In the entertainment industry, getting the coveted EGOT is something few have accomplished, only sixteen people to be exact. For those who don’t know, the EGOT is when someone has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony Award.
It’s obviously no easy feat as so few have achieved it, but the few that have are beyond talented and more than deserving of the honor and prestige that come with winning the EGOT.
One of the most famous names in the Broadway world is Richard Rodgers and he was the first person to win an EGOT! Part of the famous duo, Rodgers & Hammerstein, he’s easily Broadway royalty. If you don’t know who Richard Rodgers is or what he’s known for, you probably do, but unknowingly so; if you’ve ever seen or heard The Sound of Music, The King and I, Oklahoma! or even Cinderella with Brandy, you know Richard Rogers work! Of course, the list extends far beyond these works, but those are some of his most popular.
Rodgers’ wins and awards took place over a seventeen-year span, beginning in 1945 when he won an Oscar for Best Song. With 13 awards in total, it’s surprising that Rodger’s only has one Oscar. The other multiples he has makes up for it though. After his Oscar came the first of his six Tony Awards, this one for South Pacific in the coveted Best Musical category. Rodgers then went on to win his first of two Grammys in 1960; Best Show Album (Original Cast) – The Sound of Music. He reached EGOT status in 1962 when he finally won his Emmy in the Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composed category for his music in Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years.
Helen Hayes was the first woman, and the second person to ever achieve the honor of an EGOT. She finished the achievement in 1977 with a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Recording, having her award-winning career go from 1932-1977, winning her a total of seven awards. Her first win came with an Oscar for Best Actress in The Sin of Madelon Claudet, after this was her Tony, which she won, again, for Best Actress in a Dramatic role for Happy Birthday.
Then came her Emmy which was won in 1953 for Schlitz Playhouse of Stars for the Episode ‘Not a Chance’. With her awards, Hayes became the first person to win her EGOT with only singular acting wins rather than anything ensemble-based.
Rita Moreno is another popular name on the list of EGOT winners. Known for her iconic role as Anita in the original West Side Story, Moreno has been paving the way for Latinx actors since 1961. In fact, her role in West Side Story is what earned her the 1962 Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The rest of her awards came in the seventies, making her timespan for winning all four sixteen years in total, making her tied with Whoopi Goldberg.
Moreno’s next award was a Grammy for The Electric Company, which was in The Best Recording for Children category in 1972. After this her awards began snowballing; in 1975 she got her Tony Award for Best Featured Actress in a Play for her work in The Ritz. After this, she completed the EGOT route in 1977 with her Emmy for her work on The Muppet Show. You can see Moreno in December in Steven Spielberg’s anticipated West Side Story Reboot.
John Gielgud had many firsts as an EGOT winner. Not only was he the first to win an award other than an Oscar first, he was the oldest when he completed his EGOT and was also the first member of the LGBTQ+ community to gain the iconic achievement. His first award was his Tony which he won in 1948 for The Importance of Being Earnest in The Outstanding Foreign Company category.
After his Tony, Gielgud had a while until his Grammy Award in 1979 which he won in Best Spoken Word, Documentary, or Drama Recording for Ages of Man. He then won his last two pieces of the EGOT exactly ten years apart. In 1981 he got the coveted Oscar in the Best Supporting Actor category for his role in Arthur. Finally, in 1991 he finished out the achievement with his Emmy. This was for his role in the miniseries, Summer’s Lease.
Perhaps the most well-known of the winners is Audrey Hepburn who is an icon even without her EGOT status. While she is best known for Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Hepburn was a part of plenty of other iconic films during her career. She won all four of her awards over a span of forty-one years. Her first award came in 1953 when she was only twenty-four when she won an Oscar for Best Actress in Roman Holiday.
