21 People Who Are This Close to an EGOT – (E)mmy, (G)rammy, (O)scar, (T)ony

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21 People Who Are This Close to an EGOT
By Joyce Eng, TV GUIDE Published 10:00 pm, Tuesday, June 20, 2017


John Legend and Bette Midler did what few before have done at the Tony Awards this year. Their Tony wins — Legend as a producer of Best Revival of a Play winner Jitney and Midler for Best Actress in a Musical for Hello, Dolly! — put them one award away from the elusive EGOT. That — in case you don’t know, or have never watched 30 Rock — is an acronym for “Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.”

Only 12 people have accomplished the feat, most recently songwriter Robert Lopez, who at 39 became the youngest and fastest to complete it (10 years) when he won an Oscar for co-writing Frozen‘s “Let It Go” in 2014.

There are 53 living people who are three-quarters of the way to joining the elite club. Not all of them will get there. Some don’t care (Andrew Lloyd Webber is unlikely to get into TV just to snag that Emmy), some are no longer working (98-year-old composer Sid Ramin, who’s missing a Tony, has been retired for decades), and some just won’t be that lucky. So who’s likely to complete their set soon?

Here are 21 of the most likely suspects:

John Legend

Won: 10 Grammys (most recent 2016), one Oscar (Best Original Song for “Glory” from Selma, 2015), one Tony (Best Revival of a Play for Jitney, 2017)

Needs: Emmy

How he can get it: Legend can do it this year, but it’s a longshot. He’s an executive producer on drama series contender Underground and was submitted in drama guest actor for his turn on the show as Frederick Douglass. His original song for the series, “In America,” is also in the running. (Nominations are announced Thursday, July 13.) Of the three, his best chance is for the song (music nominees are determined via separate paneling), but if it doesn’t happen this year, Legend has diversified his portfolio enough now — he’s a Tony-winning producer! — that he won’t have to just rely on writing tunes to EGOT. Hell, just host an episode of Saturday Night Live, and he could become a living legend.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Won: Three Tonys (most recent 2016), two Grammys (most recent 2016), one Emmy (Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics for “Bigger!” from the 67th Tony Awards, 2014)

Needs: Oscar

How he can get it: The Hamilton mastermind almost did it at the Oscars in February for writing “How Far I’ll Go” from Moana, but he couldn’t take down La La Land‘s “City of Stars” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. You can bet the next movie tune he pens — maybe for Mary Poppins Returns? — will be a heavy favorite.

Fun fact: Pasek and Paul, who just won a Tony for Dear Evan Hansen, could win an Emmy for “Running Home to You” from The Flash musical and then will — yes, will — win a Grammy for Dear Evan Hansen next year, which would make them the first EGOTers to win all four awards in a row. That’s what my pals in tennis call a non-calendar year Grand Slam. What would this be called? The Pasek and Paul Slam? Doesn’t have the same ring as the Serena Slam. We have time to come up with something.

Kate Winslet

One Grammy (Best Spoken Word Album for Children for Listen to the Storyteller, 2000), one Oscar (Best Actress for The Reader, 2009), one Emmy (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Mildred Pierce, 2011)

Needs: Tony

How she can get it: It certainly feels like Winslet should’ve been on Broadway already, but nope. In fact, she’s never done theater because she wants to be home to tuck her kids in at night. But her son Joe who is eager for her to complete her EGOT. “So since he has learnt about this EGOT thing, he’s like, ‘Mum, you’ve gotta do it,” she told Reuters last year. C’mon, Kate, do it for the kids.

Jessica Lange

Won: Two Oscars (most recent 1995), three Emmys (most recent 2014), one Tony (Best Actress in a Play for Long Day’s Journey into Night, 2016)

Needs: Grammy

How she can get it: Look, anyone who is missing a Grammy can just record an audiobook to win a spoken word album statuette. If I were ever in the running for an EGOT, I’d go for the G last because that’s the “easiest” one to score. Lange has done audiobooks and readings before, so she just needs to lock another one down. And if Ryan Murphy can’t bribe her to return for more American Horror Story, he should think about starting a companion book series for Lange to narrate. You know he’d love nothing more than to be the one who helped her complete her EGOT.

