8 TV Stars Who Somehow Still Don’t Have Emmy Awards

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Photo Source: Nicole Wilder/Showtime

By their very nature, awards shows always end up with talented contenders who go home empty-handed. With the 72nd Primetime Emmy Awards celebrating the best of scripted television Sept. 20 and nominees being announced July 28, Backstage is rounding up those actors who could—and, frankly, should!—be in the running this year, have been nominated more than once, and have, unfortunately, never won. It’s an honor just to be nominated…but in 2020, aren’t these stars long overdue?

Anthony Anderson and Tracee Ellis Ross
Emmy nominations: 8 and 3
Eligible for: “Black-ish” (ABC), “Grown-ish” (Freeform), “Mixed-ish” (ABC)
It’s about time someone from the Johnson family made it to the top of Emmy voters’ lists. As parents Dre and Bow, Anderson and Ross represent both the best of traditional family sitcoms and everything the genre is becoming. Full of history and often recognizably relatable, their dynamic never fails to produce laughs. That is, until the series begins fearlessly unpacking thorny, even tragic issues—which, thanks to Anderson and Ross, always miraculously works, even after six seasons of “Black-ish.”

Steve Carell
Emmy nominations: 10
Eligible for: “The Morning Show” (Apple TV+) and “Space Force” (Netflix)
With drama “The Morning Show” and comedy “Space Force,” Carell has not one but two chances to finally win that little gold statuette this year, an honor that was somehow denied to the comedic genius who made “The Office” such a phenomenon. With six acting and four producing nominations for that hit show, recognition from the Television Academy in 2020 would be better late than never.

Don Cheadle
Emmy nominations: 9
Eligible for: “Black Monday” (Showtime)
Cheadle broke into the Emmys world with double nominations in 1999, then followed it up with nominated work on “Things Behind the Sun,” “ER,” and four nods in a row for the immensely enjoyable “House of Lies.” Now, the screen legend is back on Showtime with Jordan Cahan and David Caspe’s 1980s Wall Street comedy “Black Monday.” His cocky, cocaine-snorting Maurice Monroe, Emmy-nominated last year for Season 1, is a character for the ages.

Christina Hendricks
Emmy nominations: 6
Eligible for: “Good Girls” (NBC)
There should be a Television Academy rule that if you get enough nominations in a row for the same performance, you’re guaranteed a win. That’s certainly what fans of “Mad Men” would have wanted, when year after year the show raked in drama Emmys but never for its actors. It took Jon Hamm until the final season to win; Elisabeth Moss didn’t become an Emmy winner until “The Handmaid’s Tale”; and Hendricks, a six-time nominee, is still empty-handed. Her fiery leading performance on “Good Girls” could finally get her in the club.

Hugh Laurie
Emmy nominations: 10
Eligible for: “Avenue 5” (HBO)
Laurie has an astounding 10 Emmy nods to his name, the majority for his long-running performance as the title role on “House.” His scene-stealing appearances on “Veep” led to the leading role on creator Armando Iannucci’s new comedy “Avenue 5,” where Laurie plays a frazzled, deceptive, hilarious spaceship captain.

Sandra Oh
Emmy nominations: 10
Eligible for: “Killing Eve” (BBC America)
Edged out at the Emmys last year by her co-star Jodie Comer, Oh has made a glorious return to our TV screens with three stellar seasons of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s thriller-comedy-drama “Killing Eve.” Audiences (not to mention SAG and Golden Globe Award voters) all seem to agree: We’ve missed the comic timing and dramatic heft we saw from her long run on “Grey’s Anatomy,” which accounts for five of her 10 nominations.

Kerry Washington
Emmy nominations: 4
Eligible for: “Little Fires Everywhere” (Hulu) and “American Son” (Netflix)
Washington has been an illuminating presence on the small screen for long enough that audiences might assume she has at least one Emmy statuette on her mantel. She would if there were any justice in this world! With two nods for leading “Scandal” and two for producing and starring as Anita Hill in the TV movie “Confirmation,” Washington is primed for a return to the Emmys race this year on the buzzy limited series “Little Fires Everywhere” and in Netflix’s film adaptation of Broadway’s “American Son.”

This story originally appeared in the July 2 issue of Backstage Magazine. Subscribe here.

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