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Snubbed! 18 Actors Who Surprisingly Never Won Emmys

From Steve Carell to Seinfeld, these TV stars received the award-show cold shoulder

Jerry Seinfeld and Courtney Cox emmy snubb

Jerry Seinfeld and Courtney Cox

Chris Haston/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images; NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Did you know that Angela Lansbury holds the record for the most Emmy nominations ever for a lead actress in a drama series, for Murder She Wrote? (The answer: 12.) Now, know how many times she won? None — which is also a record. But she can take comfort in the fact that she's not the only iconic TV star to never walk away a winner. Also in the same Emmys-less boat: Michael Landon, Larry Hagman, Meredith Baxter, Leonard Nimoy, Jackie Gleason, Elizabeth Montgomery, Desi Arnaz and dozens of others. Even beloved ensemble shows like Seinfeld, Friends and 30 Rock usually leave at least one big-name star hanging out to dry.

With the 66th annual Primetime Emmys airing tonight, we dug into which memorable TV stars have also never won the small-screen's biggest award. Here are 18 performers who, criminally, remain Emmy-less.

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Mayim Bialik

From Blossom to Big Bang Theory, the 38-year-old Bialik has been charming viewers for 25 years. But while she got absolutely zilch in terms of Emmys love for playing the beloved Blossom Russo, the Academy has warmed up to her portrayal of neurobiology nerd Amy Fowler on Bang — maybe because she plays the girlfriend to Emmy darling Jim Parsons' Sheldon on the show. So far she has nabbed three nods but no wins for the role. Could 2014 finally be her year? 

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Steve Carell

Outside of a 2006 win for Outstanding Comedy Series and a few technical awards, The Office went largely overlooked when it came to Emmy awards – and Carell was no exception, although he was nominated six times for bringing bumbling boss Michael Scott to life. (Though the actor did nab a Golden Globe in 2006.) He wasn't the only Dunder Mifflin employee who came away empty-handed: Rainn Wilson, John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer never got any Emmys acknowledgment either.

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Kim Cattrall

Her Sex & the City character Samantha Jones would be pissed, but Cattrall took her five-time loss in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy category in stride. While co-star Kristin Davis never won one either, both Cynthia Nixon and lead star Sarah Jessica Parker were able to eek out a win in the final season. Cattrall does have a Golden Globe under her belt, however. (No pun intended.)

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Courteney Cox

Everyone else on Friends got at least one nod ­– and Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow each have trophies on their mantels ­– but Cox's performance as Monica Geller went unrecognized. Not only was she not acknowledged for that role, the Emmys have also completely ignored her latest show, the vastly underrated Cougar Town.

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David Duchovny

Yes, the truth is out there, and sometimes it stings: The voters have apparently been unimpressed by Duchovny over the years, leaving him empty-handed for his turn as true believer Fox Mulder on The X-Files, while co-star Gillian Anderson walked away with an award. But at least he was nominated twice. The same can't be said of his recent series, Californication, which has aired almost as long as the cult paranormal series (seven seasons to The X-Files' nine) but hasn't garnered the actor a single nod. He has, however, won Golden Globes for both turns. Don't stop believin'.

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Michael C. Hall

For a series that twice won Outstanding Casting, Six Feet Under reaped no rewards for the actual cast, including Hall (who was nominated once for embodying gay funeral director David Fisher). But more surprisingly, he went unrewarded for playing the namesake vigilante serial killer on Dexter — although he was nominated five times, and won a Golden Globe. Perhaps the third time will be the charm: the actor has signed on to play a minister-turned-bank robber in the upcoming miniseries God Fearing Men, based on Stanley Kubrick's screenplay.

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Hugh Laurie

Somewhere, Dr. Gregory House is cursing up a storm. While his U.S. TV credentials are relatively short, it's hard to believe that Laurie never won an Emmy for the curmudgeonly but occasionally loveable doctor on House M.D. (And co-stars Lisa Edelstein and Robert Sean Leonard were never even nominated!) The English actor was, however, nominated six times for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, and twice won Golden Globes for the role. While the series itself won a few technical Emmys over the years, it otherwise went unrewarded.

