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

Ranker TV
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28.5k votes 2.6k voters 23.7k 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
1,314 407
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
1,096 495
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
888 417
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
773 464
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
697 399
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
641 330
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
516 322
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
450 390
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
670 468
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
177 70
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
175 44
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
405 350
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
481 386
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
358 299
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
495 429
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
279 234
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
479 363
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
124 70
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
410 366
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
397 390
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
365 312
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
338 286
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
132 102
Sean Bean is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 59

25
323 317
Scott Wilson is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Actors Who Have Never Won an Emmy (For Acting)
age 76
The Walking Dead as Hershel Greene