There are some movie performances which, over the course have time, have become iconic, but at the time, the actor was never even nominated for an Oscar, much less won it. Some of my own examples:
John Goodman in The Big Lebowski. Walter owns that movie. The more times I see that movie, the more I appreciate Goodman’s performance in it and the character in general. One of the most memorable comic performances of the last 20 years, but he wasn’t even nominated.
Fred Willard in Best in Show. Piss your pants funny, largely ad libbed and he wasn’t even nominated.
Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused. Whatever you think of him, he absolutely nailed this performance. Everybody knew this guy in high school, but he wasn’t even nominated.
Who else should be on the list?