Promising Oscar-Bound Actors

Some have already been nominated. No particular order.
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1.
Jeremy Renner
Jeremy Lee Renner was born in Modesto, California, the son of Valerie (Tague) and Lee Renner, who managed a bowling alley. After a tumultuous yet happy childhood with his four younger siblings, Renner graduated from Beyer High School and attended Modesto Junior College. He explored several areas of study...
“ Nominated for Hurt Locker and The Town. One of my favorites right now... ” - filmfan4040
 
2.
Ryan Gosling
Actor, Drive
Canadian actor Ryan Gosling is the first person born in the 1980s to have been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar (for Half Nelson). He was born Ryan Thomas Gosling on November 12, 1980, in London, Ontario, Canada. He is the son of Donna (Wilson), a secretary, and Thomas Ray Gosling, a traveling salesman...
“ On the right track. Good role choices. Nominated for Half Nelson. ” - filmfan4040
 
3.
Casey Affleck
An accomplished and striking performer, Academy Award® winner Casey Affleck has established himself as a powerful leading man with performances in multiple upcoming projects. Caleb Casey McGuire Affleck-Boldt was born in Falmouth, Massachusetts. His mother, Chris Anne (née Boldt), is a school teacher...
“ nominated for The Assassination of Jesse James... you know the rest. ” - filmfan4040
 
4.
Ben Foster
Ben Foster was born October 29, 1980 in Boston, Massachusetts, to Gillian Kirwan and Steven Foster, restaurant owners. His younger brother is actor Jon Foster. His paternal grandparents were from Russian Jewish families that immigrated to Massachusetts (his grandfather became a prominent judge in Boston), while his mother's family is from Maryland...
“ Although I personally feel he needs to start making better choices for roles. Not that all have been bad I'm just saying... ” - filmfan4040
 
5.
Jeffrey Wright
Quite possibly the most underrated and underexposed actor of his caliber and generation, Jeffrey Wright's undeniable talent and ability to successfully bring to life any role he undertakes is on a par with the most praised and revered A-list actors in the business. Born and raised in Washington DC, Wright graduated from the prestigious Amherst college in 1987...
“ Come'ooooooonnnn! Not even nominated. Whaaaaaat!??!?? ” - filmfan4040
 
6.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Actor, Inception
Joseph Leonard Gordon-Levitt was born February 17, 1981 in Los Angeles, California, to Jane Gordon and Dennis Levitt. Joseph was raised in a Jewish family with his late older brother, Dan Gordon-Levitt, who passed away in October 2010. His parents worked for the Pacifica Radio station KPFK-FM and his maternal grandfather...
“ He's still young. Got a long way to go but I think he can pull it off. ” - filmfan4040
 
7.
Ellen Page
Actress, Inception
Ellen Philpotts-Page was born on February 21, 1987, in Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Martha Philpotts, a teacher, and Dennis Page, a graphic designer. Page wanted to start acting at an early age and attended the Neptune Theater School. She began her career at the age of 10 on the award-winning television series Pit Pony...
“ I have a crush. What can I say... oh and Nominated for... Juno? ” - filmfan4040
 
8.
Johnny Depp
Johnny Depp is perhaps one of the most versatile actors of his day and age in Hollywood. He was born John Christopher Depp II in Owensboro, Kentucky, on June 9, 1963, to Betty Sue (Wells), who worked as a waitress, and John Christopher Depp, a civil engineer. Depp was raised in Florida. He dropped out of school when he was 15...
“ He gets nominated on and off every year. Eventually they will just give it to him. ” - filmfan4040
 
9.
“ I don't know, I see good things coming out of this guy. ” - filmfan4040
 
10.
Matthew Goode
Matthew William Goode (born 3 April 1978) is an English actor. His films include Chasing Liberty (2004), Match Point (2005), Imagine Me and You (2006), Brideshead Revisited (2008), Watchmen (2009), A Single Man (2009), Leap Year (2010), Stoker (2013) and The Imitation Game (2014). Goode also starred...
“ Yep. ” - filmfan4040
 
11.
Michelle Williams
A small-town girl born and raised in rural Kalispell, Montana, Michelle Ingrid Williams is the daughter of Carla Ingrid (Swenson), a homemaker, and Larry Richard Williams, a commodity trader and author. Her ancestry is Norwegian, as well as German, British Isles, and other Scandinavian. She was first known as bad girl Jen Lindley in the television series Dawson's Creek...
“ Nominated for Brokeback and Blue Valentine. Its just a matter of time. ” - filmfan4040
 
12.
Zoe Saldana
Actress, Avatar
Zoe Saldana was born on June 19, 1978 in Passaic, New Jersey, to Asalia Nazario and Aridio Saldaña. Her father was Dominican and her mother is Puerto Rican. She was raised in Queens, New York. When she was 10 years old, she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic where they would live for the next seven years...
“ She's Good. Just needs the right role. ” - filmfan4040
 
13.
Mark Ruffalo
Mark Ruffalo was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, to Marie Rose (Hebert), a stylist and hairdresser, and Frank Lawrence Ruffalo, a construction painter. His father's ancestry is Italian, and his mother is of half French-Canadian and half Italian descent. Mark moved with his family to Virginia Beach, Virginia...
“ One day Mark. One day. Nominated for The Kids Are All Right. ” - filmfan4040
 
14.
Anthony Mackie
Anthony Mackie is an American actor. He was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Martha (Gordon) and Willie Mackie, Sr., who owned a business, Mackie Roofing. Anthony has been featured in feature films, television series and Broadway and Off-Broadway plays, including Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Drowning Crow...
“ He's starting to grow on me as an actor. I think in time he will only get better roles. ” - filmfan4040
 
15.
Amy Adams
Actress, Arrival
Amy Lou Adams was born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy, to American parents, Kathryn (Hicken) and Richard Kent Adams, a U.S. serviceman who was stationed at Caserma Ederle in Italy at the time. She was raised in a Mormon family of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado, and has English, as well as smaller amounts of Danish, Swiss-German, and Norwegian, ancestry...
 
