Watchworthy
2.8k voters

The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)

Updated May 21, 2020 26.6k votes 2.8k voters 25.7k views82 items

List RulesMale actors, primarily known for TV work, who have been eligible for an Emmy award in an acting category - but haven't won.

What do Steve Carrell, Jerry Seinfeld, and Ed O'Neill have in common? No, it's not fame, fortune, or prestige. (Although they all have those too.) All three are one of TV's most iconic actors who have never won an Emmy. Shocked? You should be.

Michael Landon never won an Emmy for his stellar work on Little House on the Prairie after nine years on the show and his white hot run as Joe Cartwright. “Why didn’t you win an Emmy, Pa?” Melissa Gilbert as Laura Ingalls might have said. Shoot, even Nellie Oleson felt bad for him. The Emmy snub for Landon is not rare. There are many actors who never won an Emmy. It’s a shocking list.

Jackie Gleason? Entertained millions night after night, but never won an Emmy. Hugh Laurie, who’s British and classically trained, acted his thespian hindquarters off season after season on House. But no Emmy for the cantankerous doctor. Jerry Seinfeld? He changed American culture, changed comedy on TV, and created new archetypes. He never won an Emmy. What’s the deal with all of these actors getting the big finger from the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences?

Could any one of these Emmy snubs be blamed on politics, bad memories, or an aversion to consistent talent and hard work? Whatever the reasoning, it certainly doesn’t follow any kind of logic. George Clooney and Chistopher Meloni got the Emmy Snub, along with Jason Alexander despite his eight Emmy nominations.  

American’s beloved single dad, Andy Griffith, was never counted among those who won Emmys no matter how many times he took Opie fishing. Or how about Ed O’Neill? He’s been hilarious since Married with Children and he’s had to watch his Modern Family costars outshine his decades-long career.

Of all of the talented actors who never won an Emmy on this list, who was most deserving of the recognition? Vote up the Emmy snubs that you're most surprised by below. It might be hard to believe that each actor below has never won an Emmy for acting on television, even though he was eligible or even nominated. But it's true!

Photo:
...more
  • 1
    Steve Carell
    1,271
    361

    The Office as Michael Scott (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 2006 - 2011)

  • 2
    Hugh Laurie
    911
    472
    House M.D. as Gregory House (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
  • 3
    Nick Offerman
    495
    286
    Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson
  • 4
    Chris Pratt
    703
    439
    Parks and Recreation as Andy Dwyer
  • 5
    Ed O'Neill
    607
    366

    Ed O'Neill

    Age: 74
    Modern Family as Jay Pritchett (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 2011 - 2013)
  • 6
    Steve Buscemi
    767
    382

    Boardwalk Empire as Nucky Thompson (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2011 - 2012), The Sopranos as Tony Blundetto (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series 2004)

  • 7
    Jonathan Banks
    333
    253

    Breaking Bad as Mike Ehrmantraut (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series 2008), Better Call Saul as Mike Ehrmantraut (Nom. Outstanding Support Actor in a Drama Series 2015 - 2016)

  • 8
    Don Cheadle
    149
    91
  • 9
    Jason Bateman
    222
    94
  • 10
    George Clooney
    553
    432
    ER as Doug Ross (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 1995 - 1996)
  • 11
    Rob Lowe
    417
    337

    Rob Lowe

    Age: 55

    The West Wing as Sam Seaborn (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2001); Parks and Recreation as Chris Traeger

  • 12
    Henry Winkler
    842
    566

    voting closed at #12

    Henry Winkler

    Age: 74

    Barry as Gene Cousineau (Winner: Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 2018);

    Happy Days as Arthur Fonzarelli (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 1976 - 1978)

  • 13
    Jason Alexander
    444
    367
    Seinfeld as George Costanza (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1998)
  • 14
    Angela Lansbury
    54
    18
  • 15
    Michael C. Hall
    358
    304
    Dexter as Dexter Morgan (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2008 - 2012), Six Feet Under as David Fisher (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2002)
  • 16
    Christopher Meloni
    388
    345
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Det. Elliot Stabler (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2006)
  • 17
    Michael Kelly
    254
    186
    House of Cards as Doug Stamper (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series 2013)
  • 18
    Matt LeBlanc
    146
    105
  • 19
    Patrick Stewart
    232
    63
  • 20
    Andy Griffith
    549
    302

    Andy Griffith

    Dec. at 86 (1926-2012)
    The Andy Griffith Show as Andy Griffith
  • 21
    Jerry Seinfeld
    426
    319
    Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1996)
  • 22
    Sean Bean
    152
    124

    Sean Bean

    Age: 61
  • 23
    Freddie Highmore
    117
    98
  • 24
    Anthony Anderson
    129
    75
  • 25
    David Duchovny
    331
    322

    X-Files as Fox Mulder (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 1997 - 1998); Californication as Hank Moody