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

Ranker TV
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28.7k votes 2.7k voters 24.1k views 83 items

List Rules Male 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!

list ordered by
1
1,330 408
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 57

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

2
1,102 497
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 60
House M.D. as Gregory House (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
3
893 419
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 62

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)

4
779 466
Chris Pratt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 40
Parks and Recreation as Andy Dwyer
5
701 402
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 73
Modern Family as Jay Pritchett (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 2011 - 2013)
6
645 331
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dec. at 86 (1926-2012)
The Andy Griffith Show as Andy Griffith
7
521 324
Nick Offerman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 49
Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson
8
452 392
Christopher Meloni is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 58
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Det. Elliot Stabler (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2006)
9
677 469
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 58
ER as Doug Ross (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 1995 - 1996)
10
182 70
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 50
11
181 45
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Donna DeBlasio added age 79
12
400 258
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
voting closed at #9 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
407 352
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 48
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)
14
486 386
Rob Lowe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 55

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

15
362 301
Jonathan Banks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 72

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)

16
499 431
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 60
Seinfeld as George Costanza (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1998)
17
281 235
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added age 44

Elizabeth I as Earl of Essex (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie 2006);Hannibal as Will Graham

18
127 70
Don Cheadle is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 55
19
485 363
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 65
Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1996)
20
412 368
David Duchovny is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59

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

21
398 391
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dec. at 51 (1957-2008)
The Bernie Mac Show (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 2002 - 2003)
22
367 313
Desi Arnaz is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dec. at 69 (1917-1986)

I Love Lucy as Ricky Ricardo

23
340 286
Redd Foxx is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dec. at 69 (1922-1991)

Sanford and Son as Fred Sanford (Nom. Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series 1972 - 1974)

24
133 104
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 60
25
323 319
Scott Wilson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 77
The Walking Dead as Hershel Greene