16.
Mark Webber
Actor Mark Webber was raised by his single mother, Cheri Lynn Honkala, in the slums of North Philadelphia, where they spent a great deal of time homeless - living in cars and abandoned buildings, and struggling to survive during the harsh winters. Mark and his mother were then the subject of a major...
“ He's done some good stuff and has talent. Plus his upcoming untitled project sounds promising. Who Knows. ” - filmfan4040
 
17.
Brad Pitt
An actor and producer known as much for his versatility as he is for his handsome face, Golden Globe-winner Brad Pitt's most widely recognized role may be Tyler Durden in Fight Club. However, his portrayals of Billy Beane in Moneyball, and Rusty Ryan in the remake of Ocean's Eleven and its sequels, also loom large in his filmography...
“ Nominated for Benjamin Button and 12 Monkeys. People give him a hard time but he has talent. I personally loved him in Snatch. One of my favorite performances of his actually. ” - filmfan4040
 
18.
Jennifer Lawrence
The highest-paid and most powerful actress in the world, with her films grossing over $5.5 billion worldwide, Jennifer Lawrence is often cited as the most successful actor of her generation. Lawrence was born Jennifer Shrader Lawrence on August 15, 1990 in Louisville, Kentucky, to Karen (Koch), who manages a children's camp...
“ Nominated for Winter's Bone. She's purty. ” - filmfan4040
 
19.
Sam Rockwell
Actor, Moon
Sam Rockwell was born on November 5, 1968, in San Mateo, California, the child of two actors, Pete Rockwell and Penny Hess. The family moved to New York when he was two years old, living first in the Bronx and later in Manhattan. When Sam was five years old, his parents split up, at which point he and his father moved to San Francisco...
“ That little gold man is just waiting for Sam to pick him up one day. ” - filmfan4040
 
20.
Carey Mulligan
Actress, Drive
Carey Mulligan is a British actress, born May 28, 1985, in Westminster, London, England, to Nano (Booth), a university lecturer, and Stephen Mulligan, a hotel manager. Her father is of Irish descent and her mother is Welsh, originally from Llandeilo. Her first major appearance was playing Kitty Bennet in Pride & Prejudice alongside Keira Knightley...
“ I saw her in Never Let Me Go and then in Wall Street: The Money Never Sleeps and thought she had that sort of tragically beautiful look about her. Nominated for An Education. ” - filmfan4040
 
21.
Emile Hirsch
Emile Davenport Hirsch was born in Palms, California, to Margaret Esther (Davenport), a teacher and visual artist, and David M. Hirsch, an entrepreneur and producer. He grew up in Los Angeles and Santa Fe, New Mexico, and having been introduced to acting while still at school, he got his first acting job on TV at the age of 11 in an episode of Kindred: The Embraced...
“ Although I don't always like him I can definitely see an award happening somewhere down the line. ” - filmfan4040
 
22.
Chiwetel Ejiofor
English actor Chiwetel Ejiofor is renowned for his portrayal of Solomon Northup in 12 Years a Slave, for which he received Academy Award and Golden Globe Award nominations, along with the BAFTA Award for Best Actor. He is also known for playing Okwe in Dirty Pretty Things, the Operative in Serenity...
“ I see nominations in his future. ” - filmfan4040
 
23.
Jake Gyllenhaal
Jacob Benjamin Gyllenhaal was born in Los Angeles, California, to producer/screenwriter Naomi Foner (née Achs) and director Stephen Gyllenhaal. He is the brother of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal, who played his sister in Donnie Darko. His godmother is actress Jamie Lee Curtis. His mother is from a Jewish family, and his father's ancestry includes Swedish, English and Swiss-German...
“ Set to star in some pretty interesting sounding movies. Maybe... He's sort of a toss-up. ” - filmfan4040
 
24.
Leonardo DiCaprio
Actor, Inception
Few actors in the world have had a career quite as diverse as Leonardo DiCaprio's. DiCaprio has gone from relatively humble beginnings, as a supporting cast member of the sitcom Growing Pains and low budget horror movies, such as Critters 3, to a major teenage heartthrob in the 1990s, as the hunky lead actor in movies such as Romeo + Juliet and Titanic...
“ Had to put my boy Leo. He has to get it eventually. Was Nominated for Aviator, Gilbert Grape and Blood Diamond. As long as he keeps picking interesting parts he's a shoe-in. ” - filmfan4040
 
25.
James Franco
Actor, 127 Hours
Known for his breakthrough starring role on Freaks and Geeks, James Franco was born in Palo Alto, California on April 19, 1978. His mother, Betsy Franco, is Jewish, and his father, Douglas Eugene "Doug" Franco, was of Portuguese and Swedish descent, and ran a Silicon Valley business. James's mother, a writer, has occasionally acted...
“ Okay, now hear me out. Lately he's been doing some good but mostly *beep* movies and comedies at that. But lets not forget, 1) He was pretty damn good in that James Dean movie and Sonny and 127 Hours. and 2) This is a list of potential future winners. If he buckled down, stopped doing comedies (although I thought he was funny in Pineapple Express) and focus on choosing some good roles... well I think he has potential. Plus I couldn't think of anyone else who hasn't won that I like. lol. ” - filmfan4040