Emmy Grammy Oscar Tony. EGOT. Twelve people have won all four. (Honorary awards don't count.) The man who coined the EGOT acronym, Philip Michael Thomas, is not one of them. (He's 0 for 4.)
The dozen names on the list include actors Audrey Hepburn, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Hayes, John Gielgud, Rita Moreno, composers Richard Rodgers, Jonathan Tunick and Marvin Hamlisch, songwriter Robert Lopez, director Mike Nichols, producer Scott Rudin and comic institution Mel Brooks.
There are also 45 living legends who have won three of the four awards. Who's next up for EGOT? With Emmy nominations arriving Thursday, we ranked the top 20 in order of probability, meaning that, no, you're not going to find, say, Andrew Lloyd Webber on the list because he's unlikely ever to work in television. But don't cry for him. We're pretty sure he'll be OK without an Emmy in his secret lair.
Owns: Two Grammys (most recent: "Hamilton," 2016), three Tonys (most recent: "Hamilton," 2016), one Emmy (original music and lyrics, "67th Tony Awards")
Can we confer, sir? You think we're jumping on the "Hamilton" bandwagon. Well, sure. It has caused quite a … um … sensation. (No more Burr rhymes. Promise.) Miranda has a viable shot at joining the EGOT club next year with his original songs for Disney's animated musical "Moana," out this Thanksgiving. Apparently, one of the numbers made his wife, a tough critic, weepy. "So you guys are dead," Miranda tweeted. Yeah … that Oscar is his.
Trey Parker and Matt Stone
Own: Five Emmys (most recent: "South Park," 2013), four Tonys (all for "The Book of Mormon," 2011), one Grammy ("The Book of Mormon," 2012)
Parker and Stone say they want to make a "Book of Mormon" movie. Add a new, original song and they'd have an easy shot at an Oscar. But it's not their only path. The duo could also cook up an animated short or make another full-length animated feature. All we know is the film academy owes them a make-good for nominating "Shark Tale" over "Team America: World Police." Any movie that can anger both Sean Penn and Matt Drudge has earned its place at the table
Owns: Two Grammys (most recent: "Kinky Boots," 2014), one Tony ("Kinky Boots," 2013), one Emmy (guest actress, "Mad About You," 1995)
Owns: One Oscar ("Scent of a Woman," 1993), two Tonys (most recent: "The Basic Training of Pavlo Hummel," 1977), two Emmys (most recent: "You Don't Know Jack," 2010)
For actors who aren't comedians or musicians to join the EGOT ranks, they need to remember four magic words: Best Spoken-Word Recording. That's the Grammy Award that put Helen Hayes and John Gielgud into the club. (Another avenue, the spoken-word album for children category — Audrey Hepburn's posthumous ticket into EGOT — was retired in 2011.)
Pacino was nominated here 15 years ago for reading Shakespeare's sonnets. Now he just needs to call his agent and say, "GET ME AN AUDIO RECORDING! WHAT KIND? IT DOESN'T MATTER! I COULD PROBABLY READ KING LEAR IN THE VOICE OF TONY MONTANA AND I'D WIN! JUST FIND ME SOMETHING! ANYTHING!"
Owns: One Oscar ("Fargo," 1997), one Tony ("Good People," 2011), one Emmy (2015, "Olive Kitteridge")
McDormand has lent her expressive voice to a few audio projects over the years, including Sylvia Plath's "The Bell Jar" and, showing off an English accent, "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day." Do we think it's just a matter of time before she wins a spoken-word Grammy? You betcha!
Owns: Six Tonys (most recent: "Lady Day at Emerson's Bar and Grill," 2014), one Emmy ("Sweeney Todd: Live From Lincoln Center," 2015), two Grammys (Los Angeles Opera production of "Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny")
Producer and EGOT member Scott Rudin calls McDonald the "biggest star on Broadway." How big? When McDonald, 46, recently announced she was going on maternity leave, Rudin closed the successful show "Shuffle Along" rather than go it without the actress.
McDonald will probably be nominated for another Emmy this year, and we'll be seeing her play the Wardrobe in the upcoming live-action version of "Beauty and the Beast." That won't likely put her over for EGOT, but there's no reason why Rudin can't eventually find McDonald — a gifted actress as well as a sublime singer — a movie role that will.
Owns: One Tony ("The Real Thing," 1984), one Oscar ("Reversal of Fortune," 1990), three Emmys (most prominent: "Elizabeth I," 2006)
Lo-lee-ta. How did he not win a Grammy for that one word alone?
Owns: One Oscar ("The Reader," 2008), one Grammy (spoken word, "Listen to the Storyteller," 2000), one Emmy ("Mildred Pierce," 2011)
Owns: One Oscar ("The Queen," 2007), one Tony ("The Audience," 2015), four Emmys (most recent: "Prime Suspect: The Final Act," 2007)
Owns: One Oscar ("Moonstruck," 1988), one Emmy ("Cher: The Farewell Tour," 2003), one Grammy (dance recording "Believe," 2000)
A Broadway musical based on Cher's life has been in the works for years. Let's just say we're not holding our breath. But if it ever comes to fruition, it'd be a slam dunk for costume design. And if Cher indeed has a hand in writing it or starring in it — the show would portray the singer-actress at three different periods in her life, and Cher said (four years ago) that she might play "old Cher" — she could possibly win her needed Tony. One thing we've learned over the years: Never underestimate this woman.