Just a year later, in 1954, Hepburn won her Tony Award for Best Actress in Ondine. The final two pieces of Hepburn’s EGOT wouldn’t come to her until after she passed away in January 1993. She won her Emmy and Grammy consecutively in 1993 and 1994 awards shows, and she was the first to do this. Hepburn had one of the biggest legacies of any actor and surely the biggest of the EGOT winners.
Known for his composing, Marvin Hamlisch accomplished his EGOT in twenty-two years. Hamlisch’s first win was an Oscar, or more so three Oscars in 1973. Two of which were for The Way We Were and one for The Sting; Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, and Best Music, Original Song were for The Way We Were while The Sting won him Best Music, Scoring Original Song Score and/or Adaptation.
Along with the Oscars, Hamlisch also won his first Grammy in 1974 for “The Way We Were”, which got him Song of the year. Hamlisch’s Tony Award came from one of the most successful Broadway shows ever, A Chorus Line. He won the award for Best Musical Score. While it took nineteen more years for Hamlisch to win his Emmy, he ended up winning two in the same year, both for Barbara: The Concert.
In a relatively short time span of twenty years, Jonathan Tunick won all four awards to get him to his EGOT. His first came in 1977 in the form of an Oscar for Best Music, Original Song Score, and its Adaptation or Best Adaptation Score all for his arranging of A Little Night Music’s score. In 1982, Tunick won his Emmy for Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction for Night of 100 Stars.
Along with Audrey Hepburn, Tunick is the only EGOT recipient to have only one award in each category. For his music arrangement once more, Tunick won his Grammy in 1988 for “No One Is Alone”. Finally, in 1997, Tunick’s work on the Titanic musical got him his final award in the EGOT achievement. His Tony Award was for Best Orchestrations, only proving how talented he is.
Over a thirty-four-year span, famous director, actor, and writer Mel Brooks finally finished his EGOT in 2001. His first award was his Emmy in 1967 for an Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety for his work on The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special, making his first award the first letter of EGOT. After that though, his awards didn’t continue in order. Brooks is the first to win his Oscar for screenwriting in 1968 for The Producers.
Brooks’ next award wouldn’t come for another thirty years, but it was still a major success when he did win a Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy Album in 1998. Much like he started out with the first letter of the EGOT, Brooks also finished it off with his Tony Award in 2001, in fact, he won three. All of them were for The Producers which included Best Musical, Best Book of a Musical, and Best Original Score.
As an actor, comedian and director, it’s no surprise Mike Nichols achieved EGOT status. While it took him forty years to get all four awards, that doesn’t make it any less impressive. Nichols won his first, and only, Grammy Award in 1961 for Best Comedy Performance with his live comedy album, An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May. Unlike his one Grammy, Nichols collected nine Tony Awards, the first being in 1964 for Best Director, Dramatic for Barefoot in the Park.
Next on the list for his EGOT comes his Oscar in 1967. Nichols won Best Director for the iconic movie The Graduate. The final piece of the EGOT came with Nichols’ Primetime Emmy Award in 2001 when he actually won two for Wit. One of which was for Outstanding Director for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special. Unfortunately, in 2014 Nichols passed from a heart attack a few weeks after his 83rd birthday.
Another household name, Whoopi Goldberg is the first African-American to achieve EGOT status. Her first win came in 1986 for her self-titled Broadway album which won a Grammy for Best Comedy Album. Her second award was her Oscar, the first to win that second. This win came from her role in the 1991 film Ghost in which she took home the win in the Best Supporting Actress category.
Goldberg is also the first to win two of their awards in the same year, that being in 2002 for both her Tony and Emmy. Goldberg won her Emmy in the Outstanding Special Class Special category for her hosting Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel. Thoroughly Modern Millie won Best Musical at the 2002 Tony Awards which got her the final letter in EGOT, completing her status.
