8 Oscars Winners Who Should Give the Award Back

Posted by By Limoge at 26 August, at 12 : 24 PM Print

The Academy Awards! The penultimate acting award given to the creme de la creme of Hollywood.  In most cases, winners continue on their path to greatness, always topping themselves and sometimes even picking up another Oscar along the way (Meryl Streep, Al Pacino and Russell Crowe come to mind).  But then there are the other Oscar winners. Those who seemed to have just won the big award as a fluke, dare I say almost by mistake.  Their careers going from the highest stratosphere to the lowest of the low.  For your consideration then, here are 8 of those Oscar winners now turned losers:

1. Cuba Gooding Jr.

Who can forgot Gooding’s rousing acceptance speech after winning Best Supporting Actor in 1996 for his role in Jerry MacGuire.  Fast forward almost 15 years later and poor Cuba can’t seem to catch a break.  Though he did have a minor role in 1997′s hit  As Good As It Gets, Gooding’s career since then has definitely taken a downturn. With roles in such flops as Snow Dogs, Norbit and Daddy Day Camp, I think the Academy should be screaming at Gooding ,”show us where your talent went!”

2. Mira Sirvino

In one of the Academy’s most amazing  upsets, Mira Sorvino beat out Joan Allen, Kathleen Quinlin , Mare Wingingham and Kate Winslet for her 1995 Best Supporting Oscar. Her annoying hooker with a heart of gold in Woody Allen’s Mighty Aphrodite was a well-written role that she added nothing to except a Jersey accent. While she did show some promise in Romi and Michelle’s High School Reunion, her career has been flat for the past 14 years as she has wallowed in TV movies and straight-to-DVD fare (a.k.a. post-Oscar purgatory).

3. Kevin Costner

The Holy Grail of Oscar flubs came in 1990 when Kevin Costner’s preachy, self righteous, overwritten loooong crapfest, Dances With Wolves stole the Oscar away from Martin Scorcese’s masterpiece Goodfellas (just what was the Academy thinking when they chose Costner as best director over Scorcese?!) Since winning, Costner has failed to act in or direct a single watchable movie (Waterworld, The Postman?!!…hellooooooo??!!).

4. Helen Hunt

Helen Hunt won for an uninspired performance in As Good As It Gets. Does anyone really think she held her own against Jack in any scene? Even against Greg Kinnear? No, sir, she did not. After her Oscar win she went on to appear in the over-manipulative Pay It Forward, was upstaged by a volleyball in Castaway and phoned in another nothing role in Bobby. Hunt did have a nice turn in What Women Want, but she hasn’t had a leading role in nearly ten years.  And just like Mira Sorvino, she beat out Kate Winslet. Say WHAT?!

5. Kim Basinger

Kim Basinger (the former Playmate and Bond Girl) finally won Oscar gold portraying the proverbial hooker with a heart of gold in L.A. Confidential.  So did Basinger build on her Oscar win and continue on her career upswing? Uh, nope.  Basinger went on to star in a series of chick flick flops like: I Dreamed of Africa, Bless the Child and The Mermaid Chair. Gee, I guess beng married to Alec Baldwin really did take a toll on her.

6. Roberto Benigni

In 1998, Roberto Benigni’s overly enthusiastic chair dancing victory was cute when he won Best Foreign film for Life is Beautiful. It was tired however, by the time he won Best Actor, beating Tom Hanks, Ed Norton, Ian McKellan and Nick Nolte.  Since then, he bombed in Pinnochio and in a re-release of Son of the Pink Panther (which tanked the first time it came out too). All told, the cutesy little Italian man has made two pictures since his 1997 Oscar win. I wonder if he still thinks life is beautiful…

7. Halle Berry

Back in 2001, Berry made history when she was the first African American woman to win the Best Actress Oscar for her role  in Monster’s Ball. Three years later however, Berry gallantly showed up at the Razzies  to accept her award for worst actress for her role in  Catwoman.  As of late,  Berry has been known more for the drama in her personal life than in her career after divorcing sex addict husband Eric Benet, having  a daughter with boyfriend Gabriel Aubry and then splitting up with him 5 years later.

8. Adrian Brody

Adrien who? Exactly. Brody won a Best Actor Oscar for 2002′s The Pianist, but since that time, King Kong has been the only blockbuster to his credit. Some of his more forgettable films include The Jacket, The Village, Hollywoodland, Manolete, The Brothers Bloom and this summer’s semi-hit Predators. Right now the only thing that seems really memorable about Brody is that spit swapfest he had with Halle Berry when he accepted his Oscar.

So what other actors do you guys think should give their Oscar back?

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  1. Herp Derp, 5 years ago Reply

    Any list like this stars with Cher.

