• Entertainment

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

List RulesMale 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!

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  • 1
    1,100
    334

    Steve Carell

    Age: 59

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

  • 2
    837
    404

    Hugh Laurie

    Age: 62
    House M.D. as Gregory House (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011)
  • 3
    630
    387
    Parks and Recreation as Andy Dwyer
  • 4
    428
    269

    Nick Offerman

    Age: 51
    Parks and Recreation as Ron Swanson
  • 5
    550
    322
    Age: 75
    Modern Family as Jay Pritchett (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 2011 - 2013)
  • 6
    697
    331

    Steve Buscemi

    Age: 63

    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)

  • 7
    304
    245

    Jonathan Banks

    Age: 74

    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)

  • 8
    332
    273

    Michael C. Hall

    Age: 50
    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)
  • 9
    384
    307

    Rob Lowe

    Age: 57

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

  • 10
    207
    89
    Dimos Dicoudis added

    Jason Bateman

    Age: 52
  • 11
    510
    377

    George Clooney

    Age: 60
    ER as Doug Ross (Nom. Lead Actor in a Drama Series 1995 - 1996)
  • 12
    66
    30
  • 13
    348
    306
    Law & Order: Special Victims Unit as Det. Elliot Stabler (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series 2006)
  • 14
    134
    91
    Dimos Dicoudis addedAge: 56
  • 15
    381
    334

    Jason Alexander

    Age: 62
    Seinfeld as George Costanza (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1998)
  • 16
    252
    174

    voting closed at #16

    Henry Winkler

    Age: 76

    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)

  • 17
    206
    60
    Donna DeBlasio added

    Patrick Stewart

    Age: 81
  • 18
    134
    109
    Dimos Dicoudis added

    Matt LeBlanc

    Age: 54
  • 19
    489
    263
    Dec. at 86 (1926-2012)
    The Andy Griffith Show as Andy Griffith
  • 20
    111
    90
    starwarssuperfan added

    Freddie Highmore

    Age: 29
  • 21
    308
    287

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

  • 22
    135
    114

    Sean Bean

    Age: 62
  • 23
    371
    292

    Jerry Seinfeld

    Age: 67
    Seinfeld as Jerry Seinfeld (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series 1992 - 1996)
  • 24
    231
    226
    RazzleDazzle(Crimsonny) added

    Hugh Dancy

    Age: 46

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

  • 25
    41
    25

    Robin Wright

    Age: 55
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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.