Top 5: Best Working Actors Never Nominated for an Oscar

Last year I wrote a piece about the biggest Oscar snubs of the last ten years, and for this year I thought I'd take a different path in my reaction to this year's nominations. Looking back at the Academy's history, there have been a lot of actors that have never even been nominated for an Oscar. As a matter of fact, the list of never nominated actors would make one hell of an ensemble film. Since there were close to twenty that could have easily made the cut, this could have gone a lot of different ways, and I've decided to limit it just to living and working actors, as that would have only made it harder to narrow down had I included the deceased. Here's my current top five, which could definitely change over the course of the next few days or years, along with fifteen others that didn't make the cut.
I've included the role I think each of my top five actors should have been nominated for, and who they could have bumped out of the list of nominees for that year. 
Honorable Mention, aka Just Missed the Cut (in alphabetical order, with their most Oscar-worthy performance in parentheses)
Kevin Bacon (Mystic River), Ellen Barkin (Sea of Love), Steve Buscemi (Fargo), Jim Carrey (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), Michael Keaton (Clean & Sober), Val Kilmer (The Doors), Jennifer Jason Leigh (Georgia), Steve Martin (All of Me), Malcolm McDowell (A Clockwork Orange), Ewan McGregor (The Impossible), Alan Rickman (Sense & Sensibility), Meg Ryan (When a Man Loves a Woman), Martin Sheen (Apocalypse Now), Donald Sutherland (M*A*S*H*), Robin Wright (State of Grace).
5. John Goodman
38th AFI Life Achievement Award Honoring Mike Nichols - Arrivals
Though he's been recognized for his work on the small screen, John Goodman has never been nominated for an Oscar, despite the fact that he's been performing in critically acclaimed films since the early 1980s, including having roles in the last two Best Picture winners The Artist and Argo. Goodman is reliably good in everything he does, but in particular when he works with the Coen Brothers, who didn't really become Academy darlings themselves until 2007's No Country for Old Men. Early buzz this year indicated that he might be recognized for his supporting role in Inside Llewyn Davis, but his role was likely too small, and the Academy clearly had no love for that brilliant film. 
Biggest Snub: Best Supporting Actor, 1998, The Big Lebowski
He Should Have Replaced: Pretty much all of them, but I'll go with Geoffrey Rush in Shakespeare in Love
4. John Turturro
Another Coen Brothers regular who has flirted with Oscar before, but never been nominated, is John Turturro. An actor that marches to the decidedly off-beat of his own drum, Turturro has carved out a career playing oddball characters. You kids out there who only know him from his admittedly awful performances in Michael Bay's Transformers movies are missing out on some fantastic performances from him in films as diverse as Cradle Will RockMiller's Crossing and Do the Right Thing. His next film, Fading Gigolo, looks to continue his trend of strange films, but something tells me he might get recognized sooner rather than later.
Biggest Snub: Best Actor, 1991, Barton Fink
He Should Have Replaced: Nick Nolte in The Prince of Tides or Robin Williams in The Fisher King
3. Jeff Daniels
Jeff Daniels
The very definition of a journeyman actor, Jeff Daniels has always been a solid character actor who is sadly not talked about very often as one of the best working actors. Thankfully his role on Aaron Sorkin's The Newsroom changed people's perceptions of him dramatically, but he's been doing reliably good work since he first captured audience's attentions in the Best Picture winner Terms of Endearment in 1983. Sadly his best performance of all, as a bitter and calculating divorced father in 2005's The Squid and the Whale, which truly seemed like his best shot at a nomination, was completely ignored by the Academy. 
Biggest Snub: Best Actor, 2005, The Squid and the Whale
He Should Have ReplacedTerrence Howard in Hustle & Flow
2. Mia Farrow
This one shocked me when I found it out, not only because she's been so good for so long, but because she spent the better part of the 80s and early 90s acting in the films of her former lover Woody Allen, and he has a knack for scoring serious hardware for actresses in his films. Mia Farrow could have been nominated for any of those films, most especially The Purple Rose of Cairo (in which she co-starred with fellow snub-ee Jeff Daniels) or Hannah and Her Sisters. Her best performance by far though was her star making turn in Roman Polanski's thriller Rosemary's Baby, for which co-star Ruth Gordon won Supporting Actress, and the fact that she acts so rarely these days leads me to believe she may never be nominated. 
Biggest Snub: Best Actress, 1968, Rosemary's Baby
She Should Have Replaced: Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl

1. Sam Rockwell
Sam Rockwell
It should surprise no one that my favorite actor tops this list, particularly since he somewhat inspired its creation. Sam Rockwell is one of the most versatile actors that has ever lived, and the number of films for which he could have been recognized is staggeringly depressing. He could have scored Supporting Actor noms for his work in The Green MileFrost/Nixon, this year's The Way, Way Back or last year's Seven Psychopaths, and was most assuredly robbed of nominations for his lead roles in Confessions of a Dangerous MindMoon and Snow Angels. I'm sure he'll get recognized eventually, and I have no doubt it will be for high caliber work, it's just a shame that the Academy is truly late to the party on this tremendous actor. 
Biggest Snub: Best Actor, 2002, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind 
He Should Have Replaced: Michael Caine in The Quiet American
[Images via 123456]