12 Gay Actors Who Should Have an Oscar By Now

It’s almost that time for the Academy Awards again. As an actor myself, I’ve always anticipated this night where I would sit in front of the TV and dream of the day I walk away with my gold Oscar statue (Yes, there’s still time). And I know many other queers who do the same.

But this year, especially with Lady Gaga being snubbed for her performance in much anticipated House of Gucci, many of the gays aren’t pleased. While there are so many deserving and talented actors and directors being nominated this year, the lack of diversity at the Academy Awards has been debated and talked about for years. And this year, we couldn’t help but notice that some of the most talented people in the entertainment industry are gay men (surprise, surprise!) who have yet to be win or even be nominated for Hollywood’s top prize. 

Tsk, tsk!…

BOOM! Well, here it is! Our list of some of the most talented guys in the industry who have yet to be nominated for an Oscar. Hey Academy, are you listening?! 

Robin de Jesús 
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The critics have been raving about Robin de Jesús and his performance in the critically acclaimed musical drama Tick, Tick… Boom!. So much so, that many were surprised at his Academy Award snub when they were announced last month. 

de Jesús also received rave reviews for his performance in the critically acclaimed The Boys in the Band. And, aside from film and TV, he has also received three Tony Award nominations. It seems he’s been giving some award-worthy performances lately, so hopefully his time is coming soon! 

Guillermo Díaz 
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Who doesn’t know Huck from Scandal? Ok, yes that was one of Guillermo’s biggest performance. But he had been giving some star-making performances, such as his starring role in the acclaimed queer comedy-drama Stonewall in 1995, and even in the poorly reviewed 1999 cult classic 200 Cigarettes.

Television is where he really made his mark, however he still hasn’t had any Academy Award or Emmy nominations. What’s the tea? 

Colman Domingo
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Colman Domingo has been giving critically acclaimed performances on stage for years, receiving a Tony Award nomination in 2011 for his work in the Broadway hit The Scottsboro Boys. Since 2012, he’s been making his mark in film, after his supporting role in Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln

His more recent roles in film and television, such as If Beale Street Could Talk, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Candyman, Euphoria and Fear the Walking Dead, have all been getting amazing reviews. He is now filming the upcoming Bayard Rustin biopic, Rustin, in which he will be portraying the queer civil rights icon. So, let’s hope the Academy takes some much-deserved notice this time around!

Victor Garber 

If you have never seen Victor Garber’s face in anything you’ve ever watched, I’m not sure that you even really exist. Honestly. Victor Garber has been around for a long time. He has been nominated for three Gemini Awards, four Tony Awards, and six Primetime Emmy Awards. He has also been nominated for three Screen Actors Guild Awards along with the cast of the critically acclaimed films Titanic, Milk, and Argo, winning for the latter.

His list of film credits is so long that we don’t even have space to list them here. He is probably most known to television audiences for his role as Jack Bristow in the hit drama Alias. However, at 72 years old, he has yet to be nominated for an Academy Award. Seriously, what is the Academy doing? He’s literally a Queer icon. Give the man a nomination! 

Neil Patrick Harris 
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Neil Patrick Harris started off as a young actor in the late 80s and 90s, playing the titular character in the ABC comedy-drama Doogie Howser, M.D., where he portrayed he teenage physician who balances a medical career with the challenges of teenage life. If it sounds like a lot, then it was – in a good way. 

As an adult, he has been known to television audiences for his roles in tons of television series and sitcoms, most notably the sitcom How I Met Your Mother, which earned him four Emmy nominations in its 9 season run. He is also known as the long time host of the Tony Awards, which earned him 5 Emmy Awards. He won a Tony Award himself in 2014 for his role as Hedwig in Hedwig and the Angry Inch on Broadway, and also received an Emmy Award for his guest starring role in Glee in 2010. 

Harris has had a long career. But, after 12 Emmy Award nominations (5 won), 4 Golden Globe nominations, 1 Grammy Award nomination, and 1 Tony Award win, he still hasn’t been given that role that will make him an Academy Award winner. Maybe it’s coming soon! 

Cheyenne Jackson
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Cheyenne Jackson is another one of those actors who has been serving us some great performances on television for over a decade… or two, guest starring on some of the most popular TV shows including Ugly Betty and Glee. But, for some reason, he hasn’t gotten that really big star-making film role yet. 