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Denis Leary

Perhaps Leary's signature fouled-mouthed, rapid-speed rants made members of the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences skittish about voting for him, fearing what he might say when he got to the podium. Still, he did pick up three Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama nominations for playing rough-around-the-edges New York City firefighter Tommy Gavin on Rescue Me (plus one for Supporting Actor in a Miniseries in 2008, for HBO's Recount).

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Heather Locklear

In the Eighties and Nineties, Locklear was the go-to girl for securing (or saving) a hit show. From T.J. Hooker and Dynasty to Melrose Place and Spin City, audiences couldn't get enough of her. But the Television Academy was none too impressed, and Locklear never picked up a single nod. She was, however, nominated for a Golden Globe several times for both Melrose Place and Spin City, but never won.

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Bernie Mac

While The Bernie Mac Show won an Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series, its lead star did not — though the crass Chicago comedian did get nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor twice for the semi-autobiographical role. Mac died in 2008 at age 50.

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Bill Maher

Between several series and numerous specials, Maher holds the unenviable distinction of being the most nominated person without a single win. A majority of those come from the various hats he wears as a writer and producer, with just two for Outstanding Performance in a Variety or Music Program: one for Politically Incorrect in 1997, and the other for Real Time With Bill Maher  in 2004. He has 33 nods to his name, including one this year as a producer for Vice, which is up for Outstanding Information Series or Special. Maybe the 33rd time’s the charm here?

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Tracy Morgan

While Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin each won twice for their iconic characters on 30 Rock, Morgan (who played Tracy Jordan) never took home a trophy. In fact, he was only even nominated once, in 2009, for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series. But he's in good company: Fellow supporting cast member Jane Krakowski also never won. So far, no EGOT for either of them, although Morgan's TV persona eventually went all the way: winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

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Chris Noth

Noth has yet to live up to his “Mr. Big” moniker at the Emmys. In fact, unlike his female co-stars on Sex and the City, he was never even nominated for his omnipotent character on the popular HBO show. Same goes for his roles on the Law & Order franchise and The Good Wife. Thankfully, he has landed two Golden Globes nods, for SATC and The Good Wife, respectively.

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Phylicia Rashad

As the ying to Bill Cosby's yang on The Cosby Show, Rashad never took home an Emmy for Clair Huxtable, but at least she was nominated twice — unlike Cosby, who never appeared in any category for the iconic 1980s show. (But he did win for I Spy in the 1960s.) Outside of the Cosby universe, Rashad has appeared on Psyche and The Cleveland Show in recent years, and was nominated for a 2008 made-for-TV take on A Raisin in the Sun.

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Keri Russell

Russell made a big splash starring on the coming-of-age drama Felicity, but it wasn't enough to earn her an Emmy. In fact, she was never even nominated (she did, however, win a Golden Globe for the role). And, like déjà vu, her latest critically acclaimed turn — on FX's The Americanshas also failed to earn her a place on the final ballot. 

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Katey Sagal

Neither Sagal nor her Married With Children co-star Ed O'Neill got nominated for the long-running, beloved series, which helped put the Fox network on the map during its 11-season stint. (Both were nominated for Golden Globes but never won.) While O'Neill eventually got three Emmy nods (but no wins) for his resurgence in Modern Family, the coveted small-screen accolade remains elusive for Sagal. Not even her edgy role as a manipulative matriarch on Sons of Anarchy has helped her get a foot in the door.

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Jerry Seinfeld

The show about nothing earned namesake star Jerry Seinfeld, well, nothing – at least in terms of acting Emmys. (He did technically win one year – as a producer on the show for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1992, and was nominated five times for Outstanding Lead Actor.) Also empty-handed? Co-star Jason Alexander, who was beaten three times in the Outstanding Supporting Actor – Comedy category by fellow Seinfelder Michael Richards. Julia Louis-Dreyfus also has something to gloat about with her single win for Outstanding Supporting Actress. But in true George Costanza style, Alexander stands as the show's lone star who failed to win a Golden Globe. 

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Cybill Shepherd

Half the on-screen chemistry that sparked Moonlighting's success came from Shepherd, yet she never walked away with anything come Emmys night in 1986. (Co-star Bruce Willis nabbed one for his mantel, though, for his turn on the show in 1987.) Nor did she break the barrier with her next hit show, Cybill. Like others before her, though, she did score Golden Globes for both shows.