Wednesday, February 22, 2012

'Isn't That A Daytime Emmy?' 'It Still Counts!'

Last week at the Grammys, producer, Scott Rudin, became the 11th person in history to join the EGOT club. For those of you not familiar, the EGOT stands for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony- the four major awards in the performing arts profession for television, music, film, and theatre. Rudin joins the ranks of actors, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, John Gielgud, Audrey Hepburn, and Whoopi Goldberg, composers, Richard Rodgers, Marvin Hamlisch, and Jonathan Tunick (I don't know who that is either), director, Mike Nichols, and comedian/writer/director, Mel Brooks.

Since I'm always looking ahead, I wondered who is one award away from joining the EGOT ranks. But, the task of looking up every single person who's won awards at 4 different ceremonies over the past decades seemed a little daunting. Luckily, I live in 2012 and have the internet. Let someone else do the work! Thanks, internets! (Seriously, how did people find out anything back in the olden days without Wikipedia?) Because I had some time on my hands after not having to personally do the research, I decided to pursue another one of my loves- list making. I present to you the 10 Most Likely People to Receive the EGOT. Some of the people (and the award they need) may surprise you.

10. Ellen Burstyn, Jeremy Irons, Al Pacino, Vanessa Redgrave, Geoffrey Rush, Maggie Smith What they need: Grammy
So, say you're a respected actor that has the triple crown of acting awards. You're a respected star of stage and screen. But, the odds of you winning a Grammy for Best Pop Song by a Group or Duo aren't looking very likely. How do you win that Grammy? The answer is simple- Best Spoken Word Album. You think Audrey Hepburn and John Gielgud were recording rap albums? Of course not. It's the surefire way for a respected actor to get that Grammy. Any of these six actors would have a great chance of winning if they did. In fact, Ellen Burstyn has been nominated in this category before. Perhaps all six should get together and record a multi-part collection of The Complete Works of Shakespeare so they can get it done in one shot. Perfect.

9. Cynthia Nixon What she needs: Oscar
Nixon is best known for playing Miranda Hobbs on 'Sex and the City' and won an Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Emmy Award for it in 2004. She won a second Emmy in 2008 for her guest-starring role on 'Law & Order: Special Victim's Unit'. But, she's just as active on the stage and even appeared in two Broadway shows at the same time in 1984. In 2006, she won a Tony award for her role in the play Rabbit Hole (the role brought Nicole Kidman an Oscar nomination in the film version). She may even win a second Tony this year for MTC's revival of Wit. And what did she win a Grammy for, you ask? Why, you guessed it, Best Spoken Word Album in 2009 for An Inconvenient Truth. So, hard can it be to win an Oscar? Well, it's not the easiest thing (just ask Glenn Close). But, with the right role in an independent film, I could conceivably see Nixon winning a Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Although she's never even been nominated for an Oscar, she's apt at both comedy and drama and is well respected in the industry. People have won with a lot less.

8. Lily Tomlin What she needs: Oscar
This comic was America's favorite lesbian long before Ellen came along (and also before we knew she officially was gay). And thanks to her Emmy nominated work on 'Laugh-In', she became one of the most famous comediennes in history–paving the way for females in the world of comedy. Her comedy album, 'This Is a Recording', won her a Grammy in 1972 and hit #15 on Billboards Hot 100 that year–the highest ranking a solo female comedy album has ever received. She has won 4 Emmys (out of 16 career nominations) for her comedy specials and a Daytime Emmy for voicing Miss Frizz on the animated show 'The Magic School Bus'. In 1986, she won the Best Lead Actress in a Play Tony Award for her one-woman show, The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe. She even received an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in her film debut, Robert Altman's Nashville. She still appears in film, most notably in Flirting With Disaster, I Heart Huckabee's, and A Prairie Home Companion. If she can garner another role that highlights her quirky charm, she would have a pretty good shot at an Oscar.

7. Robin Williams What he needs: Tony
The Juilliard trained actor/comedian has always tried to balance both the comedy (his 2 Emmys come from comedy specials and his 5 Grammys were awarded for his comedy albums) and the dramatic (his Oscar win was for playing Matt Damon's shrink in 1997's Good Will Hunting) in his work. Last year, he made his Broadway debut in the play A Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo and received good reviews. If he continues to pursue roles on stage, and put that Juilliard training to use, he could very well land himself with a Tony for his efforts.

6. Trey Parker and Matt Stone What they need: Oscar
Who would have thought the duo behind a crudely animated show about four foul-mouthed children would be one award away from the EGOT? But the thing about 'South Park' (which has brought them 4 Emmys for Outstanding Animated Program) and Broadway's The Book of Mormon (which brought them 4 Tonys for Best New Musical, Director, Book, and Score and a recent Grammy for Best Musical Show Album) is that along with the off-color humor is a smartness, wit, and, yes, heart that elevates the material. It's never offensive just for shock value- there's always thought behind it. They've been Oscar nominated before in the Best Song category for 'Blame Canada' from the 'South Park' movie. I think they could very easily win an Oscar, especially if a film version of Mormon ever hits the big screen.

