Coined by "Miami Vice" actor Philip Michael Thomas back in the 1980s, an EGOT is a designation for anyone in the performing arts who has won an Emmy, a Grammy, an Oscar and a Tony. There are debates as to whether you need to win all competitively, but an honorary award has been deemed acceptable to most awards scorekeepers. Of the 22 individuals who fall in one of the two categories, only seven have been Black, with Viola Davis joining the list after winning a Grammy on February 5 (it won't make up for her recent egregious Oscar snub).
Here is a look at those who have claimed the honor and those just one award away from doing so.
Goldberg was the first ever Black recipient of an EGOT, which she clinched during a prodigious 2002 in which she picked up a Daytime Emmy for Best Special Class Special for "Beyond Tara: The Extraordinary Life of Hattie McDaniel" and a Tony as a producer of the musical "Thoroughly Modern Millie." She won a Grammy in 1985 for Best Comedy Recording for "Whoopi Goldberg: Direct from Broadway" and an Oscar for her turn as the delightfully brassy psychic Oda Mae Brown in 1990's "Ghost."
It only took 12 years for the smooth crooner to win all four awards, starting with a bevy of Grammys in 2006, an Oscar for the song "Glory" from "Selma" in 2015 (co-written with another fellow coming up on this list) a Tony as a producer of August Wilson's "Jitney" and an Emmy for NBC's live broadcast of "Jesus Christ Superstar," in which he starred.
Just last year, Hudson joined the EGOT club as a producer of the Tony winner for Best Musical, "A Strange Loop." She conquered the Oscar first for 2006's "Dreamgirls," then a Grammy for her 2009 album debut and finally, a Daytime Emmy for the 2021 interactive special "Baba Yaga."
The "Star Wars" and "Field of Dreams" legend is among those who entered the EGOT club via a non-competitive statuette, with his Honorary Oscar in 2011. (He was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award in 1971 for "The Great White Hope.") During his long and distinguished career, he has also won two Emmys, two Tonys and a Grammy for Spoken Word Performance.
Belafonte (seen here with friend and Oscar winner Sidney Poitier) has an EGOT history spanning 60 years, beginning with a featured actor Tony in 1954, an Emmy in 1960 for Perfornance in a Variety or Music Program for his "Tonight with Belafonte — The Revlon Revue" and a Grammy the following year for Best Folk Performance. Finally, the Calypso pioneer earned the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award in 2014 at the Academy's Governors Awards.
No awards list would be complete without Jones, a titan in all corners of the entertainment industry. Starting with a boatload of career Grammys (nearly three dozen), an Emmy for composing the score for "Roots" and a Tony for producing the hit revival of Broadway's "The Color Purple" (which starred EGOT winner Jennifer Hudson and Cynthia Erivo, see both above and below). Like Belafonte, QJ scored a Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, nearly 20 years ago in 1994. And even though he's nearly 90, don't count him out for more wins in the years ahead.
The "Woman King" star joined the EGOT ranks on Feb. 5 after picking up a Grammy for the audio of her 2022 memoir, "Finding Me." She earned Tonys for the August Wilson plays "King Hedley II" and "Fences," and her performance in the film version of the latter won her an Oscar in 2016. The year prior, she'd become the first Black woman to win the Emmy for best actress in a drama series for her fierce portrayal of Annalise Keating in ABC's "How to Get Away with Murder."
Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for Tribeca Festival
2023 could possibly be the year for the multihyphenate to EGOT, given that he is currently co-starring in the Broadway debut of the Pulitzer-winning play "Between Riverside and Crazy" (look out for May's Tony noms). He won an Oscar (with John Legend) for the "Selma" original song "Glory," which also netted him a Grammy (one of many he has picked up). He received an Emmy for another Ava DuVernay project, 2016's searing Netflix documentary "13th."
Erivo pulled off a hat trick when she won a Tony, Emmy and Grammy for the same role: the thrilling Celie in Broadway's 2015 reboot of "The Color Purple." She took home awards as a performer on stage, on TV as a singer promoting the show and as a principal vocalist on the production's recording. Amazingly, Erivo had two shots at an Oscar in the same year for starring in and co-writing a song for 2019's "Harriet." Look out for that possibility to reemerge once her Elphaba in the big-screen adapatation of "Wicked" defies gravity next year.
The red carpet trail blazer has a Tony for starring in "Kinky Boots" as the luscious Lola, a Grammy for the show's recording and a history-making win as the sage Pray Tell in FX's "Pose," which made Porter the first openly gay Black man to both be nominated and win in the leading actor category at the Primetime Emmy Awards. Given he's now directing films, it might only be a matter of time before Porter collects Oscar gold at the Dolby Theatre.