It's obviously a huge accomplishment to win an Oscar, a Grammy, a Tony or an Emmy. But to win all four? That's a feat so rare that only 10 people have ever accomplished it "“ at least, so far. Here they are:
1. Richard Rodgers of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame was the first to achieve all four and received the last of the awards "“ an Emmy for the music he composed for the made for T.V. movie Winston Churchill: The Valiant Years "“ in 1962. The Academy Award came from State Fair's "It Might as Well Be Spring," the first Grammy was for The Sound of Music album and his first Tony was for South Pacific.
2. Helen Hayes topped her Oscar, Emmy and Tony off with a Grammy in 1976 for the Best Spoken Word Recording for Great American Documents. Helen has something that most of the other entertainers on this list don't, though: a Presidential Medal of Freedom awarded to her by Ronald Reagan in 1986.
3. Rita Moreno is making me eat my words, though, because she also has a Presidential Medal of Freedom. To be fair, they are the only two on the list who do. Rita was awarded hers in 2004 by George W. Bush. Her Oscar was for West Side Story, of course, and her Tony was for The Ritz. It's her Grammy and Emmy awards that I think are the coolest, though: her Best Recording for Children Grammy was for The Electric Company and her first Emmy was for her appearance on The Muppet Show!
4. John Gielgud is the only British entertainer to have achieved all four awards "“ a Tony for directing Big Fish, Little Fish in 1961, a Best Spoken Word Grammy for Ages of Man in 1979, the Outstanding Actor in a Miniseries or Special Emmy for Summer's Lease, and the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for 1981's Arthur.
5. Audrey Hepburn shouldn't come as too much of a surprise, although the Grammy might throw you for a loop. Everyone's favorite ingÃ©nue won her only Oscar for Roman Holiday opposite Gregory Peck in 1953. The Tony came just a year later "“ Best Actress in the play Ondine. Then she proved that she was still amazing 40 years later when she won an Emmy in 1993 for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn and a Grammy in 1994 for her spoken word children's album Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales.
6. Marvin Hamlisch, composer, has all of these awards and a Pulitzer Prize for Drama (A Chorus Line). His Tony was also for scoring the same musical. He can thank Barbra Streisand for his other three awards "“ or maybe she should thank him for hers (we'll get to that in a second). He won three Oscars in 1973 "“ two for The Way We Were and one for The Sting. Two of his four Emmys were for 1995's Barbra Streisand: The Concert. And his first Grammy was for the Song of the Year in 1974 "“ The Way We Were, obviously.
7. Jonathan Tunick received all four awards for accomplishments in composing and arranging over a span of 20 years, but what you probably know him best for is the most recent award that completed the superfecta for him "“ the orchestration of the 1997 Titanic musical (not the 1997 DiCaprio-Winslet sobfest).
8. Mel Brooks can chalk most of his awards up to The Producers and his guest appearances on Mad About You in the "˜90s. His first award for Bialystock and Bloom was the 1968 Oscar for best screenplay. Then there was a bit of a lull in awards, but for three years running starting in 1997 he won Emmys for hanging out with Paul Reiser and Helen Hunt. In 1998 he won a Grammy for the Best Spoken Comedy Album The 2000 Year Old Man in the Year 2000," and in 2001 he won three Tonys for the musical revival of The Producers. What, nothing for Blazing Saddles?
9. Mike Nichols, whom you also might know as Diane Sawyer's husband, has won most of his awards for directing or producing. But his very first "“ a 1961 Grammy "“ was won for his comedic performance on An Evening With Mike Nichols and Elaine May. The first of his eight Tonys was for directing 1964's Barefoot in the Park and his only Oscar was for directing The Graduate in 1967. The Emmys are relatively new "“ 2001 for directing and producing Wit, and then the same Emmys in 2004 for Angels in America.
10. Whoopi Goldberg. This one was a bit of a shock to some of us here at the _floss, but it's true! Ghost earned the Whoopster her only Oscar to date, and she earned her Best Comedy Recording Grammy five years earlier in 1985. She received both her Emmy and her Tony in 2002; the Emmy was for Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Live of Hattie McDaniel. I never could have guessed what the Tony was for, but maybe you guys are more educated in Broadway matters than I am. Give up? It was for producing Thoroughly Modern Millie.
Now, about Barbra Streisand. She's debatable because she has never actually won a competitive Tony. She received a "special" Tony in 1970 that she didn't have to compete for. And the same goes for Liza Minelli, although her questionable award is the Grammy. She never received one by competition, but she did receive a "Grammy Legend" award in 1990. What do you think"¦ should they count?
Here's a list of some of the living people who have received three of the four "“ who do you think will be added to the Four Awards list next? Share with us in the comments!
Julie Andrews (seriously?!)
Barbra (sort of)
Liza (sort of)
Andrew Lloyd Webber
James Earl Jones
Dick Van Dy