10 Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar & Why?

Sacheen Littlefeather Rejecting Marlon Brando's Awards
Sacheen Littlefeather Rejecting Marlon Brando’s Awards (Source: The Nation)

Did you know some celebs in showbiz have totally refused to claim the most prestigious awards?

But, why??

Winning an Oscar can be like your wildest dreams coming true. But some of the actors haven’t earned one in their lives, while the others did not feel the need to accept it.

The Oscar is considered Hollywood’s most prestigious emblem.

Each year 10,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences vote for every film artist for their remarkable work and dedication in the industry.

Actors Who Rejected The Oscars
Actors Who Rejected The Oscars (Source: Decider)

While many Hollywood stars work their blood, sweat, and tears off of earning an Oscar once in their lifetime and getting recognized for their work, there are a few ones who don’t even care about these star-studded events.

So, they don’t even put effort into attending the ceremony and reject the won trophy.

So, let’s take a look at such ten celebs who rejected an Oscar and find out the reason behind their such response towards the Academy.

Quick Overview

 S.N.  Name of Celebs  Rejected Year
 1.  Marlon Brando  1979
 2.  Anohni  2016
 3.  Woody Allen 1986, 1997, 2011
4. Jean-Luc Godard 2010
 5. Terrence Malik  2003
 6.

Peter O’ Toole

 1998, 2012
 7.  Paul Newman  1987
 8. Katharine Hepburn   1974
 9.  George C. Scott  1970
 10.  Eminem  2002

Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar & Why?

Trusted sites on the web, including Business Insider and Wikipedia, have aided in compiling the given information.

10. Eminem

The rap god Eminem holds a legacy for his breathtaking smooth and fast rap verses.

In 2002, he made his first film debut with the semi-autobiographical musical 8 Mile, where he starred as himself.

The film was about an aspiring rapper who did a series of freestyle raps while struggling to create a better life for himself and his family.

Eminem
Eminem (Source: Biography (Bio.)

Though he did not get an Oscar nod for his acting, he surely won the award for the Best Original Score for “Lose Yourself.” It made him the first rapper to win an Oscar in history.

The single gained worldwide top charts, but Eminem did not show up in the 75th Academy Awards.

Instead, his beloved friend and producer, Luis Resto, accepted the trophy on his behalf.

In a 2007 interview, Eminem stated that he thought the Oscars nominated him for the actor’s category.

He had no chances of winning, so he did not watch the Oscars ceremony too and slept the whole day in his Detroit home.

9. George C. Scott

George C. Scott was one of the greatest actors in American history.

He was celebrated for owning every part in the films and commanding love and attention from his striking and unforgettable screen presence.

With movies like The Hustler (1961), and Dr. Strange Love (1964), he began to soar in the film industry.

In 1971, Scott won an Oscar for Best Actor for playing General S. Patton in the 1970 World War II biopic, Patton.

Patton was Scott’s quintessential role in his entire film career.

But, Scott refused to attend the ceremony by despising the Academy for pitting actors against each other.

He believed that no trophy was required to recognize the actor’s work as they hold their unique beauty.

George C. Scott
George C. Scott (Source: The Movie Database)

Besides, he was the first actor to decline the award.

Moreover, he insulted the event as a “two-hour meat parade, just a stunt to keep the viewers at the edge of their seats while the network rate did not add revenue.”

Since Scott snubbed the ceremony, his producer, Frank McCarthy, accepted the trophy on his behalf.

Despite the criticism and insults, the Academy nominated him once more for The Hospital in 1972.

8. Katharine Hepburn

Coming to this spot is the sophisticated cultural and classic Hollywood icon.

Over 60 years of her acting career, Katharine Hepburn led the screen from screwball comedy to literary genres.

She was nominated for Oscars twelve times and won 4 of them, all in the Best Actress category.

Even after 19 years of her death, Hepburn remains the solo performer with the most Oscar wins.

Katharine-Hepburn
Katharine Hepburn (Source: Pinterest)

Though Hepburn never went to receive the trophies on stage, she did not reject them technically.

She didn’t attend the event as she was not a big fan of the Oscars. However, she treasured them in her Connecticut home as she was not totally against it.

Surprisingly, she attended the 1974 Academy Awards to honor the producer, Lawrence Weingarten, with a Thalberg Memorial Award.

7. Paul Newman

The old Hollywood legend Paul Newman had a career spanning more than five decades.

He starred in notable films like The Hustler (1962), Hud (1964), and Cool Hand Luke (1968).

From 1959 to 1983, Newman earned six Oscar nods for Best Actor and attended the event in hopes of winning at least one.

Paul-Newman
Paul Newman (Source: MPR News)

But in the end, he was always disappointed.

Finally, after six Oscar nods and one honorary Oscar, he won his first Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for The Color of Money in 1987.

