Top 10 Most Oscar-Nominated Actors Of All Time

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Even just being nominated for an Academy Award is considered one of the most prestigious recognitions of acting talent, however, throughout the history of the Academy Awards, there have been actors and actresses who have received multiple Academy Awards for Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, or Best Supporting Actress.

To recognize their outstanding achievement in the film industry, the following are the Top 10 actors and actresses who have received most Oscar nods throughout their careers.

10. Al Pacino (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 8 (Including 1 Win)

Al Pacino established himself during one of cinema’s most vibrant decades, the 1970s, and has become an enduring and iconic figure in the world of American movies.

His Oscar nomination for The Godfather (1972) marked his first of eight nominations. His most recent nomination, in 1993, also marked his first-ever win, in which he took home the Best Actor award for his role in Scent of a Woman (1992).

9. Jack Lemmon (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 8 (Including 2 Wins)

A versatile and beloved performer, Jack Lemmon was a celebrated virtuoso in both comedy and drama. He made his debut as a director with Kotch (1971) and in 1985 on Broadway in “Long Day’s Journey into Night”. In 1988 he received the Life Achievement Award of the American Film Institute.

He won the Best Actor Oscar for Save the Tiger (1973) and the Cannes Best Actor award for “Syndrome” and “Missing”. He was nominated seven more times from 1960 to 1983, and won again, for Best Actor, in 1974 for Save the Tiger.

8. Marlon Brando (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 8 (Including 2 Wins)

Marlon Brando is widely considered the greatest movie actor of all time, rivaled only by the more theatrically oriented Laurence Olivier in terms of esteem.

Marlon Brando earned a total of eight Oscar nominations, the first in 1952, and the last in 1990. He took home two Best Actor awards, once in 1955 for On the Waterfront, and then again in 1973 for The Godfather.

7. Paul Newman (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 9 (Including 2 Wins)

Screen legend, superstar, and the man with the most famous blue eyes in movie history earned a total of nine Oscar nominations throughout his career, the first of which occurred in 1959.

He won the Best Actor award in 1987 for his performance in The Color of Money (1986). He also received two honorary awards: the first for his entire collection of work in 1986, and the second a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 1994.

He is only one of six performers to be nominated for an Oscar twice for playing the same role in two separate films.

6. Spencer Tracy (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 9 (Including 2 Wins)

Spencer Tracy has been nominated for an Oscar nine times from 1937 to 1968. He took home the coveted prize twice in consecutive years: for his lead role in Captains Courageous in 1938 and for Boys Town in 1939.

5. Laurence Olivier (UK)

Total Oscar Nominations: 10 (Including 1 Win)

Laurence Olivier is a towering figure of the British stage and screen, acclaimed in his lifetime as the greatest English-speaking actor of the 20th century.

He was the first member of his profession to be elevated to a life peerage. Of his 10 total Oscar nominations, Laurence Olivier has won once, in 1949 for his leading role in Hamlet. The actor has also been awarded two honorary prizes, once in 1947, and a second time in 1979.

4. Bette Davis (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 10 (Including 2 Wins)

Bette Davis is remembered as one of Hollywood’s legendary leading ladies, famous for her larger-than-life persona and for her nearly 100 film appearances.

She was nominated and won her first official Oscar in 1936 for her leading role in Dangerous. She won her second Oscar just three years later for her role in Jezebel. In the years after, she racked up eight more nominations for a total of 10 nods.

3. Jack Nicholson (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 12 (Including 3 Wins)

Jack Nicholson is one of the most prominent American motion-picture actors of his generation, noted for his versatile portrayals of unconventional outsiders.

He is is a three-time Academy Award winner and twelve-time nominee. Nicholson is also notable for being one of two actors – the other being Michael Caine – who have received Oscar nomination in every decade from the 1960s through the early 2000s.

His award-winning performances include movies: About Schmidt (2002), One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975), Terms of Endearment (1983), and As Good as It Gets (1997).

2. Katharine Hepburn (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 12 (Including 4 Wins)

Katharine Hepburn was a spirited and eccentric actress who appeared in such classic films as ‘The African Queen,’ ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner’ and ‘On Golden Pond.’, and still holds the record for the actress with the most total wins.

Out of her 12 total nominations, Katharine Hepburn won four awards for her roles in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter (1968), and On Golden Pond (1981).

1. Meryl Streep (USA)

Total Oscar Nominations: 21 (Including 3 Wins)

Considered by many critics to be the greatest living actress, Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award an astonishing 21 times and has won it three times.

In 1980 for Kramer vs. Kramer, in 1983 for Sophie’s Choice, and in 2012 for the Iron Lady, she is considered one of the greatest actresses of our time.