The Oscars are the most celebrated awards show in Hollywood, and they set the conversation about what’s great in movies.
But that doesn’t mean that everyone wants to go, or even be in the running to win one. In the 89-year history of the ceremony, some of Hollywood’s finest haven’t been there to accept their awards or nominations, and some have flat-out rejected the envied award itself.
Weirdly, Leonardo DiCaprio never boycotted the ceremony in protest of his many losses. Good thing he doesn’t have to worry about that anymore — and neither do we.
Here are some actors and filmmakers who’ve skipped (or rejected) the Oscars:
Knowing he was a shoe-in to win best actor for his role as Vito Corleone in “The Godfather,” Brando boycotted the Oscars in 1973. In his place, he had Native American activist Sacheen Littlefeather attend. She went onstage to accept his award, and when she read Brando’s speech about the mistreatment of Native Americans in film, she got booed.
The director didn’t attend the 2003 ceremony that awarded him a statue for best director for his work on “The Pianist.” But even if he tried, he likely wouldn’t have made it, since he is still a fugitive in the US in a conviction for unlawful sex. Harrison Ford accepted the award on his behalf.
Michael Caine wasn’t around to accept his first Oscar win for best supporting actor in “Hannah and Her Sisters,” because he was busy filming “Jaws: The Revenge,” a movie with a 0% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Caine learned his lesson, and showed up in 2000 to accept his deserved win for a supporting role in “The Cider House Rules.”
Taylor’s then-husband Richard Burton (also nominated for the same film “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?”) convinced the actress to skip the 1966 ceremony with him. Burton had already lost four times, and was afraid of losing. Taylor won best actress, but her failure to provide a statement thanking the Academy didn’t do her any favors.
The writer and filmmaker never attends award ceremonies — not even the 1978 Oscars when he won best actor, best original screenplay, and best picture for “Annie Hall.” But he did attend the ceremony in 2002 to introduce films that had been made in New York to honor the city following the September 11 attacks.
Allen has said, “The whole concept of awards is silly. I cannot abide by the judgment of other people, because if you accept it when they say you deserve an award, then you have to accept it when they say you don’t.” Fair enough.