How They Won Their EGOTS

by Christopher Ehlers

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Saturday June 18, 2022

Andrew Lloyd Webber, left, John Legend, and Tim Rice winners of the award for outstanding variety special for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" poses in the press room during night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at The Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, left, John Legend, and Tim Rice winners of the award for outstanding variety special for "Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert" poses in the press room during night two of the Creative Arts Emmy Awards at The Microsoft Theater on Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, in Los Angeles.  (Source:Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

When Jennifer Hudson won a Tony Award last week as a producer of "A Strange Loop," she became only the 17th person in history to win the showbiz grand slam: An Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony.

The youngest of these awards, the Emmy, has been around for 63 years, so this elusive honor is all the more impressive when you consider the fact that only 17 people have achieved this honor in seven decades; even when you consider special, non-competitive awards, that number balloons to only 22 (Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte, and Quincy Jones won their EGOTs with at least one non-competitive award).

Who has an EGOT, and how did they get there? Read on to find out.

Richard Rodgers

The very first person to achieve this, Rodgers actually won an Oscar before he ever won a Tony, despite being a theater composer first. His Oscar came for Best Song in 1945 for "It Might as Well Be Spring," from "State Fair." His string of Tonys were next — six in total, for "South Pacific," "The King and I," "The Sound of Music," and "No Strings," with the last two also netting him Grammys for Best Original Cast Show Album. Lastly, his Emmy, came in 1962, for his compositions for "Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years."

Helen Hayes

Hayes was the first woman and first performer to achieve EGOT status, and she was the first person to win the triple crown of acting with acting Emmy, Oscar, and Tony wins. Her first Oscar was in 1932 for "The Sin of Madelon Claudet," and her second came four decades later, when she won the Supporting Actress trophy for "Airport." She won her Tonys in 1947 (for "Happy Birthday") and in 1958 (for "Time Remembered"), and her 1953 Emmy was for an episode of "Schlitz Playhouse of Stars." She completed her EGOT in 1977, when she won Best Spoken Word Recording for "Great American Documents."

Rita Moreno

The first Latina EGOT winner, Moreno began her haul in 1961 with an Oscar for "West Side Story"; 11 years later, she won a Grammy for Best Recording for Children for "The Electric Company," and three years after that she won a Tony Award for "The Ritz." She completed her EGOT — at the time only the third person to do so — in 1977 with an Emmy for "The Muppet Show."

John Gielgud

When Gielgud achieved EGOT status in 1991, he was the oldest person to do so, in addition to being the first LGBTQ+ winner and the first non-American winner. In 1948, he won his first Tony Award for "The Importance of Being Earnest"; his next award wouldn't come for more than 30 years, when he won a Grammy in 1979 for Best Spoken Word Recording for "Ages of Man." In 1981, he won an Academy Award for his indelible performance in "Arthur," and completed his EGOT in 1991 — at the age of 87 — with an Emmy for the miniseries "Summer's Lease."

Audrey Hepburn

When Hepburn posthumously won a Grammy in 1994 for her spoken word album "Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales," she became the first — and only — person to achieve EGOT status posthumously. She won her first two awards consecutively: A 1953 Oscar for "Roman Holiday," and a 1954 Tony for "Ondine." Forty years went by before her Emmy win, for "Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn," which was also awarded posthumously.

Marvin Hamlisch

Hamlisch was the first EGOT winner to have won multiple awards for the same body of work, in his case for "The Way We Were," which won him two Oscars in 1973, in addition to a 1974 Grammy for Song of the Year. (In total, Hamlisch won three Oscars and four Grammys). Two years later, he would win the Tony for "A Chorus Line," and he completed his Grand Slam with an Emmy 20 years later for his musical direction of Barbra Streisand's television special.

Jonathan Tunick

Composer, conductor, and musical arranger Jonathan Tunick began his 20-year quest for the EGOT in 1977, when he won an Oscar for his adaptation of Sondheim's "A Little Night Music" score, despite the film being a complete disaster. In 1982, he won an Emmy for his musical direction of "Night of 100 Stars," and in 1988 a Grammy for his instrumental arrangement for Cleo Laine's recording of "No One is Alone" from "Into the Woods." In 1997, he completed the EGOT when he took home the Tony Award for his orchestrations for "Titanic."

Mel Brooks

His first award came in 1967, when he won an Emmy for writing "The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, & Howard Morris Special" (he would also go on to win three consecutive Emmys in the '90s for his guest appearances on "Mad About You"). In 1968, his screenplay for "The Producers" won him an Oscar, and thirty years after that he won his first Grammy for "The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000," his comedy album. He officially EGOTed in 2001, when his smash hit musical "The Producers" won him three Tonys.

