Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony: The 5 Best Performers Who Are One Away from an EGOT

An historic moment in award show culture occurred this week, so clasp your hands over your mouth and pay attention: Film producer Scott Rudin became only the 11th person to win the full EGOT — that is, the Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. He collected his final piece, the Grammy, on Sunday for Best Musical Theater Album as a producer on The Book of Mormon. (He’d collected an Oscar for producing No Country for Old Men, Tonys for producing several huge plays, and an Emmy for the kiddy program He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’ in the ’80s.)

You might not know that some of your favorite performers are just a single win away from joining Rudin’s ranks. Let’s see if we can help five of them.

Cynthia Nixon

Awards: Emmy for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, Sex and the City, Guest Actress, Law and Order SVU / Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album, An Inconvenient Truth (with Beau Bridges and Blair Underwood) / Tony for Best Actress in a Play, Rabbit Hole

Needs: Oscar

Suggested Roles: Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, something Sally Field-sy

Cynthia Nixon is about as respectable as you can get. Even if you disagree about her provocative “choice” comments she made regarding her bisexuality (and I don’t, for the record), the woman is a powerful screen presence who earned her Emmy and Tony. She even collected a Grammy, the trophy that would most logically elude her, for reading Al Gore literature into a microphone. Smart move, Cyn. Now is the time for her Places in the Heart-y triumph at the Oscar dais; a woman known for playing characters with such thorough convictions is a shoo-in for Best Actress — particularly if it’s a controversial role. Give me an Ann Coulter biopic called Hannity and Comely!


Awards: Oscar for Best Actress in Moonstruck / Grammy for Best Dance Recording, “Believe” / Emmy for Cher: The Farewell Tour Live

Needs: Tony

Suggested Roles: a reprisal in Burlesque: The Six-Hour Stage Musical, a reprisal in Silkwood! The Radioactive Revue, Blanche DuBois in A Streetcar Named Desire

At age 65, Cher has no reason not to tackle Broadway in a triumphant stage revue, if only to clinch the EGOT. Surely Diane Warren would be game to write more songs for a Burlesque revival on the Great White Way, and I know I’d be game to write songs for the Silkwood musical. I could introduce a paranormal element to the rather dull nuclear plant setting in the instant classic “Silkwood Showers Bring Special Powers” (in which Cher can shoot lightning from her fingertips after Karen contaminates her) or “Cher-Nobyl!” a ballad about Cher’s climactic meltdown.

Elton John

Awards: Oscar for Best Song (“Can You Feel the Love Tonight?”), Tony for Best Original Score in Aida, Grammys including Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for “Candle in the Wind 1997”

Needs: Emmy

Suggested Roles: Disapproving bipolar judge on Law and Order SVU, Eleanor of Aquitaine in an HBO miniseries, or, um, AN ELTON JOHN CONCERT SPECIAL

What is wrong with Elton John that he doesn’t have an Emmy? He hosted SNL this season to some critical praise, so there’s a chance there, but more importantly, he’s had more TV specials than Beyonce and the Carpenters combined. He must want it. It must happen for him.

Jeremy Irons

Awards: Oscar for Best Actor in Reversal of Fortune, Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries, Elizabeth I, Tony for Best Actor, The Real Thing

Needs: Grammy

Suggested Roles: Guest-rapping on an M.I.A. dance remix, lobbying to win a belated Grammy for directing Carly Simon’s “Tired of Being Blonde” video (!), reading a book aloud for trophies

First of all, revisit that last credential: Jeremy Irons directed a Carly Simon music video called “Tired of Being Blonde.” Are you awake now? Thanks. Secondly, hey Jeremy Irons: PICK UP A KIPLING ANTHOLOGY AND READ IT. YOU CAN WIN GRAMMYS FOR THAT. Third, God, Jeremy Irons is so hot.

Maggie Smith

Awards: Oscars for The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie and California Suite, Emmy for Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Mini-Series or Motion Picture Made for Television for Downton Abbey, Tony for Best Actress in a Play in Lettice and Lovage

Needs: Grammy

Suggested Roles: A kinky tell-all audiobook called The Dowager Countess Pops Off, picking up Jeremy Irons’s discarded Kipling anthology and reading it into a microphone

Dear Maggie Smith: Book-reading is a Grammy-winning trade. Just ask Cynthia Nixon. If Jeremy Irons isn’t going to close up his EGOT, then I’m afraid you must. Read, woman! LeVar Burton will love you for it.

Other options: Vanessa Redgrave (missing a Grammy), Bette Midler (missing an Oscar), Dick Van Dyke (missing an Oscar), Kate Winslet (missing a Tony — you know that’ll be over soon), and Al Pacino (missing a Grammy).

Any other suggestions for these budding awardees?