Beyoncé may have made history last night at the Grammys by becoming the most decorated Grammy artist everbut someone else has reached another important milestone…
Viola Davis has officially become the 18th person to win the rare and coveted EGOT.
The 57-year-old American actor won for his autobiography ‘Finding Me’ in the Best Audio Book, Narration, and Storytelling Recording category.
“I just EGOT!” announced the star on stage at the Grammysthanking his family for being “the best chapter in my book”.
“I wrote this book to honor six-year-old Viola,” she said. “To honor her life, her joy, her trauma, everything.”
On Instagram, Davis wrote, “6-year-old Viola is screaming!!!!! She’s so excited to be 57.”
What is an EGOT and who has all four boxes ticked?
For the uninitiated, an EGOT – a term coined by actor Philip Michael Thomas – is the coveted title awarded to anyone who wins the holy quaternity of show business: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony Award.
Last night’s win places Viola Davis in an elite group of 18 who earned the honorary title. She is also the third black woman in history to achieve EGOT status.
Davis won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2017 for her role in 2016 Fences. She won an Emmy in 2015 for her role as Annalize Keating in How to get away with murder, making her the first black woman to win the lead actress award. She has two Tony awards, per King Hedley II (2001) and the Broadway production of Fences (2010).
Before Davis, the last EGOT winner was American singer and actress Jennifer Hudson, who in 2022 became the youngest person to claim the title at 40.
With his win for “Finding Me,” Davis joins the following list of people who have ticked all four boxes (with the year they achieved EGOT glory):
Richard Rodgers (1962) Helen Hayes (1977) Rita Moreno (1977) John Gielgud (1991)
Audrey Hepburn (1994) Marvin Hamlisch (1995) Jonathan Tunick (1997) Mel Brooks (2001) Mike Nichols (2001) Whoopi Goldberg (2002) Scott Rudin (2012) Robert Lopez (2014) Andrew Lloyd Webber (2018) Tim Rice (2018) John Legend (2018) Alan Menken (2020) Jennifer Hudson (2022) Viola Davis (2023)
It’s worth nothing that five other artists – Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, James Earl Jones, Harry Belafonte and Quincy Jones – won all four awards, but received a non-competitive or honorary win like a Grammy Legend Award or an honorary Oscar , and therefore do not make the official list.
Who else is on the cusp of the EGOT state?
Many artists are just missing an award for EGOT status.
Elton John is just away from an Emmy award, while singer Adele is just away from a Tony award.
Others who missed out on the EGOT due to a Tony-shaped hole in their awards cabinet are singer/actors Julie Andrews and Eminem, the last two remaining Beatles Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr, director Martin Scorsese, duo scores Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross and composers Ludwig Göransson and Hildur Guðnadóttir. We bet Kate Winslet could happily snag a Tony and join the EGOT club very soon, having already won an Emmy (Mildred Pierce – 2011), Grammy (“Listen to the narrator” – 2000) and Oscar (The reader – 2009).
On the Grammy front, actors Frances McDormand, Jessica Lange, Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Al Pacino are missing.
When it comes to the Oscars, Dick Van Dyke, Bette Midler and Cynthia Nixon all need a golden bald to get EGOT. The ones we can see coming are Hugh Jackman, who already has an Emmy (58th Annual Tony Awards – 2005), Grammy (The greatest showman – 2019) and Tony (The Boy from Oz – 2004), as well as Lin-Manuel Miranda, who needs an Oscar to complete his collection with his Emmy (67th Tony Awards – 2014), Grammy (In the heights – 2009) and Tony (In the heights – 2008).
As for former US President Barack Obama, he’s officially halfway to an EGOT, with an Emmy last year (for his storytelling on Our Great National Parks) and two Grammys before that (for best spoken word album in 2006 for “Dreams From My Father” and in 2008 for “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream”).
Just when you thought EGOT was the absolute top, there is PEGOT.
A PEGOT winner is someone who has achieved EGOT status in addition to winning a Peabody Award (awards administered annually by the University of Georgia Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication in recognition of outstanding public service and achievements in electronic media) or a Pulitzer Prize.
Only five people have achieved the feat: Barbra Streisand, Mike Nichols and Rita Moreno have all won a Peabody Award; while Richard Rodgers and Marvin Hamlisch both won a Pulitzer Prize.
Once again, we’re rooting for Kate Winslet to nab a Peabody and add herself to this rarefied elite.