Viola Davis made history last night by becoming just the 18th person to achieve “EGOT” status: she’s won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony.
What’s interesting about the list is how few of these folks are household names — probably because composers and musicians have an inside track here:
Richard Rodgers, of Rodgers & Hammerstein fame, was first.
Helen Hayes, actress
Rita Moreno, actress. My favorite thing about her EGOT status is that she clinched with an Emmy for the Muppet Show.
John Gielgud, actor (though he won a Tony in 1961 for direction after already achieving his EGOT).
Audrey Hepburn, actress (though her Emmy was from a program where she appeared as herself)
Marvin Hamlisch, composer
Jonathan Tunick, composer
Mel Brooks, comedic actor, writer, and director.
Mike Nichols, mostly a director, but his Grammy was for comedic performance
Whoopi Goldberg, comedian and actress, also won a Tony as a producer
Scott Rudin is the first person to achieve this as a producer only. He is also, it should be noted, an enormous asshole.
Robert Lopez, songwriter. Lopez was also the fastest to get there (10 years), and the youngest (39).
Andrew Lloyd Webber, composer and titan of musical theater
Tim Rice, lyricist
John Legend, singer, songwriter, and producer. He hit the EGOT in the same moment as Rice and Webber, as they were all honored for a live TV production of Jesus Christ Superstar in 2018.
Alan Menken, composer
Jennifer Hudson, actress and producer, and youngest female winner
Viola Davis, actress
Note that the list doesn’t count you if one of your awards is non-competitive (e.g., lifetime achievement or other special sort of award). These folks have the four awards, but one of them’s non-competitive:
- Barbra Streisand (Special Tony)
- Liza Minelli (Grammy “Legend”)
- James Earl Jones (Honorary Oscar)
- Harry Belafonte (Academy Humanitarian Award)
- Quincy Jones (Academy Humanitarian Award)
In all these cases EXCEPT Jones, the “special” award was the clincher; for Q, he clinched with a competitive Tony in 2016 after his Humanitarian Oscar in 1994. Obviously, he’s got some Grammys — 28 of them.
(There’s also the notion of the PEGOT, which adds the Pulitzer to the mix; only Rodgers and Hamlisch have this honor, but it’d be foolish to bet against Lin-Manuel Miranda getting there given that he lacks only the Oscar at this point.)