  2. Tom Ronca, 5 years ago Reply

    Hey.. Leave well enough alone.. These are great actors.. Give them a break
    Just because they haven’t had follow up roles means absolutely nothing..

    These actors will eventually get another great role and you will se them again accepting
    another oscar in the future..
    Don’t be so near sited ..

    Tommy Ronca

  3. paypabak writer, 5 years ago Reply

    Great list! I’m thinking scenery-chewing by Daniel Day-Lewis is worth considering for this list. And how about Catherine Zeta-Jones?

  4. Tequilawill, 5 years ago Reply

    Um… Can anyone say Marisa Tomei… ? 1992 Best Supporting Actress for “My Cousin Vinny”

    • Melissa, 5 years ago Reply

      LOL! Those were literally my exact words when I read “who else should be on the list?” Great minds think alike, Will!

  5. scott, 5 years ago Reply

    The award is for one performance; it’s not a lifetime achievement award or a seal of approval that guarantees future quality. That said, the list does contain some real stinkers, starting with Dances With Wolves and Kevin Costner in general. You can add Paul Haggis to the list for the similarly overlong, overpreachy, overwritten Crash.

  6. Phil Brody, 5 years ago Reply

    Adrian Brody was aces in The Darjeeling Limited.

    • Joan, 4 years ago Reply

      All of my qesiutons settled-thanks!

  7. ForLoveOfFilm, 5 years ago Reply

    In 2000, Ellen Burstyn earned the Oscar for her searing portrial of a middle-aged woman surrendering to addiction in REQUIEM FOR A DREAM, and in the process, presents what may be the best performance ever given in the history of world cinema. The Academy choose to GIVE the statue to Julia Roberts, a fine actress who is never better or worse than the material.

    • scott, 5 years ago Reply

      Agreed. Burstyn is one of the great actors of modern American cinema. She had her heyday in the 70s, and won for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore in ’75. It’s not a valid argument that “it’s time for someone else to win.” Hell, Katherine Hepburn won 4 times, sometimes rightly so, often partly due to popularity, once as a sympathy Oscar. Burstyn can act cirles around most everyone else, compared to someone like Roberts, whose appeal is based on charm and looks (she got laughed at on Broadway, where one can’t do multiple takes to get it right). Roberts vs. Burstyn is the difference between stars vs. actors who excell at their craft. Evidence? Anyone who hasn’t been under a rock for the past 20 years can identify Roberts in a picture. Not Burstyn, she’s an actor’s actor.

  8. rich, 5 years ago Reply

    Who cares…these people achieved more then most people dream. And they are still doing what they love. Who cares if it doesn’t live up to your expectations after they acheived this reward for one of their films. If they just happened to win because they fit the role perfectly…awesome – better for us, the viewers.

    ..Who are you, again? I know who all these people are because of the successes and failures…that’s the way life is.

  9. Mo, 5 years ago Reply

    Why is what they did or didn’t do after their Oscar win anything of a factor? I think most of the movies in this story were pretty good and wouldn’t have been so if not for the actors. Go Cuba, you killed it in Jerry MacGuire!

  10. Y, 5 years ago Reply

    You forgot Gwyneth Paltrow. She beat out Cate Blanchett in a breathtaking, career-defining role as Elizabeth I (WTF???) for a boring, uninspired, insipid performance as a fictional love interest to an even more lamely performed William Shakespeare (aka Joseph Fiennes) in Shakespeare in Love. That year was an utter disaster at the Oscars.

  11. Melissa, 5 years ago Reply

    The ones that irk me most are the “make up” Oscars. Denzel wins for “Training Day”? Please! That should have been for “Malcolm X.” Whoopi Goldberg wins for “Ghost”? Are you kidding me? Did anyone from the academy SEE “The Color Purple”? Quit giving them awards for “body of work.” They’re meant to be for individual performances.

  12. G. Bethany Finzel, 5 years ago Reply

    You left off the WORST winner ever — Gwyneth Paltrow!
    Ah! It feels great to unburden myself from that after all these years!!
    Make the bitch give it BACK!

  13. Bob, 5 years ago Reply

    Absolutely Julia Roberts. Her oscar was bascially a consolation prize because the Academy seemed to want to justify her being the highest paid actress although not many people go and see her movies. It’s like they’re saying “She’s good, and here’s proof. One big farse starting with “Pretty Woman” where the movie poster wasn’t even her body. And it was this poster that really helped her become an “A” lister. She even had to have a body double in the sex scenes.

  14. Addison DeWitt, 5 years ago Reply

    Doesn’t pentultimate mean “next to last”? If Oscar is the “pentultimate”, then what is the ultimate. What am I missing? Limoge: you are a dunce. Get a dictionary.