Viola Davis

Won: Two Tonys (most recent 2010), one Emmy (Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for How to Get Away with Murder, 2015), one Oscar (Best Supporting Actress for Fences, 2017)

Needs: Grammy

How she can get it: Again, audiobook. Or you know what? Release a spoken word album that’s just a compilation of all of her acceptance speeches. That voice and elocution is just demanding to be awarded.

Cynthia Nixon

Won: Two Tonys (most recent 2017), two Emmys (most recent 2008), one Grammy (Best Spoken Word Album for An Inconvenient Truth, 2009)

Needs: Oscar

How she can get it: Nixon’s first Tony was for Rabbit Hole, but she wasn’t part of the 2010 film adaptation, which earned Nicole Kidman an Oscar nod. The Sex and the City alum came closest to Oscar gold with her critically acclaimed performance in the 2015 drama James White, for which she received a couple of critics awards nominations. Nixon doesn’t work in film as regularly as she does in TV and theater, but she can totally score a juicy part for the big O.

Helen Mirren

Four Emmys (most recent 2007), one Oscar (Best Actress for The Queen, 2007), one Tony (Best Actress in a Play for The Audience, 2015)

Needs: Grammy

How she can get it: Release her soothing reading of the 2015 Senate Intelligence Committee‘s report on torture. If that’s too dated, there’s a couple investigative reports coming down the pike soon.

Cyndi Lauper

Two Grammys (most recent 2014), one Emmy (Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for Mad About You, 1995), one Tony (Best Original Score for Kinky Boots, 2013)

Needs: Oscar

How she can get it: Girls just wanna EGOT! Lauper, who was the first solo woman to win the Tony for original score, is just an original tune away from an Oscar. Where are we at with the Kinky Boots movie?

Elton John

Won: Five Grammys (most recent 2001), one Oscar (Best Original Song for “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” from The Lion King, 1995), one Tony (Best Original Score for Aida, 2000)

Needs: Emmy

How he can get it: The most obvious answer is to compose a song. John usually plays himself on shows, so a guest acting Emmy would be tougher, but he can aim for one for his voiceover work. Another route is do some concert specials and score one as a producer.

Frances McDormand

Two Emmys (most recent 2015), one Oscar (Best Actress for Fargo, 1997), one Tony (Best Actress in a Play for Good People, 2011)

Needs: Grammy

How she can get it: McDormand has done recordings of The Bell Jar and Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, the latter of which was in conjunction with her 2008 movie adaptation. Missed opportunity not to have done the same for Olive Kitteridge, for which she won her Emmys, but it’s not too late to rectify that.

Bette Midler

Won: Three Grammys (most recent 1990), three Emmys (most recent 1997), one Tony (Best Actress in a Musical for Hello, Dolly!, 2017)

Needs: Oscar

How she can get it: The two-time Oscar nominee hasn’t been shortlisted in 25 years and her film output has decidedly slowed down this century. But maybe she can parlay her Tony success into a film remake of Hello, Dolly! The 1969 film was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, and won three; leading lady Barbra Streisand was not nominated.

Geoffrey Rush

Won: One Oscar (Best Actor for Shine, 1997), one Emmy (Outstanding Lead Actor in a Miniseries or Movie for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, 2005), one Tony (Best Actor in a Play for Exit the King, 2009)

Needs: Grammy

How he can get it: This guy got rid of King George VI‘s stammer with this tongue twister. Give him anything to read.

Martin Scorsese

One Grammy (Best Long Form Music Video for No Direction Home: Bob Dylan, 2006), one Oscar (Best Director for The Departed, 2007), two Emmys (most recent 2012)

Needs: Tony

How he can do it: Scorsese hasn’t directed a Broadway production since the musical The Act in 1977, which won Liza Minnelli a Tony. If he ever returns to the Great White Way to direct, then you know he wants that T. But his simplest route now is to win as a producer. His cult classic The King of Comedy is being adapted into a Broadway musical, but no word yet if Marty himself is attached.