Owns: One Oscar ("Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore," 1974), two Emmys (most recent: "Political Animals," 2013), one Tony ("Same Time, Next Year," 1975)
Yes, she's 83. But Burstyn isn't slowing down, landing high-profile, Emmy-worthy guest spots on "House of Cards" and "Mom" in the past year. Again, four magical words: Best Spoken-Word Album. Burstyn was nominated in the category 19 years ago and has already written (and read) her autobiography. Maybe Burstyn and fellow Actors Studio Co-President Al Pacino can team up on a project and simultaneously join the EGOT club. "THEY THINK THEY'RE BIG-TIME, ELLEN? WE'RE #*!% BIG-TIME!"
Owns: One Tony ("The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe," 1986), one Grammy (comedy album, "This Is a Recording," 1972), six Emmys (including variety series "Lily: Sold Out," 1981)
Tomlin, 76, won acclaim and a Golden Globe nomination last year for her uncompromising force-of-nature turn in "Grandma." And she's splendid opposite Jane Fonda in Netflix's "Grace & Frankie." There's no reason why this current renaissance can't continue.
Owns: One Tony (orchestrations, "In the Heights," 2008), one Grammy (co-producer, "In the Heights," 2008), two Emmys (most recent: original song, "Sesame Street," 2014)
The only person on this list without a Wikipedia page, though he does have his own website, as self-proclaimed "BFF" Lin-Manuel Miranda helpfully points out. He's the music director for "Sesame Street," and it doesn't feel like a stretch to think the versatile Sherman could have a hand in an Oscar-winning original song or score down the road. He recently composed the wistful music in Colin Hanks' Tower Records doc, "All Things Must Pass."
Owns: One Tony ("Rabbit Hole," 2006), two Emmys (most prominent: "Sex and the City," 2004), one Grammy (spoken word, "An Inconvenient Truth," 2009)
Nixon reclaimed her New York stage roots almost immediately after "Sex and the City" ended, winning a Tony for her moving turn as the grieving mother in "Rabbit Hole." She has continued to deliver strong, consistent work, including last year's raw, Spirit Award-nominated performance in "James White." Not enough Oscar voters saw the movie. If they had, she might have already graduated from this list.
Owns: One Tony ("Hairspray," 2003), one Emmy (writer, "The 64th Annual Academy Awards," 1992), one Grammy ("Hairspray," 2003)
Owns: One Oscar ("Shine," 1996), one Tony ("Exit the King," 2009), one Emmy ("The Life and Death of Peter Sellers," 2005)
James Earl Jones
Owns: Two Emmys (most recent: "Heat Wave" and "Gabriel's Fire," both 1991), one Grammy (spoken word, "Great American Documents," 1977), two Tonys (most recent: "Fences," 1987)
Jones is 85 and already owns an honorary Oscar. He's still active and vital onstage, but the movie roles haven't been there lately. (His next part is opposite David Spade.) But, you know, maybe someday soon, producers will turn up in his driveway, not knowing for sure why they're doing it. They'll arrive at his door as innocent as children, longing for the past. (Or maybe just to meet the voice of Darth Vader, Mufasa and CNN.) Oh, producers will come. Producers will most definitely come.
Owns: One Oscar ("Beginners," 2010), two Emmys (most prominent: "Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers," 1976), two Tonys (most recent: "Barrymore," 1997)
OK, so maybe he didn't actually sing "Edelweiss" in "The Sound of Music." That doesn't mean Plummer still can't pick up that spoken-word Grammy. He has portrayed Nabokov and Tolstoy. Turn him loose on an unabridged classic!
Owns: Three Grammys (most recent: "Evening With Belafonte/Makeba," 1965), one Tony ("John Murray Anderson's Almanac," 1954), one Emmy ("Tonight With Belafonte," 1959)
We've never seen a more sustained ovation at the film academy's honorary Governors Awards than the one Belafonte received in 2014. And he killed it with his speech, taking Hollywood to task for past sins ("Birth of a Nation," "Tarzan," "Song of the South"), calling on filmmakers to "see a better side of what we are as a species" and thanking the academy for recognition that "powerfully mutes the enemy's thunder." Belafonte is 89. He can still bring the thunder.
Owns: Eight Grammys (most recent: "The Broadway Album," 1986), four Emmys (most recent: "Barbra Streisand, Timeless," 2001), two Oscars (most recent: original song, "Evergreen," 1977)
This Tony is so not going to happen. Streisand is 74 and isn't going to commit to grueling demands of Broadway. We know that … in theory. But don't rain on our parade, OK? The "Hamilton" resale market isn't going to last forever. Something has to take its place.