Before moving into television, Jackson had a successful theatre and Broadway career. After those numerous high profile guest spots, he has become a regular player in Ryan Murphy’s critically acclaimed anthology series American Horror Story. With all of these credits under his belt, we think he can handle a really meaty film role.     

Nathan Lane
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As another film veteran, we are truly shocked that Nathan Lane hasn’t won an Oscar yet. I mean, his performance in The Birdcage alone deserved AT LEAST a nomination. But alas, he was just a queer playing an extremely flamboyant gay character. Maybe if he were straight he would have been nominated for being “brave” and taking on such a “challenging” character.   

In a career spanning over 40 years, Lane has won 3 Tony Awards, 6 Drama Desk Awards, 2 Emmys and 1 Screen Actors Guild Award, but never an Oscar. Well, it’s about time!  

Ian McKellen
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And yet, we have another veteran, Sir Ian McKellen, who has never won an Oscar. Unlike a few of the others, Ian McKellen has at least been nominated for two Academy Awards, one for the critically acclaimed film Gods and Monsters and another for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. But, come on… You mean to tell me after a career spanning over seven decades, he hasn’t given a single performance worthy of taking home a gold Oscar statue. 

Yes, EVERYONE can’t win awards, but COME ON. This is Ian McKellen we’re talking about. I mean he hasn’t even won any BAFTA Awards yet from his home country of Great Britain. Oh, shame!

At least it’s obvious that McKellen is much more appreciated in the theatre. Over the course of his long career, he has won 1 Tony Award, 7 Olivier Awards, 1 Golden Globe and 2 Screen Actors Guild Awards. I think it’s time we’ve added an Academy Award to that list!

Wentworth Miller 

The American-British actor Wentworth Miller became a household name with his breakthrough role in the crime/prison drama Prison Break in the early 2000s. With recurring roles in numerous DC series, including The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Superhero Fight Club, Miller has secured himself as a bonafide action star. 

But he has also proven, on Prison Break especially, that he has the chops it takes to carry a film and deliver an Academy Award-deserving performance. So, hopefully he gets the chance to.

Billy Porter 
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Over the past 4 years, Billy Porter has become one of the most influential people in the LGBTQ+ community. His starring role as the vivacious house ball Emcee Pray Tell in the groundbreaking hit series Pose has made him a superstar and a history-maker as the first gay Black man to win a Primetime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, or any other acting category.

Before making his mark in television, Porter made a huge mark in the theatre, winning the 2013 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as Lola in Kinky Boots. He often credits the role with “cracking open” his feminine side, and helping him confront toxic masculinity – which he has taken even further with his wild and flamboyant red carpet outfits. Mr. Porter is a living legend, so hopefully those film roles are coming and he can add an Oscar to his mantlepiece!   

Zachary Quinto 
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Zacahry Quinto is one of those actors who consistently gives amazing performances with tons of credits under his belt, but manages to stay out of the public eye enough that he isn’t necessarily a household name. He is known mostly to film and TV audiences for his roles as Sylar from the Sci-Fi/Drama series Heroes, and as Spock in the most recent Star Trek films. 

However, it was his performances as Dr. Oliver Thredson in American Horror Story: Asylum, for which he received an Emmy nomination, and his role as Harold in The Boys in the Band that have made audiences REALLY take notice of his great acting chops. So, it seems like only a matter of time before he gets that role that will lead him straight down the path to an Oscar. 

BD Wong 
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Known mostly to television audiences for his 20-year run on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Dr. Geroge Huang and his role as Whiterose/Minister Zhi Zhang in the hit show Mr. Robot (for which he was nominated for an Emmy), BD Wong has the versatility and range it would take to deliver an Academy-Award nominated performance. 

But, he has not received a film opportunity yet that has “Oscar” written all over it. Nevertheless, he is definitely a history-maker – In 1988, he made history after winning a Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a play for his performance in M. Butterfly, becoming the only actor in Broadway History to receive a Tony, a Drama Desk Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Clarence Derwent Award, and a Theatre World Award for the same role. Let’s add an Academy Award to the list, shall we? 

Kyle Jackson

Kyle Jackson (He/Him) is Senior Staff Writer at Gray Jones Media, and additionally works as a writer, editor and theatre artist/actor. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, he studied at Dillard University, received a BA in Theatre from Morgan State University, an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University, and completed the British American Drama Academy’s Midsummer in Oxford Programme in 2017. Having lived in Baltimore, the Washington, DC area, Philadelphia and New York City, he now resides and works in London, United Kingdom.