Two-time Oscar champ Kevin Spacey (“The Usual Suspects,” 1995; “American Beauty,” 1999) has won Best Drama Actor at the SAG Awards for the last two years in a row for his performance as president Frank Underwood on the drama series “House of Cards.” And with last year’s Emmy winner, sentimental favorite Jon Hamm (“Mad Men”), no longer eligible does this make Spacey the favorite at this year’s awards?
Not so fast.
Only five of the 21 SAG champs have gone on to win at the Emmys later that year: Dennis Franz (“NYPD Blue,” 1997) Gandolfini (1999, 2002), Kiefer Sutherland (“24,” 2006) and Bryan Cranston (“Breaking Bad,” 2014).
And while all of these men won multiple SAG Awards, they did not alway follow them up with Emmy wins. Franz had prevailed at the first SAG Awards in the winter of 1995 but lost the Emmy that fall to Mandy Patinkin (“Chicago Hope”). Sutherland first won over SAG voters in 2004 but then lost the Emmy to James Spader (“The Practice”). Likewise, Gandolfini claimed his third SAG Award in 2007 for the final season of “The Sopranos” but lost the Emmy to Cranston. In turn, Cranston couldn’t translate his 2013 SAG win into Emmy success, losing that race to Jeff Daniels (“The Newsroom”)
However, at least each of these SAG favorites won at least one Emmy. Four other double SAG champs never took home an Emmy, including two who prevailed at the guild kudos twice in a row. Martin Sheen (“The West Wing”) won in 2000 and 2001; he lost that first Emmy race after his SAG win to James Gandolfini (“The Sopranos”) and his second to Michael Chiklis (“The Shield”). Likewise, Steve Buscemi (“Boardwalk Empire”) won over SAG voters in both 2011 and 2012 but lost the subsequent Emmy races, first to Kyle Chandler (“Friday Night Lights”) and then to Damian Lewis (“Homeland”).
Anthony Edwards (“ER”) won at SAG in 1996 and 1998 but lost at the Emmys to Franz and Andre Braugher (“Homicide: Life on the Street”). And Hugh Laurie (“House”) prevailed at SAG in 2007 and 2009 but was bested at the Emmys by Spader (who reprised his Emmy-winning role on “Boston Legal”) and Cranston.
If Spacey finds himself for the fourth time on the outside of the winner’s circle at the Emmys, he may start to worry that he is following in the path of Sheen who lost all six of his bids (2000-2004, 2006) for playing the president on “The West Wing.”
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