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The Best Actresses Who've Never Won an Emmy (for Acting)

Updated June 14, 2019 21.5k votes 3.4k voters 14.7k views40 items

List RulesActresses, primarily known for TV work, who have been eligible for an Emmy award in an acting category - but haven't won.

Despite years as television mainstays, some of the brightest starts of the small screen have never been recognized by Emmy voters for their work. We're talking big names like Amy Poehler, Zooey Deschanel, and Connie Britton. All are extremely talented women who've never managed to take home the trophy. Tatiana Maslany brilliantly plays multiple characters on Orphan Black, and the girl still can't get any Emmy love!

Angela Lansbury is the queen of the TV actress Emmy snubs with 18 nominations and no trophy. She published 18 books and played Jessica Fletcher on Murder, She Wrote for so many years she could probably have solved actual crimes for law enforcement. The Television Academy sure teased Lansbury with all those nominations and yet she’s one of those great actresses who never won Emmys. Despite all the top TV performances turned in by these ladies, they're all a reminder of how TV actress Emmy snubs go.

How many times will Melissa McBride blow up the screen on The Walking Dead before she gets to be one of the chosen few actresses who won Emmys? Perhaps she should bake them some cookies. Courteney Cox had to watch her female Friends costars take home trophies and be repeatedly nominated while she got left out in the cold. The Television Academy knew that Monica wasn’t a real person, right? And that Cox was just as compelling as Lisa Kudrow and Jennifer Aniston. No?

Another one of those TV actress Emmy snubs belongs to Kim Cattrall. As Samantha Jones on Sex and the City, Cattrall talked about sex, infidelity, younger men, and menopause in a groundbreaking way. Her bold and flawed Jones opened up the dialogue about sexuality and a woman’s right to choose who she shares her bed with. Cattrall joins those actresses who never won Emmys, though she did win a Razzie in 2011 for Sex and the City 2.

Some of these TV actress Emmy snubs are so frustrating, it makes you want to ask the Television Academy what they're even looking for in an actress's performance. Which TV actress Emmy snub gets your goat the most? Vote her up and show some Emmy love for these Hollywood women who deserve recognition.

  • 26
    The Office
  • 27
    Firefly, Suits
  • 28
    Grey's Anatomy, Bob Patterson
    Grey’s Anatomy as Miranda Bailey (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 2006 - 2009)
  • 29
    Community, Drake & Josh
    Community as Shirley Bennett
  • 30
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    The Wire as Felicia “Snoop” Pearson
  • 32
    House, Real Time with Bill Maher
  • 33
    Downton Abbey, The Royle Family

    Downtown Abbey as Anna Bates (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 2012, 2014, 2015)

  • 34
    House, Superman: The Animated Series
  • 35
    Deadwood, Treme
    House of Cards as Kate Baldwin, Sons of Anarchy as Colette Jane, Treme as Janette Desautel, Deadwood as Joanie Stubbs
  • 36
    The Cosby Show, Little Bill
    The Cosby Show as Clair Huxtable (Nom. Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series 1985, 1986)
  • 37
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    Parks and Recreation
    Parks and Recreation as Donna Meagle
  • 39
    Firefly, Mad Men

    Mad Men as Joan Holloway (Nom. Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series 2010 - 2015)

  • 40
    Arrested Development, State of Grace