50 Ads Starring Oscar Winners

A few great spots, some amusing ones, and some real duds

There's a lingering perception that actors who do commercials are either desperate or hacks. In fact, neither is necessarily true. Looking back at all the Academy Award winners since 1970—the cream of the crop in Hollywood—an outright majority have filmed ads at some point in their careers. Some stopped when their careers solidified—others continued to do commercial work even after reaching the pinnacle of their industry. We've collected 50 such ads starring Oscar winners, ranging from the '60s (Dustin Hoffman for Volkswagen) to the present day (Timothy Hutton and Cuba Gooding Jr. both for Groupon). There are a handful of great spots here, some amusing ones and more than a few duds. You'll notice a bunch from Europe and Japan, done by actors hoping to keep their reputations unsullied in America. And if you watch only one of these 50 ads, make it the Russell Crowe video for Avondale College. Words cannot convey its awesomeness.

  1. F. Murray Abraham

    F. Murray Abraham'

    Advertiser: Listerine

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actor, 1984, for Amadeus

  2. Kim Basinger

    Kim Basinger'

    Advertiser: Peugot

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actress, 1997, for L.A. Confidential

  3. Kathy Bates

    Kathy Bates'

    Advertiser: DirecTV

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actress, 1990, for Misery

  4. Halle Berry

    Halle Berry'

    Advertiser: Revlon

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actress, 2001, for Monster's Ball

  5. Juliette Binoche

    Juliette Binoche'

    Advertiser: Lancôme Poême

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actress, 1996, for The English Patient

  6. Cate Blanchett

    Cate Blanchett'

    Advertiser: Tim Tams

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actress, 2004, for The Aviator

  7. Marlon Brando

    Marlon Brando'

    Voiceover for Pepsi

    Click to view. Oscars: Best actor, 1954, for On the Waterfront; Best actor, 1972, for The Godfather

  8. Jeff Bridges

    Jeff Bridges'

    Voiceover for Hyundai

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actor, 2009, for Crazy Heart

  9. Adrien Brody

    Adrien Brody'

    Advertiser: Stella Artois

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actor, 2002, for The Pianist

  10. Nicolas Cage

    Nicolas Cage'

    Advertiser: Sankyo Pachinko (Japan)

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actor, 1995, for Leaving Las Vegas

  1. Cher

    Cher'

    Advertiser: Chicago Health & Raquetball Club

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actress, 1987, for Moonstruck

  2. George Clooney

    George Clooney'

    Advertiser: Nespresso

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actor, 2005, for Syriana

  3. Jennifer Connelly

    Jennifer Connelly'

    Advertiser: Lux (Japan)

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actress, 2001, for A Beautiful Mind

  4. Sean Connery

    Sean Connery'

    Advertiser: Suntory Crest (Japan)

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actor, 1987, for The Untouchables

  5. Russell Crowe

    Russell Crowe'

    Advertiser: Avondale College

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actor, 2000, for Gladiator

  6. Penelope Cruz

    Penelope Cruz'

    Advertiser: Loréal

    Click to view. Oscar: Best supporting actress, 2008, for Vicky Cristina Barcelona

  7. Robert De Niro

    Robert De Niro'

    Advertiser: American Express

    Click to view. Oscars: Best supporting actor, 1974, for The Godfather Part II; Best actor, 1980, for Raging Bull

  8. Richard Dreyfuss

    Richard Dreyfuss'

    Advertiser: American Motors

    Click to view. Oscar: Best actor, 1977, for The Goodbye Girl

  9. Sally Field

    Sally Field'

    Advertiser: Boniva

    Click to view. Oscars: Best actress, 1979, for Norma Raw; Best actress, 1984, for Places in the Heart

  10. Jane Fonda

    Jane Fonda'

    Advertiser: L'Oréal

    Click to view. Oscars: Best actress, 1971, for Klute; Best actress, 1978, for Coming Home

  1. Jodie Foster

    Jodie Foster'

    Girl in McDonald's ad

    Click to view. Oscars: Best actress, 1988, for The Accused; Best actress, 1991, for The Silence of the Lambs

  2. Morgan Freeman