May 8, 2012 at 10:19 am #243655
Let’s compile a list of who has won Emmys in the past for portraying really evil characters? Examples: Bryan Cranston, James Gandolfini, Margo Martindale, John Lithgow, Cloris Leachman …. who else?May 8, 2012 at 10:25 am #243657
Joe Pantoliano, “The Sopranos”
Michael Chiklis, “The Shield”
Michael Emerson, “The Practice” & “Lost”May 8, 2012 at 10:31 am #243658
Jane Lynch, Glee
Betty White, The Mary Tyler Moore Show
Lucy Liu, Ally McBealMay 8, 2012 at 10:37 am #243659
^ Lucy Liu didn’t win.May 8, 2012 at 11:30 am #243660
I’d hesitate to identify characters played by Leachman and White as “evil” or “monster villains.” It’s hard to do that in comedy (although Jane Lynch gets pretty close sometimes).
In the drama categories, I’d say Lithgow for sure and Martindale and Chiklis too, but then things get murky. Probably Emerson and O’Quinn on Lost, although that whole show was set in grey areas. I’d say Pantoliano’s character was the worst on The Sopranos, but then Gandolfini and Imperioli (who seemed to me to show more conscience), with Falco and de Matteo’s characters marginal (does being complicit mean one is “evil”?) I see Cranston and Paul’s characters as being played with a lot of sympathy. Then there is the moral gray area with lawyers. Glenn Close often responds to those (including Tom?) who call Patty Hewes a “villain” with charges of sexism, but I’d say that her character and Ivanek’s character did some villainous things. On David E. Kelley’s shows, ambiguity is played up, but only the characters played by Michael Emerson and John Larroquette on The Practice seemed to cross the line to me. Steven Bochco characters are SLIGHTLY more black and white, but I think only Pruitt Taylor Vance’s character on Murder One was really bad among winning characters. As for female guest characters, I think only Cynthia Nixon on SVU could be characterized as “evil,” and that is even somewhat sympathetic.
Then there are TV movies and miniseries characters, which, especially when one plays a real person, also gets into ambiguious scale, from Anthony Hopkins as Hitler to Brian Cox as Hermann Göring to Marlon Brando as George Lincoln Rockwell to Gary Sinise as George Wallace to Al Pacino as Roy Cohn, but then there is also Barbara Hershey in A Killing in a Small Town and Holly Hunter as the ALLEGED Texas Cheerleader Murdering Mom. I guess, as I see it, most winning performances have moral ambiguity to them and that is what makes them interesting.May 8, 2012 at 12:08 pm #243661
How is Bryan Cranston a villain or a monster on Breaking Bad? Or Gandolfini for that matter….And including Leachman or White in this for MTM is way too much.
I agree with Martindale and Lithgow. Michael Emerson won for Lost as a villain.
Terry O’Quinn didn’t win as a villain. He became a villain later on. Even though I don’t agree with it, I’m asuming the sentence “unlikeable characters don’t win Emmys” is going to come up in this article you’re writing, and it wouldn’t fit O’Quinn at the time of the win.May 8, 2012 at 3:06 pm #243662
Michael Imperioli (“Irregular Around the Margins” & “Long Term Parking”)
James Gandolfini (“The Happy Wanderer” / “Amour Fou” / “Whitecaps”)
Betty White (“A New Sue Ann” / “Sue Ann Falls in Love”)
Joe Pantoliano (“Christopher” & “Whoever Did This”)
Bryan Cranston (“Pilot” / “Phoenix” / “Full Measure”)
Cloris Leachman (“Christmas” / “Bride of Ida”)
Glenn Close (“Get Me a Lawyer” / “Trust Me”)
Jane Lynch (“The Power of Madonna”)
Margo Martindale (“Brother’s Keeper”)
Å½eljko Ivanek (“I Hate These People”)
Michael Emerson (“Dead is Dead”)
John Lithgow (“Road Kill”)
Michael Chiklis (“Pilot”)
And maybe this upcoming Emmys. . .
Giancarlo Esposito (“Hermanos”)May 8, 2012 at 3:20 pm #243663
Peter Dinklage in no way is a villain on GoT. He plays one of the few likable characters on the show. He’s more of an anti-hero than anything.May 8, 2012 at 3:56 pm #243664
If we’re counting miniseries/movies, then I’d add Kenneth Branagh’s 2001 win for playing SS General Reinhard Heydrich in HBO’s Conspiracy (winning over the heavily-favored Ben Kingsley for his portrayal of the saintly Otto Frank!). In 1997, Diana Rigg won for playing Mrs. Danvers in a Masterpiece Theatre presentation of Rebecca.May 8, 2012 at 4:11 pm #243665
Haha how was Betty White in Mary Tyler Moore a Villian? lol. She was more the neighborhood nympomaniac then a villian.May 8, 2012 at 4:18 pm #243666
yeah, these lists seem to mistake ambiguous moral code or the character being an asshole for actual villany.May 8, 2012 at 6:10 pm #243667
Bryan Cranston because Walt is the one who knocks!! He is drug dealing killer!!May 8, 2012 at 6:29 pm #243668
yeah, these lists seem to mistake ambiguous moral code or the character being an asshole for actual villany.
And not just villians, but “monster villians.”May 8, 2012 at 6:47 pm #243669
And maybe this upcoming Emmys. . .
Giancarlo Esposito (“Hermanos”)
I get a sneaking suspicion that this discussion thread was inspired by Esposito’s Emmy chances. I think Tom is really asking, what is the precedent for a role like his winning the actor/actress an Emmy?May 8, 2012 at 10:03 pm #243670
So many of these are not pure evil, they are people who have done bad things. It may be a fine line, but its still distinctive. And no, being a nymphomaniac does not make you evil! My fave was probably the Trinity Killer. That season of Dexter might be my favorite season of any tv series ever. I don’t even watch the show anymore its so bad.