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Actors that switched back and forth between lead and supporting

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  • Rob Licuria
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    #304167

    I am putting together an article or photo gallery on actors that switched back and forth between lead and supporting. Does anyone have a list, or some good examples where actors (from Friends, Mad Men, Lost and any others) who switched from lead to supporting and back to lead (or vice versa) depending on the season’s storyline?

    Off the top of my head, I can think of Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men) and possibly Alison Janney (The West Wing).

    Thanks trusty and intrepid forum geniuses!

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    Riley
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    #304169

    Are you counting people who were not nominated like Anna Gunn and Kaley Cuoco?

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    Rob Licuria
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    #304170

    Maybe. That could include Jessica Pare, perhaps. Anna Gunn successfully switched. Alan Cumming went from Guest to Supporting.

    There’s gotta be more examples like Moss though.

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    Rob Licuria
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    #304171

    Not great examples because thru weren’t totally successful, but there’s Michelle Dockery and Elizabeth McGovern (Downton Abbey).

    Jessica Lange won in Supporting then was nominated in Lead for American Horror Story.

    Julianna Margulies won in Supporting for ER and then went lead after that.

    Jon Cryer won in both categories too.

    But finding a “serial switcher” like Elisabeth Moss is not easy!

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    Miss Frost
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    #304172

    Lorraine Bracco in the Sopranos. I think she was nominated in Lead in 2003 and Supporting in 2007.

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    Anonymous
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    #304173

    I don’t think Moss is a serial switcher. She went lead all but one year, when she got basically nothing to do all season.

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    Ghost
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    #304174

    Allison Janey went Supporting the first two years of The West Wing then Lead

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    David Rodriguez
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    #304175

    wouldn’t January Jones (Mad Men), Jake Johnson (New Girl) and Adam Scott (Parks & Recreation) count too? They weren’t that succesful in all of their changes, but they did

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    Riley
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    #304176

    “Serial” seems a bit much for Moss, since she has only been nominated once in supporting and four times in lead, but she did submit as supporting for that first season when she was not nominated.

    EDIT: My mistake.  In that case, she has only gone supporting once in six seasons.

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    dsps84
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    #304177

    Moss submitted in Lead that year and made the top 10.

    http://www.buddytv.com/articles/2007-emmy-awards/emmy-top-10-drama-actors-bsg-a-20914.aspx 

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    dude93
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    #304178

    I still don’t know how Adam Scott submits in lead for Parks & Rec… Seems like everyone on that show except Amy is a supporting character. Exactly like Veep. And I would say only for Alec Baldwin’s status, Jack D’s character on 30 Rock was arguably a supporting role at times too. 

    While we’re on the subject, I wonder why all of the Big Bang Theory actors didn’t submit in supporting or altogether in lead from the start? It seems like a very ensemble-y show like MF or Friends. 

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    outsider
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    #304179

    Agnes Moorehead, “Bewitched”: nominated in supporting, then lead, then back in supporting. So it’s Elisabeth Moss in reverse.

    Michael J. Fox, “Family Ties”: nominated in supporting and then won 3 Emmys in lead.

    Patricia Wettig, “thirtysomething”: won once in supporting and twice in lead.

    Rachel Griffiths, “Six Feet Under”: nominated in lead and supporting.

    Piper Laurie, “Twin Peaks”: nominated in lead and supporting.

    Jill Eikenberry, “L.A. Law”: nominated in lead and supporting.

    Michael Tucker, “L.A. Law”: nominated in supporting and lead.

    Kristy McNichol, “Family”: won in supporting, nominated in lead.

    Christian Clemenson, “Boston Legal”: won in guest, nominated in supporting.

    Mandy Patinkin, “Chicago Hope”: won in lead, nominated in guest.

    Amy Brenneman, “NYPD Blue”: nominated in supporting and guest.

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    SouthernManz
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    #304180

    Both Michael Tucker and Jill Eikenberry from “L.A. Law” were nominated in both lead and supporting categories during that show’s run.
    Julianna Margulies was upped from supporting to lead during the run of “ER”.
    Rachel Griffiths earned both lead and supporting nominations for “Six Feet Under”.
    Kristy McNichol won 2 supporting Emmys for “Family” and was bumped to the lead category.
     

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    CanadianFan
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    #304181

    Moss submitted in Lead that year and made the top 10.

    http://www.buddytv.com/articles/2007-emmy-awards/emmy-top-10-drama-actors-bsg-a-20914.aspx 

    Wow, this is fascinating. I wish they still released the top ten vote-getters; The Wire was actually considered for drama series.

    I’ll just keep telling myself that Emmy Rossum is in the top ten every year.  

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    Jose Manuel Garcia
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    #304182

    Michael Emerson – Lost i think Guess and then Supporting…
    Jennifer Aniston – Supporting and then Lead (where she won)
    Carol Kane – Taxi – Supporting and Lead (i think she won in both cases) have to check it.

    Ellen Burstyn for Mrs Harris (lead and supporting) 

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