  15. Bryce, 5 years ago Reply

    Just a correction: Kim Basinger was never a playmate, although she did pose nude in Playboy on more than one occasion.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with it…

  16. Ricky, 5 years ago Reply

    Whats funny is that Avatar was basically a clone of dances with wolves, just set on another planet, yet people claim that was great.

  17. Veronica, 5 years ago Reply

    I don’t disagree with the writer on content; however, he or she would probably be even more credible with correct spellings on names and titles. IMDB is your friend. I’m just saying.

  18. enemsee, 5 years ago Reply

    I finished watching Monsters Ball a few weeks ago and thought huh? Best Actress? Nice to know I’ve been vindicated.

  19. Rene, 5 years ago Reply

    THIS ARTICLE IS ABSURD! I think the Academy Awards in general are absurd. If you look at its history, MANY, MANY, MANY people and movies have won undeservedly. If you go back, it’s astonishing how many famous actors never won, or only won once (eg. Jimmy Stewart never won an Oscar for a film!!), and how many lame actors won awards for parts in movies that no one remembers and are now lost in time. The good movies are remembered, the rotten ones are forgotten. That’s the true test. The awards show is nice for the glitz and glam, but doesn’t really mean much. So, let these 8 actors have their awards because at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter. And you know what? At least they starred in great movies and got recognition for them!! Who cares that lightning only struck once? At least it struck at all. Don’t be jealous pr*cks.

  20. Jackie, 5 years ago Reply

    Fucking kidding me??? How about talentless and rich girl who can only play herself– Gweneth Paltro??? She only “won” b/c of her money, background and parents. What a shame– she should be number one of the list!

  21. FACTA non VERBA, 5 years ago Reply

    Who cares about any of the over paid over indulged self appointed Hollywood elite.

  22. P, 5 years ago Reply

    Angelina Jolie without a doubt. Tomb Raider? WTF?

  23. Elias, 5 years ago Reply

    Brody on the list? Come on, how truly unfair!…

  24. Debbie Jackson, 5 years ago Reply

    I think this is a mean-spirited list and it is probably hurtful as well. Each and every one of these Oscar winners deserved their Oscar for that role, for that movie, and for that year. Alot of times, winning an Oscar places so much more pressure on the winner to score another Oscar-winning role after taking home an Academy Award. But Oscar-winning roles, even Oscar-nominated roles, are so rare for an actor. So much has to come into alignment for them to win for that particular role for that film in that year.

    Can’t you just let their Oscar wins stand for what they are?

    Congratulations to all ten of these artists for winning an Oscar. Wow! An Oscar! That is so special and so impressive. I bow down to you and your historical achievement!!


  25. Arya, 5 years ago Reply

    Anglo-Saxon and Colonialism!
    Not based on talent!

  26. Nick, 5 years ago Reply

    Let me get this straight: so Oscars are only deserved based on future performance? It is THAT mentality alone that has singularly degraded what the Oscar used to stand for. “Let’s give it to the biggest star!… not the most worthy performance.”

    Hell let’s just call Van Gogh a second rate artist because he only ever sold one painting in his lifetime. Or James Dean a failure because, damn only three major motion pictures isn’t enough to qualify him as having any talent.

    The Oscars should be about the art, not the business.

    Let’s just count this article as one flop for Limoge (the writer). Have you even had your one major success, yet, Limoge?

  27. Frances, 5 years ago Reply

    who gives a fuck if kevins constners future films were shit he deserved that oscar dances with wolves is a masterpiece, as was Roberto Benigni life is beautiful, and avatar IS DANCES WITH WOLVES just set way in the future

  28. cbnight, 5 years ago Reply

    Reese Witherspoon (looks and acts nothing like June Carter Cash)
    Gwyneth Paltrow (plays herself everytime)
    Sandra Bullock (star not an actress)
    Julia Roberts (idiot)
    Jennifer Hudson (again playing herself)

  29. KrisKros, 5 years ago Reply

    A latin BOMBshell: lets no leave out Penelope Cruz, who’s performance in the Worst-Ever Woody Allen movie is nowhere near caliente, lo siento!

  30. MovieExpert, 4 years ago Reply

    MARISSA TOMEI ! Italian girl in Brooklyn wins for portraying Italian girl from Brooklyn. She’s awful and annoying in any film

  31. Movie fan, 4 years ago Reply

    Whoever wrote this needs to get a life DAMN!!! Even if they never make another movie again they were awarded by the industry and their peers for their performance in that one role! GET OVER IT!

  32. David, 4 years ago Reply

    Resse witherspoon should give her oscar back from Walk the line
    She always been a meh actress and the fact she beat Felicity huffman who put in the best performance of that year, is a crime personally. Plus she was supporting, not lead.

