What Is an EGOT? A Guide to the Entertainment Quadruple Crown
While many actors, writers, and directors have egos, only a few have the coveted EGOT, aka an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony. You’ve probably heard the term EGOT before, but what does it mean and who has one? Or maybe you’ve just been watching too much “30 Rock,” in which Tracy Jordan buys an EGOT necklace and sets out to win all four awards reigniting the culture’s obsession with the trophies.
Here’s a look at what it means to win an EGOT, who has won one (and who almost has).
What Does It Mean to Win an EGOT?
EGOT is an acronym for Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award. The term was initially coined by “Miami Vice” star Phillip Michael Thomas in 1984 in an interview, but Richard Rodgers was the first person to achieve the honor in 1962. Thomas specified that an EGOT does not include Daytime Emmy Awards or any other form of Emmy other than the Primetime Emmy. EGOTs must be in competitive categories; if you include special awards and non-competitive categories, six additional people have achieved the honor: Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, James Earl Jones, Alan Menken, Harry Belafonte, and Quincy Jones.
Who Has Won an EGOT?
Fifteen people have achieved EGOT status. Some have even gotten to PEGOT, which includes a Pulitzer Prize. However, two of these fifteen people have only won Daytime Emmy awards and therefore technically are not considered EGOTS.
Richard Rogers – The celebrated composer has won the awards 13 times, but he got an EGOT in 1962 when he won a Tony and a Grammy for “No Strings” and an Emmy for “Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years.” He had previously won an Oscar for “It Might As Well Be Spring”
Helen Hayes – The actor doesn’t just have a Broadway theater named for her; she also has seven of the major awards. She achieved EGOT status in 1977 when she won a Grammy for Best Spoken Word Recording for “Great American Documents.” She was also the first actor to win what’s considered the “triple crown of acting,” with an Emmy, Grammy, and Tony Award.
Rita Moreno – Moreno also received her fourth award in 1977 with an Emmy for “The Muppet Show.” She won an Oscar for “West Side Story” in 1975, a Grammy for Best Recording for Children for “The Electric Company” in 1972, and a Tony Award for “The Ritz” in 1975.
John Gielgud – The actor became the oldest person ever to receive the honor when he won his fourth award, an Emmy for “Summer’s Lease,” in 1991 when he was 87.
Audrey Hepburn – Hepburn won her final award after her death, when she received the Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Children in 1994 for “Audrey’s Enchanted Tales.” She has a special Tony Award and a special Oscar, but she won those awards in the competitive categories for “Ondine” and “Roman Holiday” respectively.
Marvin Hamlisch – The composer has three Oscars (the most of any EGOT-er), four Emmys, four Grammys, and one Tony. His Emmys for “Barbra: The Concert” in 1995 put him at EGOT status.
Jonathan Tunick – The composer, conductor, and orchestrator won his fourth award, a Tony, for Best Orchestrations for “Titanic.” He and Hepburn are the first two winners to have only received a single award in each category.
Mel Brooks – Brooks has 11 awards, and he capped off his EGOT with 2001 when he won three Tony Awards for “The Producers”: Best Book of a Musical, Best Original Score, and Best Musical.
Mike Nichols – Nichols became an EGOT when he won two Emmys in 2001 for directing the made for television version of Margaret Edson’s “Wit.” Nichols also has the longest timespan of winning awards from his Grammy Award for Best Comedy Performance in 1961 to his Tony for directing the revival of “Death of a Salesman” in 2012.
Whoopi Goldberg – Goldberg is the first winner to receive two awards in the same year: a Tony for producing “Thoroughly Modern Millie” and an Emmy for hosting “Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel.”
Scott Rudin – Rudin is the first producer to have won all four awards, and of EGOT-ers, he has the most wins, with 18 awards total. He became an EGOT in 2012 when he won the Grammy for original cast recording of “The Book of Mormon.”
Robert Lopez – Lopez is the youngest EGOT winner and the person who achieved the honor the quickest (10 years). He’s also the first double EGOT, meaning he’s won all four awards at least twice. He achieved EGOT status when he won the Oscar for Best Song for “Let It Go” from Frozen in 2014.
John Legend – Legend is the first person to win all four awards in consecutive years, beginning with his Oscar for “Glory” from “Selma” in 2015 and ending with his Emmy for “Jesus Christ Superstar: Live” in 2018. He’s received 14 total awards so far, including 10 Grammys.
Andrew Lloyd Webber – The composer has received 14 awards, and he became an EGOT, along with Legend and Rice, when they all received the Emmy for “Jesus Christ Superstar: Live” in 2018.
Tim Rice – The lyricist regularly collaborates with Webber and the two became EGOTs together in 2018. Rice has won 12 awards.
Who Has Almost Won an EGOT?
Ninety people are one award away from winning the entertainment grand slam, and the list is getting longer every day. Here’s a look at some of our Broadway favorites who could get to EGOT status any day.
Lin-Manuel Miranda – The “Hamilton” scribe and star just needs an Oscar for his Trophy cabinet. Maybe the “In the Heights” movie will complete his collection?
Benj Pasek and Justin Paul – The “Dear Evan Hansen,” “La La Land,” and “Greatest Showman” writers each need an Emmy award. They were last nominated for one for “A Christmas Story Live!”
Marc Shaiman – Although he’s been nominated for six Oscars, the composer is still missing the golden man from his shelf.
Ben Platt and Rachel Bay Jones – The original “Dear Evan Hansen” stars each won a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy for their work on the show. They won acting Tonys, a Grammy for performing on the original cast recording, and an Emmy for a live television performance.
Cynthia Erivo – Erivo just needs an Oscar, after winning a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy for her work on “The Color Purple” on Broadway.
Katrina Lenk and Ari’el Stachel – “The Band’s Visit” stars each won a Tony, Grammy, and Emmy for the musical.
Cher – The music superstar is just missing a Tony Award for her shelf. Although the musical based on her life is nominated for Lead Actress and Costumes, she’s not up for an award in 2019.
Julie Andrews – The theater icon is only missing a Tony Award. She was nominated for “Camelot” in 1961 and “My Fair Lady” in 1957, but she rejected her nomination for “Victor/Victoria” in 1996 after the show didn’t receive any other nominations.
Audra McDonald – McDonald may have won six Tony awards, more performance awards than any other actor, and be the only person to win a statue in all four acting categories, but she still needs an Oscar to reach EGOT status. We’re sure a movie adaptation of any of her hit stage roles could do the trick.
Charles Strouse – The composer/lyricist of “Bye Bye Birdie” and “Annie” needs an Academy Award to earn all four statues. He last wrote a film score in 1990, but maybe there’s another one up his sleeve.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone – “The Book of Mormon” added a Tony and a Grammy to the “South Park” writers’ resume, but they both need an Oscar to EGOT.
Hugh Jackman – Broadway’s greatest showman still needs an Academy Award. He was nominated for his performance in “Les Misérables” in 2012.
Stephen Sondheim – The reigning king of musical theater just needs an Emmy to complete the grand slam. We’d watch basically any TV show scored by Sondheim so hopefully entertainment execs get on that.
Alan Menken – Menken has a special Emmy Award, but he still needs to win in a competitive category to add the final prize to his other three wins.