Scott Rudin was a prominent Broadway producer, however after word of him abusing crew and staff members got out, he stepped back from any shows he was involved in. Still, he has achieved the EGOT. Rudin won his Emmy in 1984 for his work on He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin’. Next came his Tony in 1994 which was won for Passion (Best Musical). Rudin’s Oscar was won in 2008 in which No Country for Old Men won Best Picture. Finally, in 2012, Rudin producing Book of Mormon led to his finishing the EGOT by winning the same award as Robert Lopez, Best Musical Theatre Album.
Robert Lopez has many firsts as an EGOT winner; he is the youngest person to achieve the EGOT, he also achieved it the fastest over a span of ten years. Lopez is the first Filipino and Asian to hold the achievement. His first Tony Award came in 2004 for Best Original Score in Avenue Q, he went on to win two more for Book of Mormon in 2011. Lopez’s Emmy win came in 2008 for the children’s show Wonder Pets! in which he won Outstanding Music Direction and Composition. He won the same award for Wonder Pets! again two years later.
In 2012, Lopez won his first Grammy Award for Best Musical Theatre Album for Book of Mormon. Robert Lopez’s most famous work and win, though, came from Frozen which was a phenomenon in itself. In 2014 Lopez won an Oscar for Best Original Song, of course for Let It Go, thus completing the EGOT.
Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber
Considering the pair have been collaborating for more than half of their careers, having the pair together on this list only makes sense. Known for his work as a lyricist and a producer, Tim Rice is Broadway royalty after his many successful shows that include Jesus Christ Superstar, Aida, and Evita. Along with Rice, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber is also Broadway royalty for his work in Phantom of the Opera, Sunset Boulevard, and Cats.
Many of Webber and Rice’s awards were won on projects they collaborated on. In 1980 the pair won their first Grammy for Best Cast Show Album for their work on Evita. Along with their Grammy, Rice and Webber won their first of several Tony Awards for Best Original Score, also for Evita. After Evita’s success, Rice went on to win an Oscar for Best Original Song in Disney’s Aladdin, “A Whole New World”. Webber’s Oscar came in 1997, also the Best Original Song award for “You Must Love Me” from Evita. The pair finally completed the EGOT in 2018 with John Legend for their work on Jesus Christ Superstar Live, winning the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live).
The second youngest recipient of the EGOT is singer John Legend who became a household name with his song “All of Me.” Legend had been in the industry far before 2013, when “All of Me” was originally released. In fact, he won his first three Grammys in 2006 for Best New Artist, Best R&B Album, and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. Next came his Oscar in 2015 for his work on the film Selma. He won Best Original Song with “Glory”, adding the ‘O’ to his growing EGOT status.
In 2017, Legend co-produced the revival of August Wilson’s play Jitney. Jitney is one of Wilson’s ten plays depicting African-Americans’ experiences throughout each decade of the twentieth century. During the Tony Awards, Legend went onstage to accept the award for Best Revival of a Play. Finally, in 2018 after his performance as Jesus of Nazareth in NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live, he won an Emmy for Outstanding Variety Special (Live). Along with Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, this victory finished out the achievement of the EGOT.
Known best for his work on Disney movies and soundtracks, Alan Menken was nearly eighty when he achieved EGOT status. Menken’s first win was an Oscar for Best Original Score in 1990 for his work on The Little Mermaid. He has since won seven more Oscars, making him the one with the most Oscar wins on the EGOT list. In 1991, Menken won his first of eleven Grammys, also for The Little Mermaid.
Many of Menken’s wins are from Disney movies and television shows, which makes him my personal favorite. Next on the list was his 2012 Tony win for Best Original Score for the Broadway stage adaptation of Disney’s film Newsies. It would take Menken another eight years before reaching EGOT status, but in 2020 he won the Emmy for ‘Outstanding Original Song in a Children’s, Young Adult, or Animated Program’ for his song “Waiting in the Wings” from Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure, a spinoff show of the movie Tangled.
All together, Menken holds twenty-one awards for his work as a composer and songwriter. He is most likely the reason behind your favorite Disney song, and Disney’s movies wouldn’t be the same without him.