    Kate winslet for The Reader. Great actress. Just not so great in this movie. Plus, she wasn’t the lead, she was the supporting. Angelina Jolie deserves it for Changelin. Kate should of won it for Titanic,

  33. Marguio, 4 years ago Reply

    Kate Winslet deserves more than her win in The Reader, she should have won in Sense and Sensibility, Titanic, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Little Children. God, she is the best actress of her generation. Winslet and Meryll Streep deserves more than what they have (Oscars) now, nevertheless, they are the best among the best in this world of acting.

  34. Donncha O' Dea, 3 years ago Reply

    How you can put Helen Hunts performance and unless Danial Day Lewis was fantastic in Gangs of new york(not saying he wasn’t but haven’t seen it) then Adrien Broady deserved the win, and not have the biggest farce of oscar wins such as Sandra Bullock for The Blind side, far from a great acting performance or how Tom Hanks could accept the oscar for the AWEFUL Forest Gump when he beat Morgan Freeman for one of the absolute great acting performances in the all time classic The Shawshank Redemption I will never know, but yeah pick on a few people who got oscars for the one movie of theirs that made them big(admittedly don’t see what Halle Berry got the oscar for, very generous)… also some comment about Denzel not winning for Malcolm X, sorry but Al Pacino was Fantastic in Scent of a Woman, one of the great acting performances, that sadly beat out Denzel Washington that year, would have given him the oscar for Hurricane though

  35. Jackson, 3 years ago Reply

    So, wait, let me see if I understand this. Adrian Brody should give it back because he hasn’t done much since???? What does the rest of your career have to do with one performance in one movie? So, a future lack of career means your performance suddenly becomes retroactively not as good? Makes zero sense.

  36. Zombie Surfer, 3 years ago Reply

    You forgot the greatest Oscar snub of all time Star Wars IV – A New Hope not winning the Oscar for Best Picture in 1977, I never understood why people like Woody Allen movies,. I disagree everthing that was said about Kevin Costner. And Tom Hanks should of won the Oscar for Best Actor in Saving Private Ryan.

  37. Zombie Surfer, 3 years ago Reply

    Another Oscar snub was for Joesph Pilato as Cpt Rhodes in George Romero’s great 1985 classic Day of the Dead. Forrest Gump was a fantastic movie, its funny how the Shawshank fanboys cry about it being snubbed all the time. But it is a great movie, I wouldnt complain if it would of went either way. Allso another big snub was for Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

  38. Dan, 3 years ago Reply

    I disagree with several things on this list.

    Mira Sorvino – only one of her movies actually went straight to dvd. I guess by that logic Morgan Freeman should hand back his oscar since four or three of his movies have headed straight to DVD.

    Kevin Costner hasn’t directed a good movie since Dances with Wolves? Open range says hi.

    Helen Hunt had a leading role a few years back.

    Roberto Benigni’s Pinocchio was a big hit in Italy (he doesn’t care about America), and even before winning the Oscar he was known for taking his time on his movies. Also son of the Pink Panther was never re-released. Why they would even do that is beyond me.

  39. Jeff Rittenour, 3 years ago Reply

    Mira and Kim need to be taken off this list. If Pacino and hist “sorry we missed you before” PITTY Oscar for Scent of A Woman isn’t on this list – then Kim stays. She’s been quite good at times, has put in her time and is in fact an original actress.

    Mira Sorvino is one of the few DESERVING Oscars Ive ever seen. She’s fantastic in Mighty Aphrodite (as is Woody – the scene where they first meet is wonderful). Sure she didn’t do anything afterwards but honestly, she peaked. Plain and simple. Why waste herself in more acting roles…she did what some people still hadn’t done with lengthy careers. she’s got this, Mimic, Romy and Michelle and The Replacement Killers. Couple those 4 minor hits (that still get love to th is day) with an OSCAR for a Woody Allen film? Forget about it.

    Helen Hunt is almost int he same boat…leave her alone. She’s been here a long time. Anyone else remember watching Girls Just Wanna Have Fun growing up? She paid he dues and I loved everyone in that movie – so stuff it.

    Everyone else on the list YES. Cuba disgraced himself…Halle got an oscar for fucking plain and simple….her moving speech (for getting dicked) belonged to Angella Bassett for What’s love Got To Do With It – NOT Monster’s Blech.

    the others (although i like brody)…yeah take em away. Although I will add looking back now – Begnini should have done one more Pink Panther…it would have been miles better than Steve Martin’s shameful outings…

  40. Jeff Rittenour, 3 years ago Reply

    I’dd also add – one of these should be taken away and given to Gary Oldman for Dracula. IMO the biggest snub to me…

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