Why James Earl Jones’ honorary Oscar doesn’t get him an EGOT


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James Earl Jones will receive an honorary Oscar at the 3rd Annual Governors Awards on Nov. 12, but that still doesn’t enable him to nab an elusive EGOT title — the prestigious industry honor for artists who have received an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony award.

So, while Jones already has an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony, to complete the EGOT cycle, winners have to actually win each award, and honorary awards do not count. So despite the addition of Oscar to his trophy case, Jones still doesn’t join the other artists who have claimed the elusive acronym: Mel Brooks, John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Rita Moreno, Mike Nichols, Richard Rodgers, Jonathan Tunick and Whoopi Goldberg.


The 80-year-old actor won Emmys in 1991 for his work in ‘Heat Wave’ and ‘Gabriel’s Fire.’ He earned two lead actor in a drama Tonys for 1969’s ‘The Great White Hope’ and for 1987’s ‘Fences.’ And his Grammy comes from his 1976 spoken-word recording in ‘Great American Documents.’

Despite an Oscar nomination in 1971 for ‘The Great White Hope,’ the baritone-voiced star remains on EGOT’s cusp since his 1991 awards and in good company with Julie Andrews, Geoffrey Rush and Robin Williams, who are still contenders for the honor.

Oscar winners Kate Winslet and Martin Scorsese generated EGOT buzz last month for their Emmy nominations, and ‘The Book of Mormon’s’ Trey Parker and Matt Stone recently joined the ranks of potential candidates for the quadruple honor after sweeping the Tony Awards in June. Click here for photos of other artists close to joining that coveted EGOT status.


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— Nardine Saad