Marty, Mary Poppins, Liza with a 'Z' and Number 1, after the jump

5. Martin Scorsese What he needs: Tony
Until very recently, it seemed that poor Marty couldn't win an award to save his life, let alone be a Tony away from the EGOT. One of the greatest directors of our time was nominated 5 times for the Best Director Oscar before finally winning for 2006's The Departed. It's strange that the man who gave us Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas won for that, but, you know, Oscars are very rarely won for someone's best work. An avid music lover, Scorsese has made a couple documentaries about musicians and won his Grammy for Best Long-Form Video for No Direction Home (2005), a documentary about Bob Dylan. Just this past year, he won an Emmy for directing the pilot episode of HBO's 'Boardwalk Empire'. He's also a producer on that show and that's what I see as his best bet for winning a Tony– producing. When you think of Scoresese, you think of New York. And what's more New York than Broadway? He's so committed to film and that visual medium, that I don't really see him directing on Broadway. But, the thought of him producing a play or musical to the stage seems about right. And now that he's getting into the world of family entertainment with Hugo, I can definitely see him producing a Tony award winning show to bring his daughter to see on Broadway.

4. Julie Andrews What she needs: Tony
I find it hard to believe that one of the most well-known names in musical theatre is missing the one award in her EGOT that honors that. She's been nominated three two times before and never won, but it's mainly her own fault that she's Tony-less. Having been nominated (and lost) twice in the 60's for My Fair Lady and Camelot (how was she not in the film adaption of either of those musicals? She desperately wanted to do My Fair Lady, but Jack Warner at Warner Brothers wanted a star and Andrews had never done film. At the same time, Walt Disney was trying to get her to star in a film he was doing called Mary Poppins. She at first refused, hoping to still do Lady. When it was announced that Audrey Hepburn (EGOT winner!) had won the role, Andrews agreed to do Mary Poppins and won the Oscar for Best Actress. The cast recording also brought her one of her two Grammys as well. Now back to this very long sentence about Tonys...), Andrews was nominated in 1996 for her role in the stage version of the film Victor/Victoria (a role she was also Oscar nominated for as well). But, when she was the only nomination for the entire show, she declined the nomination and took herself out of the race. She was considered the front-runner and would have most likely beat Donna Murphey for the win. In 1997, she had throat surgery to remove nodules and was left without a singing voice. It's unlikely that she'll be appearing in another Broadway musical anytime soon. But, she has started directing stage productions and stated that she would like to produce as well. She also won one of her two Emmys in 2005 for a documentary called 'Broadway: The American Musical', so theatre is still a big part of her current career. I would also love to see her on stage acting again, perhaps in a play. But, the next time you get nominated, Julie, just keep the damn nomination.

3. Elton John What he needs: Emmy
The legendary British musician has 6 Grammys, an Oscar for the Song, 'Can you Feel the Love Tonight?' from The Lion King, and a Tony for Best Score for Disney's Aida (I could have sworn he won a Tony for Billy Elliot since it won 10 Tonys and he wrote the music. But, it turns out that Best Score is one of the only awards it didn't win. That's gotta suck). So, why in this day and age, when every musician has a concert special on HBO, does Elton not have an Emmy? Well, from what I can tell, he's never done anything for television. He's never even been nominated for an Emmy. Elton, what are you waiting for? Lady Gaga has been nominated for an Emmy and she's nowhere near the living legend you are. Get started on that HBO concert special and the Emmy is yours.

2. Liza Minnelli What she needs: Grammy
As surprised as I was that Julie Andrews doesn't have a Tony, I think the fact that Liza doesn't have a Grammy award is even more insane. (She has two Tonys for Best Leading Actress in a Musical and an Emmy for the television special, 'Liza With a Z'). Well, technically she has a Grammy. But, it doesn't count in EGOT world. She received a Grammy Living Legend Award in 1990. But, to be a true EGOTer, you have to win the award in a competitive field. How else would people know you're the best? Barbra Streisand and James Earl Jones are both fake EGOTs as well. Babs needs a real Tony (How did she not win for the same role she won an Oscar for?) and James Earl Jones needs a real Oscar. I debated putting them on this list but neither is very active in those award's respective fields. Liza, on the other hand, is still doing albums and was just nominated in 2010 (have you no heart, Grammy? No win?). If there's anything the Grammys love, its old legendary musicians. If Tony Bennett can keep winning, Liza is bound to win if she keeps bringing out music. Cue the Cabaret reference (the film that brought her a Best Actress Oscar)– It's gotta happen. Happen sometime. Maybe this time I'll win!

1. Kate Winslet What she needs: Tony
At the age of 31, Kate Winslet became the youngest actor to receive five Academy Award nominations. When she finally won Best Actress with her sixth nomination for The Reader, she again set the record for the youngest actor to achieve that number of nominations. She was only 24 years old when she received her first award on the way to the EGOT–a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Children. (It's a little crazy that Kate won a Grammy 9 years before she won an Oscar.) And just last year when she won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Mildred Pierce, she was the relatively young age of 36. So, why do I bring up the fact that Kate is still under 40? Because, unlike a lot of people vying for that last award in their EGOT, Kate is at the height of her career and still has time on her side. She's never actually appeared on Broadway. She met her ex-husband, director, Sam Mendes, because he wanted Kate to star in his stage productions of Uncle Vanya and Twelfth Night. She turned him down saying she was too scared to do theatre. But, that's how you know that she will do it one day. The word that constantly comes up when describing Kate as an actress is fearless. And after seeing how excited she got at the Emmys, you know nothing is gonna stand in her way from getting that Tony. She loves winning awards. All she needs is a great role (either in a new David Lindsay-Abaire or perhaps a Tennessee Williams classic. She can even sing and tap dance–which she did in her 'Saturday Night Live' monologue) and she'll knock it outta the park. I mean, if Scarlett Johansson can win a Tony, anyone can...

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