10 Irish Actors Who Almost Won an Oscar Before Cillian Murphy


  • Irish actors have never won an Oscar for a leading role, despite Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal and Colin Farrell receiving nominations.
  • Notable Irish actors such as Liam Neeson, Michael Fassbender and Ruth Negga have earned Oscar nominations, but never won.
  • Irish actors such as Kenneth Branagh and Barry Fitzgerald have won Oscars at the Academy Awards, but have never been in a leading role.

Tea oscar It is the most sought-after award for anyone working in films, but until Cillian Murphy won the Oscar, no Irish actor or actress had won an Oscar for a leading role. The Academy Awards are incredibly prestigious, with Oscars awarded in only a few categories each year, and many nominees competing to win the coveted award. However, despite incredible talent and many years of hard work, many people associated with cinema will never win an Oscar themselves.

And, while the Oscars are held in the US, there is plenty of representation and recognition, shining a light on talent from around the world. Every year, actors, directors and others involved in film production from different countries are in the running for the Oscars, but despite solid representation in the industry, an Irish actor has never been the recipient of an Oscar for Best Leading Actor. Actress till date. Cillian Murphy may be the first Irish actor to achieve this career-defining award, but He certainly wasn’t the first person to be nominated,

Daniel Day-Lewis won three Oscars with three nominations. Although he was born and raised in England, he holds dual British-Irish citizenship.

10 Saoirse Ronan

Nominated in 2016 for his performance in Brooklyn

Saoirse Ronan becomes one of the youngest people to be nominated for a leading role at an Oscar brooklyn At the age of 21. However, Ronan received awards recognition much earlier, at just 13 years old, when she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role in 2008. Atonement, Ronan is an incredibly talented young woman, and following her nominations in 2008 and 2016, she was nominated again in 2018. lady birdAnd in 2020, for little Women, which may mean It’s only a matter of time before she takes home the win,

9 paul mescal

Nominated in 2023 for her performance in Aftersun

Aftersun 2022 (2)

Paul Mescal is a recent nominee who was in the running for a 2023 Oscar for his performance after noon, The film is a coming-of-age story, where Mescal plays a young Scottish father on holiday with his child. The film is highly emotional, and Mescal does a great job with the accent despite being the wrong kind of Celt for the role. Mescal’s talents are just beginning to be recognized She then started getting credited acting jobs in 2019, but in just a few years, she now has over a dozen credits and an Oscar nomination to her name.


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Paul Mescal is one of the most exciting up-and-coming actors working today, this list ranks the Irish actor’s short filmography from worst to best.

8 Colin Farrell

Nominated in 2023 for her performance in Banshees of Inishrein

Padraic (Colin Farrell) tells Colm (Brendan Gleeson) about himself in The Banshees of Inishrein

That same year, a veteran Irish actor who had been a well-known figure in Hollywood for some time was also competing for his first Oscar nomination. Colin Farrell has had a colorful career in films, appearing in everything from Ben Affleck to Daring As Bullseye, until playing the Penguin in Robert Pattinson’s BatmanBut his first Oscar nomination came from a very different type of film. Banshees of Inishrein There is an Irish drama that was successful Earn a total of nine nominations in 2023But due to tough competition the film was left empty handed.

7 michael fassbender

Nominated in 2016 for his performance in Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender as Steve Jobs

Michael Fassbender was born in Germany to an Irish mother and moved to the south-west of Ireland when he was just 2 years old. His acting career has seen him play a variety of roles X-Men: First Class To prometheus, most cast him in the leading role. In 2015, he played the late technology innovator and legend in the eponymous film, Steve Jobsfor whom He received widespread recognition for his incredible performance, He was also nominated as Best Supporting Actor for his role 12 years a Slave in 2014.

6 Liam Neeson

Nominated for his performance in Schindler’s List in 1994

Before Cillian Murphy’s steady rise to prominence in Hollywood, Liam Neeson is probably the most famous actor to come from Ireland. Neeson starred took And in its sequel he played the role of Qui-Gon Jinn Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom MenaceRas al Ghul in Nolan dark Knight Trilogy, and that was the voice of Aslan The Chronicles of Narnia Films of the late 2000s. But before any of that, he had his Breakout role as Oskar Schindler Schindler’s List, The role not only propelled Neeson’s career, but also earned him a nomination for Best Actor in 1994.

5 Ruth Negga

Nominated in 2017 for her performance in Loving

Ruth Negga in Loving

Ruth Negga was born in Ethiopia but raised in Limerick, Ireland, before spending some time studying in London and then returning to attend college in Dublin, Ireland. She has continuously pursued her career in acting for TV and film since 2004, and in 2017 she received an Oscar nomination for her role. Dear, Ruth has become First Irish black person to be nominated for an Oscar in a leading role and has since continued to receive leading roles in film and TV.


The 10 Best Irish Movies According to IMDb

Ireland’s filmography contains many critically acclaimed and star-making films that are truly worth watching or revisiting. IMDb has the best ranking here.

4 stephen ree

Nominated for his performance in The Crying Game in 1993

Forest Whitaker and Stephen Rea in The Crying Game.

Stephen Rea began his career by performing in stage productions in Ireland, before landing on-screen roles. once again, his The breakout role was the one that got him nominated for an Oscar In 1993, when he played Fergus crying game, The film explores the Troubles in Northern Ireland, a story that likely held personal significance for Rea as he grew up in Belfast and lived through those dark times in history. She has started appearing in many big productions like Ri Interview with the Vampire, the revengeAnd breakfast on plutoBut mainly in supporting roles.

3 Richard Harris

Nominated in 1991 for his performance in the field

Richard Harris was nominated for an Oscar twice in 1964 this sporting lifeAnd then in 1991 Field, However, none of these were his most popular roles, and he continued a long and healthy career in Hollywood before passing away in 2002. Richard Harris was an incredible talent who Played Albus Dumbledore in the first two harry potter Movies And several of his films were released posthumously, reflecting his commitment to his art, with much of his work being produced in his final years.

2 kenneth branagh

Nominated in 1990 for his performance in Henry V

Kenneth Branagh as King Henry V of England in Henry V.

Kenneth Branagh has had a varied and illustrious career in Hollywood, taking on roles as director, writer and actor and receiving critical acclaim for each. In 1990, Branagh was Nominated for both Best Director and Best Actor for his work henry v But did not win any awards. Since then, Branagh has been nominated on several other occasions for his various contributions, until in 2022, he ultimately won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. belfast, It thus proved that with sustained effort the desired results could be achieved, and it was possible for Ireland to win one of the few Oscar victories.

1 Barry Fitzgerald

(Nominated for his performance in Going My Way in 1945)

Barry Fitzgerald as Father Fitzgibbon Walking My Way

(In 1945 Barry FitzGerald earned the unique privilege of being the only actor in history.Nominated for two Oscars, for the same character in two different categories In the same movie. Fitzgerald plays Father Fitzgibbon in the film I am on my way, and after his nomination, the rules and guidelines of the awards were tightened to prevent such an incident. While Fitzgerald did not win the Best Leading Actor category, he did win the Best Supporting Actor Oscar, making him the only Irish actor to win for a supporting role.

Brenda Fricker then became the first Irish actress to win an Oscar in a supporting role for her performance in My Left Foot opposite Daniel Day-Lewis in 1989, which she also won.

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