10 Amazing TV Actors Who Have Never Been Nominated For An Emmy

The Emmy Nominations are announced next week, which will afford us all new opportunities to grouse about the snubs and complain that members from the Big Bang Theory and Two and a Half Men cast were nominated once again. But an occasional snub is one thing; it’s quite another when an incredibly worthy actor is snubbed yearly, often in different roles in different categories on different television shows.

It’s not too late for the 10 actors below, but the fact that none of them have been nominated for an Emmy yet in category for any show is absolutely criminal.

John C. McGinley — For years, McGinley was one of television’s lowest profile character actors, but a nine-year stint on Scrubs raised his profile considerably. Not enough, unfortunately, to garner an Emmy Nomination, even as he whiplash transformed from angry rants to deep pathos. The fact that he wasn’t nominated for the third season episode, “My Screw Up,” is a major award injustice.

Garrett Dillahunt — Among an incredibly talented Deadwood cast, it might have been easier to overlook Garret Dillahunt’s contributions. But just how good was he in Deadwood? He played two different characters — Jack McCall (Bill Hickock’s murderer) and Francis Wolcott — and barely anyone even noticed it was the same guy. But it wasn’t until his brilliant comedic turn on Raising Hope that I understood just flat-out amazing an actor Dillahunt is. It’s time Emmy people take notice, too.

Katey Sagal — Before you do a double take, go ahead. Look it up. Yes, she’s won a Golden Globe, but despite 10 years of strong work on Married… with Children and an about-face into drama on Sons of Anarchy, Sagal has never been nominated. Not once. Fewer actresses deserved it more than Sagal for her season-two turn on Sons of Anarchy, as a bad-ass old-lady dealing with the aftermath of a rape.

Donal Logue — Anyone that’s followed Logue’s career from his days on MTV through his stint on the short-lived but great Life to the equally short-lived but great Terriers knows how versatile Logue is. He can do great comedy or great drama, and he can do likable or sleaze bag. Right now, he just needs the right show — particularly one that lasts more than a couple of seasons — to give him the exposure necessary to attract the necessary attention of Emmy voters.

Paula Malcolmson — Another Deadwood alum, Malcomson first attracted attention as the foul-mouthed but compassionate prostitute in David Milch’s Western. That role put her on the map, which should’ve — at the very least — gotten her enough attention to merit a nomination in the guest star category for her outstanding turn in Sons of Anarchy. To fully appreciate her talents, it may help to see the contrast between her characters and her in real life, as demonstrated in the video below.

Michael Cudlitz — Though he’s bounced around television for over 20 years (most notably Band of Brothers), Cudlitz is not a particularly well known actor. However, anyone who has seen Southland understands why Cudlitz is on this list. In Southland, he’s created a truly unique television character: A gay cop whose sexuality is never a question. He’s tough as nails, but as he’s demonstrated in several episodes that he can absolutely snatch your soul with powerful, tender performances.

John Noble — I had to triple check to make sure Noble had not been nominated yet because he seems like such a natural Emmy choice. He has gravitas, and he can play goofy. Yet, despite playing the eccentric and soft-hearted Walter in Fringe, as well as the grim Walter-net on the same show, and despite the fact that he’s carried more than a few of the show’s episodes all by himself, an Emmy nomination has still eluded him. I can only assume that it’s because the Emmy voters have a natural bias against sci-fi.

Also, I didn’t realize it until just now, but John Noble is also Australian.

Lauren Graham — Even if you weren’t a big fan of Gilmore Girls, it’s hard to understand why she was passed by for a nomination all seven years of her run in Gilmore Girls. The Golden Globes loved her. The Television Critics Association adored her. Where were the Emmy voters? She should’ve merited a nomination based simply on words-per-minute. She’s a terrific actress, and what she does best — as she demonstrated in Gilmore Girls and now in Parenthood is bounce off another actor. Nobody riffs like Lauren, and it’s that ability that can help bring a scene alive.

J.K. Simmons — You can put aside everything else — over the last 15 years, he’s been in scores of television shows. You can put aside his strong big-screen presence in Up in the Air and Juno (to name a few), his turn in The Closer, his recurring role in Law & Order, and his two-episode arc in Party Down. You need only see one performance to know what an injustice it is that J.K. Simmons was never nominated: He was Vern Schillinger in Oz, and that should’ve been worth at least three Emmys.

Michael K. Williams — Really, Emmy voters. REALLY? No love for Omar, one of the most dynamic and compelling characters of the last decade? That’s just plain ridiculous. In The Wire, he humanized a murdering gangster WHO WAS GAY? That’s right up Emmy Alley. They haven’t done so yet, but I hope that the Emmy voters atone for this mistake by at least recognizing him for his part in Boardwalk Empire or sneak him in for a nomination under the best guest star category for his work on Community.