He is one of, if not the most, talented actor of his generation, and yet he has never won an Oscar. We are of course talking about Leonardo DiCaprio, the 41-year-old American star of films such as Titanic, The Great Gatsby and Django Unchained.
Five times in his career he has been nominated for the top film acting gong, only to walk away empty handed. But for his sixth nomination, he is now favourite to win Best Actor for his role in The Revenant.
Starting his career in 1989, DiCaprio has now 37 actor credits on IMDB, plus 17 as a producer and two as a writer. He has been nominated 161 times in the different awards ceremonies around the world. He won 44 times, including three Golden Globes, one Bafta, one Screen Actors Guild Award, one People's Choice Award and two Critics' Choice Awards.
His first nomination for the Oscars was in 1994 for his role as Arnie in the drama What's Eating Gilbert Grape. Eleven years later, in 2005, he was nominated for The Aviator for his portrayal of Howard Hughes. In 2007, the nomination was for Blood Diamond. And finally in 2014, Leo was nominated twice for the movie The Wolf of Wall Street, for best actor and best picture (producer). He is nominated this year for his role as fur trapper Hugh Glass in The Revenant.
Leonardo being snubbed by the Oscars has been made famous by a lot of memes and recurrent jokes on the web. According to the website Know Your Memes, the earliest known media mention of DiCaprio's lack of Oscars came from an article published on E! Online on 21 February, 2011 titled Do Oscar Voters Really Hate Leonardo DiCaprio? But it is definitely after his loss as Jordan Belfort in the movie The Wolf of Wall Street that people started to wonder what was wrong with the Academy, and tumblr posts about his misfortune started to be created.
DiCaprio is not the only actor to have been snubbed by the Oscars. The likes of Johnny Depp, Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt and Richard Burton have also never been honoured with the prestigious award. Al Pacino had to wait until he was 52 and his seventh nomination (Scent of A Woman) to finally win, a syndrome that Oscarologists call the 'Slap the Stud' Syndrome, according to this article by the Los Angeles Times.
"The theory goes that many academy voters are geezer guys who love the younger fillies but resent the handsome bucks. Their message to these Hollywood heartthrobs: "You already have it all – fame, fortune, and females aplenty. So, sorry pal, no Oscar for you, just yet."
The only difference with DiCaprio is that none of the others got the memes, the tumblr posts and the support of the web. This could play a big role in Leo's likely win on 28 February against Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Michael Fassbender and Eddie Redmayne. Critics agree that The Revenant is not DiCaprio's best performance but most have observed that the wait has gone on for too long. So to the Academy, let us all say 'Give this man his damn Oscar'.