Angela Bassett to Jack Nicholson


Updated: March 14, 2023 | 22:46

Losers can be as sour as lemons and as sore as a pulled hamstring.

The dream of many A-listers in Hollywood is to win a coveted Oscar and add it to their shelves of accolades.

However, there are only a handful of lucky winners who take home the gold each year, and sometimes the fellow contestants appear a little salty about their loss.

When the time comes during the Oscar ceremony, the camera pans to the entertainers sitting in the audience to capture their reactions to their career setbacks.

Actors are sometimes caught heaving heavy sighs, looking upset or dejected when overlooked.

Not everyone can be a winner – and many can be sore losers.

Across the decades, silver screen icons like Angela Bassett, Lauren Bacall, Jack Nicholson and more have lost out on securing golden, glittering glory – with their poses captured by candid audience cameras and hilariously broadcast around the world.

Keep reading to see the best (or worst?) Oscar runner-up reactions of all time.

Angela Bassett

Angela Bassett at the 2023 Academy Awards on March 12.

“Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” actress Angela Bassett appeared defeated and appeared to look like she was about to break down in tears at the 2023 Academy Awards.

Bassett lost the Best Supporting Actress statue to Jamie Lee Curtis of “Everything Everywhere All at Once.”

Talia Shire

Talia Shire attends the Academy Awards in 1977.
Academy Awards

“Godfather” star Talia Shire looked visibly upset in 1977 when she was snubbed by Faye Dunaway for Best Actress.

The “Bonnie and Clyde” star won for her role in “Network,” while Shire earned her nomination for “Rocky.”

Sally Kirkland

Glenn Close, Cher, Meryl Streep, Holly Hunter and Sally Kirkland were all nominated for Best Actress in 1988.
Academy Awards

Cher won the best actress trophy in 1988 for “Moonstruck,” but one of her fellow nominees, Sally Kirkland, appeared angry, rolling her eyes and briefly pursing her lips when she didn’t win.

“JFK” star Kirkland got a nod for her role in “Anna.”

Robert Downey Jr.

The “Iron Man” superstar initially couldn’t mask his disappointment when Al Pacino won best actor for “Scent of a Woman” in 1993.

Downey received an Academy Award nomination for his role as Charlie Chaplin in “Chaplin.”

Samuel L. Jackson

Anna Paquin presented the award for Best Supporting Actor in 1995.
Academy Awards

In 1995, “Pulp Fiction” icon Samuel L. Jackson was nominated for Best Supporting Actor for his role in the Quentin Tarantino film.

However, he seemed annoyed — and may have even uttered an exclamation — to lose to Martin Landau, who scored the award for “Ed Wood.”

Burt Reynolds

The 1998 ceremony had icons such as Burt Reynolds and Anthony Hopkins competing against each other.
Academy Awards

For “Smokey and the Bandit” actor Burt Reynolds, the disappointment was readily apparent when he briefly twisted his mouth after losing to Robin Williams at the 1998 ceremony.

The comedian secured the best supporting actor trophy for “Good Will Hunting,” while Reynolds was nominated for “Boogie Nights.”

Lauren Bacall

Joan Allen, Lauren Bacall and Barbara Hershey were among the stars who got the nod in 1997.
Academy Awards

The screen legend offered a noticeable scowl when Juliette Binoche won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1997.

French star Binoche won for “The English Patient,” while Bacall was in the running for “The Mirror Has Two Faces.”

Jack Nicholson and Nicolas Cage

Jack Nicholson appeared shocked at the 2003 Oscars.

Double losers Jack Nicholson and Nicolas Cage were dismayed in 2003 when Adrien Brody snagged the best actor statuette for Holocaust drama “The Pianist.”

“Something’s Gotta Give” star Nicholson expressed shock, and “National Treasure” alum Cage appeared to utter a shocked, “What?” as Brody walked up to the podium to receive his award.

Brody, meanwhile, was especially ecstatic: When he came on stage, he embraced stunned host Halle Berry and gave the 2002 Best Actress Oscar winner a seconds-long kiss.

Cage was nominated for “Adaptation,” while Nicholson got a nod for “About Schmidt.”

Bill Murray

Bill Murray looked particularly annoyed when he didn’t win Best Actor in 2004.
Academy Awards

“Saturday Night Live” funnyman Bill Murray quietly sulked in 2004 when he lost the best actor award to Sean Penn.

Penn triumphed at that year’s Academy Awards for his work in “Mystic River,” while Murray was nominated for “Lost in Translation.”

By Ellen Burstyn

Ellen Burstyn performed at the ceremony on April 2, 1974.
Academy Awards

In 1974, Ellen Burstyn’s expression soured when Glenda Jackson won in the Best Actress category for her film “A Touch of Class.”

Burstyn was nominated for the classic horror film “The Exorcist,” which won two Oscars out of 10 nods.

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