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Why the EGOT is the Most Prestigious Honor in Entertainment

The 2014 Oscars telecast had its share of memorable moments, from Ellen's pizza bit to John Travolta unknowingly creating a new name-butchering process known as "travoltifying," but what most people don't know is that something else pretty big happened that night: another EGOT was created. For the uninitiated, the EGOT is that rarest of species: a person who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar, and a Tony. The person in question: Robert Lopez, who won Best Original Song for co-writing "Let it Go" for the animated film Frozen.

Lopez won his Tony Awards for co-writing the musicals Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon, his Grammy Award for the cast recording of The Book of Mormon, and two Daytime Emmy Awards for the children's show Wonder Pets. It turns out that being a musical theatre writer is a fast track to becoming an EGOT (or EGOTing, or achieving the EGOT, or however you like to refer to the honor). The first person to achieve the feat was Richard Rodgers (of Rodgers and Hammerstein), and other winners include Marvin Hamlisch (A Chorus Line) and Mel Brooks (The Producers). Other EGOTs have been actors, directors, and producers, and have often won in different roles for different projects. But whoever you are, you've got to really work to get into this exclusive club.

List of EGOTs

Legend:

  • [Place in order]) [Name of winner] (year of fourth distinct award)

A star (*) denotes that one distinct award was in a non-competitive category

  • 1) Richard Rodgers (1962) - The first person to win all four awards, Rodgers' most notable winners include The Sound of Music, South Pacific, and The King and I.
  • *) Barbra Streisand (1970) - Though Streisand has never won a competitive Tony, she received an honorary award in 1970, making her the youngest person to receive all four awards (at 28) and the person to have done it in the shortest amount of time (just 7 years). She also has the most Grammys (9) of any EGOT and the most total awards (18).
  • 2) Helen Hayes (1976) - A celebrated actress with a Broadway theatre named after her, Hayes won several acting trophies and a Grammy for the spoken word recording Great American Documents.
  • 3) Rita Moreno (1977) - Perhaps best known for her role as Anita in West Side Story, Moreno has also been recognized for children's media including work on The Muppet Show and The Electric Company.
  • *) Liza Minnelli (1990) - Liza is showbiz royalty, and she has the awards to prove it. Her non-competitive honor was her 1990 Grammy Legend Award.
  • 4) John Gielgud (1991) - With a West End theatre named after him, Gielgud proved to be a star on both sides of the pond, winning for roles in Arthur and The Importance of Being Earnest, among others.
  • 5) Audrey Hepburn (1994) - A true screen legend and timeless beauty, Hepburn achieved the EGOT posthumously when she won the 1994 Grammy for Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales.
  • 6) Marvin Hamlisch (1995) - Winning a Tony for the renowned musical A Chorus Line, Hamlisch won at least one of each other award for work with fellow EGOT Barbra Streisand, from The Way We Were (the song and the film score) and her television specials.
  • 7) Jonathan Tunick (1997) - A composer, music arranger, and conductor, Tunick won for projects such as the film adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music and the orchestrations for the score of the musical Titanic.
  • 8) Mel Brooks (2001) - Though Brooks is well known for such comedy classics as Blazing Saddles, Young Frankenstein, Spaceballs, and Robin Hood: Men in Tights, he didn't win these awards for those films. However, most of his awards are for The Producers (the 1968 film and 2001 Broadway musical), another essential Brooks story.
  • 9) Mike Nichols (2001) - There are few directors as successful and in-demand as Mike Nichols. He has 7 Tonys for directing alone. Oh, and he directed this little movie called The Graduate. Maybe you've heard of it?
  • 10) Whoopi Goldberg (2002) - Whoopi has done it all, winning an acting trophy for Ghost in 1990, a Grammy for the recording of her Broadway show, a Best Musical Tony for producing Thoroughly Modern Millie, and one of her Emmys for her work as a host on The View.
  • *) James Earl Jones (2011) - The man, the voice, the legend finally completed his EGOT when he received an honorary Oscar in 2011. Finally, Darth Vader Mufasa Jones became part of the illustrious club.
  • 11) Scott Rudin (2012) - Chiefly for his role as a producer, Rudin has won for the film No Country for Old Men and for the Broadway plays Doubt, God of Carnage, and Fences, to name a few.
  • 12) Robert Lopez (2014) - This guy is the youngest (39) to have won all four awards in competitive categories and won all four competitive awards in the shortest amount of time with only 10 years between his Tony for Avenue Q (2004) and his Oscar for "Let It Go" (2014).

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