But, Newman did not attend the very momentous occasion of his life.

He notified the press that it felt like he was chasing a beautiful woman for more than eight decades, and when she finally returned, he became completely exhausted.

Read About 15 Worst Oscars Dresses of all Time…!

6. Peter O’ Toole

A renowned British actor Peter O’ Toole had the most Oscar nominations in history.

From 1962 to 2006, he got 8 Oscar nods for the Leading Actor category for films like Lawrence of Arabia and Venus. But, sadly, he never won any of them.

In 2002, the Academy honored him with an Honorary Oscar. It noted his remarkable talent for bringing out some of the most iconic characters in film history.

However, O’ Toole humbly declined the honor. Moreover, he requested the Academy that he was still on the game and to wait till he becomes 80 through a letter.

Peter-O'-Toole
Peter O’ Toole (Source: ABC)

Academy’s then-president, Frank Pierson, encouraged him to accept the trophy as stars like Paul Newman and Henry Fonda went on to win an Oscar for real shortly after receiving the Honorary Oscar.

With such a response, O’Toole went to claim his trophy.

After receiving the award from Meryl Streep, he uttered, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride my foot! I have my very own Oscar now, till death part us to be with me”.

5. Terrence Malik

The eccentric film director Terrence Malik’s creations, use transitional moments and focus on the deeper meaning of existence.

Over the course of his filming career, Malik has got three Oscar nominations.

Terrence Malik
Terrence Malik (Source: Variety)

His 1998 war film, The Thin Red Line, got him an Oscar nod for Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay.

Whereas his 2011 philosophical film, The Tree of Life, won him another nod for Best Director.

However, Malik did not attend any of the events. As he seemed indifferent to the Oscars.

4. Jean-Luc Godard

Holding the 4th spot is the pioneer of the 60s French New Wave, Jean-Luc Godard.

Godard has produced 45 films to date, with masterpieces like Breathless (1960) and Contempt (1963).

Besides, his works have inspired some of the greatest directors, like Quentin Tarantino and Martin Scorsese.

Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar- Jean-Luc-Godard
Jean Luc Godard (Source: Jewish Week-The Times of Israel)

In 2010, the Academy set him to present with an Honorary Oscar. But, during that time, he became unreachable and did not even answer the calls from the Academy.

Later, the Swiss newspaper NZZ interviewed him to know what Oscars mean to him.

To which he clarified,

“Nothing at all. They can do whatever they like to. But isn’t it strange? Have they even watched my films? How much do they know about my films?

They have named the award as Governor’s Award. Does that mean Arnold Schwarzenegger will hand me with the trophy?”.

Moreover, Godard added that he was unable to attend the event as he did not have a U.S. visa and had no interest in applying for one.

To him, the award ceremony was just a waste of time.

Read About 15 Oscar Snubs You Totally Missed (Sorry, Lady Gaga)

3. Woody Allen

On this spot, we have one of the greatest film directors of all time, Woody Allen.

Over his career spanning more than six decades, Allen has earned a whopping 24 Oscar nominations and won 4 of them.

His three Oscar wins came from Best Original Screenplay for Annie Hall (1997), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Midnight in Paris (2011).

Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar- Woody-Allen
Woody Allen (Source: The Indian Express)

Whereas one came from Best Director for Annie Hall.

But Allen turned down the Oscars each time.

To him, the whole concept behind the Oscars and validating someone’s art is absurd.

2. Anohni

On the second spot comes a brilliant transgender British-born singer, songwriter, and visual artist, Anohni.

Her songs are evocative, reflecting on personal experiences, gender, nature, politics, and anti-war.

Anohni became the second openly transgender person to get nominated by the Academy in 2016.

Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar- Anohni
Anohni (Source: The Times)

The Academy nominated her for Best Original Song for “Manta Ray,” which was written for the climate change documentary Racing Extinction (2015).

But, Anohni snubbed the event. As the Academy did not let her perform, unlike the fellow nominees like Sam Smith and Lady Gaga.

She felt discriminated by such response of the Academy.

1. Marlon Brando

One of the greatest actors of the 20th century, Marlon Brando, snubbed the Oscar in 1973.

His iconic portrayal as the Italian mafia boss, Vito Corleone, in the epic crime film, The Godfather (1972) won him an Oscar for Best Actor.

But, Brando did not attend the event. Instead, he sent the Native American activist and actress Sacheen Littlefeather to state the reason with long notes.

Celebs Who Rejected An Oscar- Marlon Brando
Marlon Brando (Source: Encyclopedia Britannica)

When Brando was announced the winner, Littlefeather went on to the stage but did not accept the trophy.

She read the speech of Brando clarifying that he wouldn’t accept the Oscar for the mistreatment of Native Americans in the films.

While she gave the speech, many peoples booed her, and only a few of them applauded.

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