beautiful woman for 80 years. Finally, she relents, and you say, ‘I’m terribly sorry. I’m tired.'”

6. Peter O’Toole

The legendary actor was nominated eight times but never won an Oscar. In 2003, when finally he won an honorary Oscar, he initially rejected it, saying ” “I am still in the game and might win the lovely bugger outright. Would the Academy please defer the honor until I am 80?”. After the Academy president informed him that Paul Newman and Henry Fonda won after receiving the honorary Oscar, O’Toole gave in and accepted the award.

5. Terrence Malick

The famously reclusive director has been nominated for thrice for an Oscar (once in 2011, and twice in 1998), but he didn’t show up in either of the two ceremonies. He didn’t win, but by not turning up he basically rejected the Oscars.

4. Stanley Kubrick

Stanley Kubrick is arguably the great director cinema has ever seen. Strangely enough, he never won an Oscar for Best Director. In 1969, when he won an Oscar for Best Visual Effects, Kubrick wasn’t there, so Diahann Carroll and Burt Lancaster accepted the award on his behalf, joking that Kubrick was on Mars scouting locations for a sequel.

3. Woody Allen

He is famously known to never accept any of his awards. Till date he has received 24 Oscars nominations and won four of them. He has stuck by his words of considering award ceremonies silly and rejected every single Oscar he won or got nominated for.

2. Elizabeth Taylor

Taylor’s then husband Richard Burton had already lost the Oscar four times so he convinced the actress to skip the 1966 ceremony with him. Surprisingly, she won for Best Actress for ‘Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?’ but since she didn’t expect to win, she didn’t even provide a statement thanking the Academy.

1. Marlon Brando

Brando knowing fully well that he would go on to win the Best Actor Oscar for ‘The Godfather’ decided to boycott the ceremony by sending in a Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather to accept his award. When she read Brando’s speech about the mistreatment of Native Americans, she got booed.

Read More: Most Undeserving Oscar Winners

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