Watchworthy

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

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated May 21, 2020 29.7k votes 2.8k voters 25.5k views 82 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!

Data-driven recommendations based on voting from over 40 million monthly visits to Ranker. Try the free app
list ordered by
1
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
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
Chris Pratt is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Age: 40
Parks and Recreation as Andy Dwyer
4
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 4 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)
5
Nick Offerman is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Age: 49
Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson
6
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 6 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)
7
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 7 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)

8
Rob Lowe is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
Christopher Meloni is listed (or ranked) 9 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)
10
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 10 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)
11
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 11 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)
12
Jonathan Banks is listed (or ranked) 12 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)

13
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 13 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)

14
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added Age: 50
15
David Duchovny is listed (or ranked) 15 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

16
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 16 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)
17
Don Cheadle is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added Age: 55
18
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 18 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
19
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 19 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

20
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Age: 94
21
Scott Wilson is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Scott Wilson Age: 77
The Walking Dead as Hershel Greene
22
Matt LeBlanc is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added Age: 52
23
Freddie Highmore is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
starwarssuperfan added Age: 27
24
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 24 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)
25
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won An Emmy (For Acting)
Age: 60