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

Ranker TV
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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
1,295 396
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
1,084 490
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
884 410
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
766 457
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
687 394
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
633 322
Andy Griffith is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
509 318
Nick Offerman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 48 - Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson

8
445 384
Christopher Meloni is listed (or ranked) 8 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)

9
668 460
George Clooney is listed (or ranked) 9 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)

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
170 64
Jason Bateman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 49

12
169 39
Patrick Stewart is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Donna DeBlasio added age 78

13
400 344
Michael C. Hall is listed (or ranked) 13 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)

14
478 379
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
352 296
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
491 424
Jason Alexander is listed (or ranked) 16 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)

17
278 228
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 43 -

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

18
474 357
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
122 66
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
406 362
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
395 386
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
362 308
Desi Arnaz is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
336 282
Redd Foxx is listed (or ranked) 23 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)

24
321 312
Scott Wilson is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 76 - The Walking Dead as Hershel Greene

25
129 98
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59

26
330 295
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
102 81
Matt LeBlanc is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 51

28
283 252
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 28 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)

29
87 76
Freddie Highmore is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
starwarssuperfan added age 26

30
97 61
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 49

31
77 96
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
60 34
Norman Reedus is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 49

33
200 262
Ian McShane is listed (or ranked) 33 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)

34
24 7
Angela Lansbury is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)

35
169 281
Michael K. Williams is listed (or ranked) 35 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

36
24 8
Kristen Wiig is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 45

37
21 10
Kevin Spacey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59

38
63 56
Johnny Galecki is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 43

39
63 57
Larry David is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 71

40
60 81
Andre Braugher is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
VeryCloseTalking added age 56

41
16 5
Robin Wright is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 52

42
88 95
Kevin James is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 53

43
162 270
John Slattery is listed (or ranked) 43 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)

44
195 257
Jim Nabors is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 88 - Gomer Pyle: USMC as Pvt. Gomer Pyle

45
16 2
John Krasinski is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
dbone828 added age 39

46
12 9
Jane Kaczmarek is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)

47
17 8
Bill Hader is listed (or ranked) 47 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)

48
13 3
Rainn Wilson is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
dbone828 added age 51

49
50 57
Anthony Anderson is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
Dimos Dicoudis added age 48

50
13 5
Matthew Perry is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
dbone828 added age 49