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

Ranker TV
Originally by
26.7k votes 2.5k voters 22.1k views 58 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
1,248 389
Steve Carell is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 56 - The Office as Michael Scott (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 2006 - 2011)

2
1,055 481
Hugh Laurie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59 - House M.D. as Gregory House (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)

3
863 401
Steve Buscemi is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 61 - 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
743 447
Chris Pratt is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 39 - Parks and Recreation as Andy Dwyer

5
667 381
Ed O'Neill is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 72 - Modern Family as Jay Pritchett (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 2011 - 2013)

6
497 303
Nick Offerman is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 48 - Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson

7
613 314
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Died at 86 (1926-2012) - The Andy Griffith Show as Andy Griffith

8
653 445
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 57 - ER as Doug Ross (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 1995 - 1996)

9
427 378
Christopher Meloni is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 57 - Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Det. Elliot Stabler (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2006)

10
400 258
Henry Winkler is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
voting closed at #9 age 73 - 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)

11
382 335
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 47 - 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
150 60
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 49

13
153 32
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Donna DeBlasio added age 78

14
463 371
Rob Lowe is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 54 - The West Wing as Sam Seaborn (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2001); Parks and Recreation as Chris Traeger

15
337 290
Jonathan Banks is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 71 - 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
272 218
Hugh Dancy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added age 43 - Elizabeth I as Earl of Essex (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Movie 2006);Hannibal as Will Graham

17
474 416
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59 - Seinfeld as George Costanza (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1998)

18
456 347
Jerry Seinfeld is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 64 - Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1996)

19
110 57
Don Cheadle is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 54

20
395 357
David Duchovny is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 58 - X-Files as Fox Mulder (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 1997 - 1998); Californication as Hank Moody

21
391 372
Bernie Mac is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Died at 51 (1957-2008) - The Bernie Mac Show (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 2002 - 2003)

22
316 305
Scott Wilson is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 76 - The Walking Dead as Hershel Greene

23
351 304
Desi Arnaz is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Died at 69 (1917-1986) - I Love Lucy as Ricky Ricardo

24
325 278
Redd Foxx is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Died 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)

25
120 94
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59

26
316 291
Michael Landon is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Died at 55 (1936-1991) - Little House on the Prairie as Charles Ingalls

27
273 247
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Died at 71 (1916-1987) - The Honeymooners as Ralph Kramden (Nom. Best Actor 1956), The Jackie Gleason Show (Nom. Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series 1955)

28
76 69
Freddie Highmore is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
starwarssuperfan added age 26

29
81 73
Matt LeBlanc is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 51

30
88 56
Zach Galifianakis is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 48

31
72 88
Jeremy Irons is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Sazonana added age 70

32
196 256
Ian McShane is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 76 - Deadwood as Al Swearengen (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2005)

33
51 28
Norman Reedus is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 49

34
164 275
Michael K. Williams is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 52 - Boardwalk Empire as Chalky White, The Wire as Omar Little

35
157 265
John Slattery is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 56 - Mad Men as Roger Sterling, Jr. (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series 2008 - 2011)

36
82 85
Kevin James is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 53

37
55 51
Larry David is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 70

38
54 78
Andre Braugher is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
VeryCloseTalking added age 56

39
11 3
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)

40
53 50
Johnny Galecki is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 42

41
188 254
Jim Nabors is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 88 - Gomer Pyle: USMC as Pvt. Gomer Pyle

42
10 3
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 45

43
10 6
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59

44
17 8
Bill Hader is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
voting closed at #37 Dimos Dicoudis added age 40 - Barry as Barry (Winner: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series)

45
6 2
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 52

46
56 66
Ray Romano is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 61

47
45 51
Anthony Anderson is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 48

48
6 4
Jane Kaczmarek is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)

49
4 3
Hal Linden is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 86

50
48 62
Aziz Ansari is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 35