Mike Nichols

With Mel Brooks, Mike Nichols was the second person to achieve EGOT status in 2001, when he won two Emmys for "Wit." (He would go on to win two more Emmys for "Angels in America"). His first award came in 1961, when his "An Evening with Mike Nichols and Elaine May" won him a Grammy for Best Comedy Performance. Three years later, he won his first of nine Tony Awards for directing "Barefoot in the Park," and three years after that nabbed the Oscar for "The Graduate."

Whoopi Goldberg

The first African American EGOT winner, Goldberg began her EGOT journey in 1986, with a Grammy for Best Comedy Album for a recording of her one-woman Broadway show. Four years later, she won the Oscar for "Ghost," and completed her EGOT twelve years after that when she won an Emmy and a Tony in the same year for hosting the TV special "Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel," and for producing "Thoroughly Modern Millie" on Broadway.

Scott Rudin

While the world now knows that Scott Rudin is a reprehensible human being accused of widespread abuse of his staffers, the infamous monster achieved EGOT status in 2012 when he won a Grammy for producing the cast recording of "The Book of Mormon." His first award came in 1984, when he won an Emmy for "He Makes Me Feel Like Dancin'," and ten years later he won his first of 18 Tonys when Sondheim's "Passion" won Best Musical. Thirteen years after that, when "No Country for Old Men" won Best Picture, Rudin won his Oscar, completing the Grand Slam.

Robert Lopez

Songwriter Robert Lopez isn't only the first Filipino and Asian EGOT winner, but he's also the youngest winner and the person who completed his EGOT in the least amount of time: Nine years. Remarkably, he's the first and only person to double EGOT, winning each award at least twice. He won Tonys for "Avenue Q" and "The Book of Mormon," Grammys for "Mormon" and "Frozen," Emmys for "Wonder Pets!" and "WandaVision," and Oscars for "Frozen" and "Coco." Damn.

Andrew Lloyd Webber

Andrew Lloyd Webber achieved half of his EGOT in the same year — 1980 — when "Evita" won the Grammy for Best Cast Album and the Tony for Best Original Score; he would follow the same pattern three years later with "Cats." (In total, Lloyd Webber has six Tonys and three Grammys). In 1996, he won the Oscar for Best Original Song for "You Must Love Me" from "Evita," and finished off the EGOT in 2018 when he won an Emmy for the live broadcast of "Jesus Christ Superstar," which starred John Legend and Sarah Bareilles.

Tim Rice

A longtime collaborator of Andrew Lloyd Webber, lyricist Tim Rice began and ended his EGOT journey the same way: With a 1980 Grammy and Tony for "Evita" and a 2018 Emmy for "Jesus Christ Superstar." He also shared Lloyd Webber's Oscar for "You Must Love Me," but already had two of his own for "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" from "The Lion King," and "A Whole New World" from "Aladdin," netting him three Academy Awards in only four years.

John Legend

A producer alongside Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber on "Jesus Christ Superstar," Legend also picked up an Emmy that year for the television special. His EGOT journey began in 2006 when he won his first three Grammys — he now has 12 — including Best New Artist. In 2014, he won the Oscar for "Glory" from "Selma," and three years after that won a Tony Award as a producer of the 2017 Broadway Revival of August Wilson's "Jitney." A year later, he reached elite EGOT status when he took the stage with Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice at the Emmys, making him the EGOT recipient with the most Grammys. He also achieved a couple of firsts: He was the first Black man to do so, the first person to receive the four awards in four consecutive years, and the first EGOT recipient to have won both a Primetime and Daytime Emmy.

Alan Menken

Like John Legend and his Grammys, Alan Menken is the EGOT recipient with the most Academy Awards — eight — all won for songs and scores from "The Little Mermaid," "Beauty and the Beast," "Aladdin," and "Pocahontas." He also has an astounding 11 Grammys, 10 of which were won over only five years, for the recordings of films mentioned above. He got pretty lucky with his 2012 Tony win, though: "Newsies" was deemed eligible for Best Original Score despite the bulk of the material having been written years prior for the film. There was also virtually no competition that year, so he sailed easily to a win. He completed the Grand Slam in 2020 with a Daytime Emmy for a song from "Rapunzel's Tangled Adventure."

Jennifer Hudson

Of course, most are still scratching their heads as to how this powerhouse performer was ever eliminated from "American Idol." But boy, has she had the last laugh. Her EGOT journey began in 2006 when she won an Oscar for "Dreamgirls," and she quickly followed that up in 2009 with a Grammy for Best R&B Album. (She won a second Grammy in 2017 for the cast recording of "The Color Purple.") In 2021, she won an Emmy for producing the children's show "Baba Yaga," and finished off her EGOT this year when "A Strange Loop" won the Tony for Best Musical.

Who might the next EGOT be? Of those missing only one award, our money is on Cher, Ron Howard, Kate Winslet, Viola Davis, Jessica Lange, Frances McDormand, Helen Mirren, David Byrne, Elton John, or Lin-Manuel Miranda.