Al Pacino

Two Tonys (most recent 1977), two Emmys (most recent 2010), one Oscar (Best Actor for Scent of a Woman, 1993)

Needs: Grammy

How he can get it: The Shakespeare aficionado and Shakespearean actor was nominated in 2001 for the spoken word album The Complete Shakespeare Sonnets. There’s plenty more of the Bard’s work Pacino can read.

Matt Stone and Trey Parker

Won: Five Emmys (most recent 2013), four Tonys (most recent 2011), one Grammy (Best Musical Theater Album for The Book of Mormon: Original Cast Recording, 2012)

Need: Oscar

How they can get it: If South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut had come out in the 2000s — a decade that saw Eminem and Three 6 Mafia win Oscars for songwriting — Stone and Parker might be EGOTers right now. Alas, swoony power ballads dominated the Oscars in the ’90s, so “Blame Canada” fell to Phil Collins’ “You’ll Be in My Heart” from Tarzan. Since they claim they’re in “no hurry” to do a Book of Mormon movie, the duo can easily pen a song for another film or do an animated film (Team America: World Police was snubbed).

Jeremy Irons

Three Emmys (most recent 2014), one Tony (Best Actor in a Play for The Real Thing, 1984), one Oscar (Best Actor for Reversal of Fortune, 1991)

Needs: Grammy

How he can get it: Frankly, it’s kind of shocking Irons’ sumptuous voice hasn’t netted him a Grammy yet — he has one nomination for The Real Thing — as he’s a fairly prolific narrator. But the multi-talented star can carry a tune as well (#neverforget “Be Prepared” in The Lion King), so he could do a duet with a big-time legend, record a tune for a compilation or star in a musical film with an accompanying soundtrack. Irons has also directed a music video before — Carly Simon’s “Tired of Being Blonde” — so he can step behind the camera for a music video Grammy too.


Won: One Oscar (Best Actress for Moonstruck, 1988), one Grammy (Best Dance Recording for “Believe,” 2000), one Emmy (Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special for Cher — The Farewell Tour, 2003)

Needs: Tony

How she can get it: A musical based on Cher’s life is in the works — write a new song or produce the damn thing. She can’t turn back time to play young Cher, but she can definitely play old(er) Cher too.

Ellen Burstyn

One Oscar (Best Actress for Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore, 1975), one Tony (Best Actress in a Play for Same Time, Next Year, 1975), two Emmys (most recent 2013)

Needs: Grammy

How she can get it: Burstyn is 84 and not slowing down at all — she’s currently in production on her directorial debut. Maybe afterward she can find some time to record a new audiobook (she was nominated 21 years ago for reading Grow Old Along with Me, the Best Is Yet to Be) or write a second memoir and record that.

Lily Tomlin

Six Emmys (most recent 2013), one Grammy (Best Comedy Recording for This Is a Recording, 1973), one Tony (Best Actress in a Play for The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, 1986)

Needs: Oscar

How she can get it: Tomlin, who was Oscar-nominated for her film debut in Robert Altman’s Nashville, is riding quite a wave right now between her Emmy-nominated performance on Grace & Frankie, her Golden Globe-nominated turn in 2015’s Grandma and a Screen Actors Guild Award for life achievement in January. A crucial, scene-stealing supporting role in an acclaimed flick can get her to EGOT status.

Maggie Smith

Two Oscars (most recent 1979), four Emmys (most recent 2016), one Tony (Best Actress in a Play for Lettice and Lovage, 1990)

Needs: Grammy

How she can get it: Audiobook! Smith most recently starred in a film adaptation of The Lady in the Van, which she narrated back in 2001. Maybe the inevitable The Third Best Exotic Marigold Hotel has a book tie-in. The Grammy is also the perfect award for the awards apathetic Smith to win — they hand out 90 percent of them at the pre-show, where she has even less incentive to attend.

Audra McDonald

Six Tonys (most recent 2014), two Grammys (most recent 2008), one Emmy (Outstanding Special Class Program for Live from Lincoln Center, 2015)

Needs: Oscar

How she can get it: The Tony fave excels at both musicals and drama, so she just needs the right film part. She won a Tony and received an Emmy nomination for Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, so why not take the next step and adapt it into a feature film?

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