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Bruce Willis Has Never Been Nominated For An Oscar Despite Back Catalogue Of Incredible Roles

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Bruce Willis Has Never Been Nominated For An Oscar Despite Back Catalogue Of Incredible Roles

Bruce Willis may have starred in countless big titles over the years, but the box office smashes haven’t always translated into the coveted awards that his Hollywood peers often receive – much to the dismay of his fans. 

Yesterday, the actor’s family announced he would be ‘stepping away’ from his career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a condition that affects cognitive functions such as the ability to speak, write and understand language. 

In the wake of the news, Willis’ fans have been heartbroken to hear that he will no longer be making films, not least because of the stellar back catalogue many have grown up with.

However, some people were surprised to realise that, despite his acclaim, he’s never actually been nominated for an Oscar – widely seen as the highest accolade in acting – let alone won one. 

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Pulp Fiction. Credit: Miramax
Pulp Fiction. Credit: Miramax

Willis first found mainstream fame with Moonlighting, a comedy-drama that ran for four years after premiering in 1985, which led on to his first feature film role in 1987 rom-com Blind Date, followed the year after by Sunset

However, it was in 1989 that his real big screen moment came, having been cast as action icon John McClane in Die Hard – the success of which not only spawned a number of franchises, but also a truly solid era for Willis, who went on to smash the 1990s with the likes of The Last Boy ScoutDeath Becomes Her, Pulp Fiction ("Zed's dead, baby. Zed's dead!"), 12 MonkeysLast Man StandingThe Fifth Element and Armageddon. 

The Fifth Element. Credit: Gaumont Buena Vista International
The Fifth Element. Credit: Gaumont Buena Vista International
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He ended the decade on a high with M. Night Shyamalan's supernatural psychological thriller, The Sixth Sense, starring as child psychologist Malcolm Crewe, whose young patient can speak to the dead.

The film itself was nominated for six Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor for Haley Joel Osment and Best Supporting Actress for Toni Collette, but Willis received nothing himself. 

The Sixth Sense. Credit: Buena Vista Pictures
The Sixth Sense. Credit: Buena Vista Pictures

And of course there were many other popular credits in the 2000s and 2010s, such as Hart's WarTears of the SunHostageLucky Number SlevinSurrogatesMoonrise KingdomRock the Kasbah and Motherless Brooklyn.

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While Willis was never nominated for an Oscar, he has had some acknowledgement from other awards bods, including the Golden Globes – winning Best Actor in a Television Series (Comedy or Musical) in 1987 for Moonlighting. 

He’s also picked up a couple of People’s Choice Awards for Moonlighting and The Sixth Sense, a Phoenix Film Critics Society Award for Moonrise Kingdom and some Primetime Emmy Awards for Moonlighting and Friends, among many others. 

Moonrise Kingdom. Credit: Focus Features
Moonrise Kingdom. Credit: Focus Features

After it was announced that Willis would be retiring from acting, many people have taken to Twitter to express their disappointment that the Academy had never given him the recognition he deserved, calling on those involved to present him with an ‘honorary’ award. 

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One fan tweeted: “Bruce Willis was never even nominated for an Oscar, hard as that is to believe, so if he and his family are up for it, the Academy should present him with an honorary one and include it in the official ceremony next year."

Someone else wrote: “Couldn't agree more.” 

Another also added: “That's crazy he has had so many great roles in his career.” 

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One other said it would be a ‘very nice conclusion to his career’, while someone else said it was ‘truly a shame’ that he ‘never got a nod’. 

Featured Image Credit: Buena Vista Pictures/20th Century Fox

Topics: Celebrity, TV and Film, Oscars, Bruce Willis

Jess Hardiman
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