Hello there Readers!
This week, I thought I’d do something a little different. After five-plus years covering movies on the National Film Registry, there are still a handful of great actors/movie stars that I’m amazed don’t have a movie on the list. So I compiled my own list of the most egregiously overlooked, ranked from surprising to baffling. I know I should call this something arbitrary like “10 Actors You’ll Never Guess Are Missing from the National Film Registry, #8 Will Make Your Brain Explode!” but whatever, here’s my attempt at a niche internet listicle.
#10) Goldie Hawn Despite being easily the biggest star to come out of “Laugh-In”, Goldie Hawn has been surpassed for NFR consideration by her former co-stars Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, and Jo Anne Worley, to name just a few. Look that up in your Funk and Wagnalls!
FYC: Cactus Flower (1969), Shampoo (1975), Private Benjamin (1980), Death Becomes Her (1992)
Bonus FYC: Hawn’s longtime partner Kurt Russell is technically in the NFR thanks to an uncredited cameo in “Forrest Gump“, but has plenty of movies that should also be considered. We’ll start with “The Thing” and “Big Trouble in Little China”.
#9) Michael Douglas Okay, this one is on a technicality: Douglas is represented on the NFR, but only as a co-producer of “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” While Douglas the producer is obviously worthy of recognition, we want to see Douglas the movie star! Heck, if it weren’t for his long tenure as a romantic leading man, I would have to name my Hollywood age-gap scale after the 699 other viable candidates.
FYC: The China Syndrome (1979), Romancing the Stone (1984), Wall Street (1987), The American President (1995)
#8) Michael Keaton That’s right, the man who brought Batman back to the silver screen still hasn’t had any of his films anointed by the NFR. Shoutout to his ineligible-as-of-this-writing work in back-to-back Best Picture winners “Birdman” (2014) and “Spotlight” (2015).
FYC: Beetlejuice (1988), Batman (1989), Jackie Brown (1997)
#7) Sean Connery Okay, this one’s a bit tricky. Because Connery’s James Bond films were strictly British productions, his most iconic movies are not NFR eligible. Still, Connery had quite the career after his time as 007, and surely there’s room for him somewhere on the list.
FYC: The Man Who Would Be King (1975), The Untouchables (1987), The Hunt for Red October (1990)
#6) Sandra Bullock One of our last movie stars, Sandra Bullock goes from action-movies to rom-coms to Oscar bait with no hesitation, and has recently proved that she can still bring audiences to the theaters. Shout out to 2013’s “Gravity”, which won’t be NFR eligible until next year.
FYC: Speed (1994), While You Were Sleeping (1995), Miss Congeniality (2000)
#5) Will Smith Setting aside any obvious recent controversies, Will Smith is one of the biggest movie stars on the planet, and his filmography is rich with blockbusters that have endured over the years. And that’s all I’m gonna say about him at this present moment in time.
FYC: Bad Boys (1995), Independence Day (1996), Men in Black (1997)
#4) Jim Carrey Now that he’s seriously considering retirement, isn’t it time we starting appreciating the filmography Jim Carrey has left us? While I’m not too sure about his early breakout hits making the NFR (“Ace Ventura” in particular has not aged well), Carrey has a lot of films that should be considered for the list.
FYC: The Mask (1994), Liar Liar (1997), The Truman Show (1998), Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
#3) Julia Roberts Much like Sandra Bullock, Julia Roberts is one of our rare bonafide movie stars, earning respect in a multitude of genres and maintaining her A-list status the whole time. Also like Bullock, she doesn’t have a movie on the NFR.
FYC: Steel Magnolias (1989), Pretty Woman (1990), Erin Brockovich (2000)
#2) Glenn Close Oh come on, hasn’t Glenn Close been through enough already? It’s bad enough the Oscars have passed her over eight different times, but no NFR recognition to boot? She’s not going to be ignored, Dan.
FYC: The Big Chill (1983), The Natural (1984), Fatal Attraction (1987)
#1) It’s a Tie: Jane Fonda & Robin Williams Longtime readers may recall my previous write-ups about both Ms. Fonda and Mr. Williams not being on the National Film Registry. Well, here we are a year later, and they’re still not on the list! While Robin Williams was recently inducted into the NRR (thank Marc Maron), his movies are still waiting to be recognized. And Jane Fonda’s absence is the most conspicuous; she’s Hollywood royalty for crying out loud! I will keep bringing this up until conditions improve.
FYC: Read the write-ups.
But it doesn’t always have to be like this. You, yes YOU, can submit all of these stars for NFR consideration. Check out this page on the NFR website and let your voice be heard! (If you’re reading this in 2022, the deadline for NFR submissions is August 15th, a bit earlier than usual).
Happy Viewing and Happy Nominating,