Throughout Emmy history, there have been plenty of shocking snubs and losses. This year’s nominations alone stirred up plenty of controversy with several notable small screen stars being left off the ballot. Here’s a look back at ten amazing actors who surprisingly have never won an Emmy.
1. Steve Carell
Carrell was nominated for six straight years for his role as Michael Scott on The Office, but somehow never managed to take the top prize. After he lost out on his last chance to win, co-star Rainn Wilson took to Twitter to write, “The world of TV should be ashamed of itself that Steve Carell never won an Emmy for Michael Gary Scott.” Can’t argue there.
2. Hugh Laurie
Laurie earned critical acclaim for his turn as the sarcastic, unsociable medical genius Dr. Gregory House on House. Though his masterful performance of the complicated character earned him six Emmy nods over eight seasons, he never actually took home the award. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he also wasn’t even nominated the very last season, robbing him of one final chance to win. At least Laurie did earn recognition at other award shows. By the time House stopped airing, the actor had two Golden Globe awards and two Screen Actor Guild awards under his belt.
3. Jon Hamm
Hamm has been nominated for his role as Don Draper on Mad Men every year since first taking on the part in 2007, but has been beat out every single time. Not that it’s his fault—he faces extraordinarily stiff competition in his category of Outstanding Actor in a TV Drama, one that’s been most often dominated by Breaking Bad’s Bryan Cranston (he also lost to Friday Night Lights’ Kyle Chandler, Homeland’s Damien Lewis, and The Newsroom’s Jeff Daniels from 2011-2013). It’s gotten to the point where his consistent losses have become a sort of running joke on social media, with fans wondering who will beat him next. Poor guy! He just can’t catch a break.
4. Courtney Cox
Not only did Cox never win an Emmy for playing Monica Gellar on that little show called Friends (which received six Emmys as an overall series), but she never even got nominated for the part. Not once! Making the whole thing even more insulting? Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer all received nominations, although Aniston and Kudrow are the only ones to win. Several of the show’s guest stars, including Christina Applegate, Brad Pitt, and Bruce Willis, also received nominations. Fans were hoping she could get recognized now that she’s taken on her other major small screen role on Cougar Town, but she was once again snubbed, despite being considered a strong contender.
5. Christopher Meloni
Meloni played the strong and dedicated but often hotheaded Detective Elliot Stabler alongside Mariska Haritgay’s Detective Olivia Benson for twelve years on the longest-running Law & Order series, SVU. Despite his long run on the show, he’s only ever received one Emmy nod for the role, back in 2006. He ended up losing out to 24‘s Kiefer Sutherland (aka Jack Bauer). Then again, he’s not the only to get limited love for his role on the show. Haritgay, arguably the more well-known of the pair, has only won one Emmy, despite her continued appearance on the show.
6. Jackie Gleason
Gleason of CBS’s The Honeymooners and The Jackie Gleason Show became an icon after playing his most popular character by far, Ralph Kramden. The comedy sketches drew a lot of inspiration from Gleason’s own childhood in Brooklyn and the character of Kramden came to define Gleason’s career, as well as become the basis for other beloved characters like Fred Fledstone. Despite this, he never won any of his four Emmy nods. Still, he did receive another kind of honor: a statue that stands outside of New York’s Port Authority Bus Terminal, which pays tribute to Kramden’s job as a bus driver.
7. Amy Poehler
The comedic star was nominated twice for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work on NBC’s Saturday Night Live. She received an additional four Emmy nods for her starring role as the hilarious Leslie Knope on NBC’s sitcom Parks and Recreation (the same role that won her a Golden Globe last year). But to the disappointment of many dedicated Parks and Rec fans, she has yet to win the award. Poehler was nominated in the same category again for the 2014 Emmys, but she was beat out by Julia Louis Dreyfus for her role in Veep.
8. Angela Lansbury
Lansbury has earned—count ‘em!—a total of 18 Emmy award nominations, including 12 consecutive nods for every season of Murder She Wrote from the years of 1985 to 1996. Her first two nominations were earned in 1983 for Outstanding Lead Actress for TV miniseries Little Gloria…Happy at Last and in 1985, Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for Sweeney Todd. Her last two were for Outstanding Supporting Actress in The Blackwater Lightship and Outstanding Guest Actress for an episode of Law & Order: SVU. Yet somehow, the Tony-award and Golden Globe-winning actress has yet to receive an actual Emmy win.
9. Desi Arnaz
It might be hard to believe, but I Love Lucy’s Ricardo never won an Emmy for his legendary role. In fact, he was the only series regular to never even receive a nomination (although only Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance each took home trophies). Of course, the actresses were the obvious stars of the show, but Arnaz worked on the show both on camera and off (he and Ball are often considered the inventors of the rerun as they each worked to gain syndication rights for the series) and a vast majority believe he should’ve not only received nominations for an Emmy, but also won at least one.
10. Michael Landon
The late TV star is known for his work on three legendary TV shows, with his roles as Little Joe Cartwright on Bonanza (1959-1973), Charles Ingalls on Little House on the Prairie (1974-1983), and Jonathan Smith in Highway to Heaven (1974-1983). He also produced, wrote, and directed many of the episodes for his various series. But while he may have appeared in countless small screen episodes over his career, not only did he never win an Emmy award, he never even received a single nomination. Just chalk it up as yet another of the many inexplicable mysteries of entertainment award shows.