With more and more movie stars moving to television, the number of previous Oscar-winners in contention at the Emmys continues to grow. Seventeen Oscar winners number among the 2017 Emmy nominees that were announced on Thursday, July 13. (Check out the complete list of nominees to see if your favorites made the cut.)
The category most jam-packed with Oscar victors is Best Movie/Mini Actress, with a whopping four contenders for a pair of programs: Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon for HBO‘s “Big Little Lies” and Jessica Lange and Susan Sarandon for FX’s “Feud: Bette and Joan.” All four have won prizes for Best Actress (Lange for “Blue Sky” in 1994; Sarandon for “Dead Man Walking” in 1995; Kidman for “The Hours” in 2002; and Witherspoon for “Walk the Line” in 2005), while Lange has a Supporting Actress award for “Tootsie” (1982). Funny enough, Lange and Sarandon portray Best Actress champs Joan Crawford and Bette Davis, recreating the real life rivalry between the two during the shooting of “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”
Lange is very popular at the TV Academy, with three trophies on her mantle (Movie/Mini Actress for “Grey Gardens” in 2009 and “American Horror Story” in 2014; Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “American Horror Story” in 2012), and four additional bids for Movie/Mini Actress (“A Streetcar Named Desire” in 1995, “Normal” in 2003, and “American Horror Story” in 2013 and 2015). Sarandon has yet to win despite four nominations (Comedy Guest Actress for “Friends” in 2001 and “Malcolm in the Middle” in 2002; Movie/Mini Actress for “Bernard and Doris” in 2008; and Movie/Mini Supporting Actress for “You Don’t Know Jack” in 2010). Kidman is also hoping to snag her first victory after competing in this category for “Hemingway & Gellhorn” in 2012. This is Witherspoon’s first Emmy mention.
Over in Best Movie/Mini Actor, two-time winner Robert De Niro (Supporting for “The Godfather, Part II” in 1974 and Lead for “Raging Bull” in 1980) and Best Actor victor Geoffrey Rush (“Shine” in 1996) will duke it out for playing Bernie Madoff in HBO’s “The Wizard of Lies” and Albert Einstein in NatGeo’s “Genius,” respectively. Rush won this prize in 2005 for “The Life and Death of Peter Sellers,” while De Niro is contending for the first time.
Two-time Oscar champ Kevin Spacey (Supporting for “The Usual Suspects” in 1995 and Lead for “American Beauty” in 1999) reaped his fifth consecutive bid for Netflix’s “House of Cards.” The actor also contends for Best Drama Series for the fifth time, bringing his total nominations tally to 12 (he scored a pair of noms in 2008 as Best Movie/Mini Actor for “Recount” and Best TV Movie for “Bernard and Doris”). He’ll compete against fellow Best Actor winner Anthony Hopkins (“The Silence of the Lambs” in 1991) for HBO’s “Westworld.” Hopkins has a pair of Emmys as Movie/Mini Actor for “The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case” in 1976 and “The Bunker” in 1981, and two additional nominations (Movie/Mini Actor for “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” in 1982 and Movie/Mini Supporting Actor for “Great Expectations” in 1990).
Viola Davis won her first Oscar this year as Best Supporting Actress in “Fences,” and received her third consecutive nomination as Best Drama Actress for ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder.” Davis became the first African American woman to win this category for the show’s first season in 2015.
In Best Comedy Actress, two-time Best Actress victor Jane Fonda (“Klute” in 1971 and “Coming Home” in 1978) finally broke through for the third season of “Grace and Frankie.” The actress received an Emmy as Best Movie/Mini Actress for “The Dollmaker” in 1984 and competed three more times (Best Informational Special for “A Century of Women” in 1995 and Best Drama Guest Actress for “The Newsroom” in 2013 and 2014). She joins her co-star Lily Tomlin, a Supporting Actress nominee for “Nashville” (1975), who has contended in this category twice before for the Netflix sitcom.
Back-to-back Best Actor winner Tom Hanks (“Philadelphia” in 1993 and “Forrest Gump” in 1994) contends in Comedy Guest Actor for “Saturday Night Live,” against fellow hosts Dave Chappelle and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Oddly enough, this is star’s first nomination for acting. His 7 victories came for Best Limited Series (“From the Earth to the Moon” in 1998, “Band of Brothers” in 2003, “John Adams” in 2008, “The Pacific” in 201o, and “Olive Kitteridge” in 2015), Best Limited Series or TV Movie (“Game Change” in 2012), and Best Movie/Mini Directing (“Band of Brothers”). Additionally, he was nominated for Best Movie/Mini Directing (“From the Earth to the Moon”), Best Movie/Mini Writing (“Band of Brothers”), Best Documentary Special (“We Stand Alone Together” in 2002 and “The Sixties” in 2014), Best Drama Series (“Big Love” in 2009), Best Variety Special (“The 25th Anniversary Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Concert” in 2010), and Best Documentary Series (“The Sixties” in 2015 and “The Seventies” in 2016).
Oscar-winners at the Emmys aren’t limited to on-screen performances. Three-time champ Meryl Streep (Supporting for “Kramer vs. Kramer” in 1979 and Lead for “Sophie’s Choice” in 1982 and “The Iron Lady” in 2011) contends as Best Narrator for the Netflix documentary “Five Came Back.” The perennial awards magnet already has two prizes for Movie/Mini Actress (“Holocaust” in 1978 and “Angels in America” in 2004), and an additional bid in that category (“…First Do No Harm” in 1997).
Best Supporting Actor winner Kevin Kline (“A Fish Called Wanda” in 1988) is also in the running for his voice-over performance on Fox’s animated series “Bob’s Burgers.” This is the actor’s second Emmy bid, after competing as Best Movie/Mini Actor for playing Cyrano de Bergerac in “Great Performances” (2009).
Behind the scenes, Best Picture and Best Director winner Ron Howard (“A Beautiful Mind” in 2001) is nominated as Best Movie/Mini Director for “Genius.” The TV vet already has two Emmys (Best Limited Series for “From the Earth to the Moon” and Best Comedy Series for “Arrested Development” in 2004) and four more noms (Best Children’s Program for “Through the Magic Pyramid” in 1982, Best Animated Program for “The PJs” in 1999, and Best Comedy Series for “Arrested Development” in 2005 and 2006).
Oscar-winning screenwriter Steven Zaillian (“Schindler’s List” in 1993) competes for writing and directing HBO’s “The Night Of,” marking his first citations from the TV Academy.
And in Best Directing for a Nonfiction Program, a pair of Best Documentary winners compete against each other: Fisher Stevens (“The Cove” in 2009) for “Bright Lights: Starring Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds,” and Ezra Edelman, who won the Academy Award this year for “O.J.: Made in America” and contends once again for that film. Interestingly, he’ll go head-to-head against his chief Oscar rival Ava DuVernay for “13th.” Both “O.J.” and “Bright Lights” are nominated for Exceptional Merit in Documentary Filmmaking. Stevens was previously recognized for producing “American Masters” in 2012 and “Racing Extinction” in 2016.