History could be made at this year’s Emmys if 13-year-old Noah Schnapp earns a nomination as Best Drama Supporting Actor for Netflix’s “Stranger Things.” Schnapp, who wasn’t even alive in the 1980s when the sci-fi series takes place, would tie as the youngest male actor ever to be nominated for a drama series. Back in 1959 another 13-year-old, Johnny Crawford (“The Rifleman”), earned a nomination but lost. Two female starlets have taken home Emmy Awards — Roxana Zal for “Something About Amelia” (age 14 in 1984) and Kristy McNichol for “Family” (age 15 in 1977, age 17 in 1979) — but Schnapp would make history for the boys if he were to win for his breakout role in “Stranger Things.”
Schnapp plays Will Byers, the son of Joyce (Winona Ryder), who gains mysterious powers in Season 2 after returning from the mysterious Upside Down world. At one point Will faces off against the aptly named Shadow Monster, which presented Schnapp with some serious acting challenges. “This was Will’s moment of the season to stand up for himself,” Schnapp reveals in our exclusive video interview. “And this is not like Will. Will’s usually the quiet kid. It was a big scene for Will, and me as well.”
Six of our 14 Experts are currently predicting that Schnapp will earn an Emmy nomination for Best Drama Supporting Actor: Eric Deggans (NPR), Joyce Eng (Gold Derby), Chris Harnick (E!), Lynette Rice (Ent. Weekly), Robert Rorke (New York Post) and Ken Tucker (Yahoo). That prediction is matched by five of our seven website editors: myself, Eng, Rob Licuria, Daniel Montgomery and Matt Noble.
While Schnapp would tie Crawford as the youngest male nominee for a drama series, others have been nominated for their comedic work. Here are the 12 youngest actors and actresses ever nominated at the Emmys:
Keshia Knight Pulliam (age 6) for comedy series “The Cosby Show” in 1986
Johnny Crawford (13) for drama series “The Rifleman” in 1959
Fred Savage (13-14) for comedy series “The Wonder Years” in 1989-90
Roxana Zal (14) for movie/miniseries “Something About Amelia” in 1984 — Zal is Emmy’s youngest acting winner of all time
Frankie Muniz (15) for comedy series “Malcolm in the Middle” in 2001
Kristy McNichol (15-18) for drama series “Family” in 1977-80 — McNichol is the only person to win two Emmys (1977 & 1979) before age 18
Claire Danes (16) for drama series “My So-Called Life” in 1995
Melissa Sue Anderson (16) for drama series “Little House on the Prairie” in 1978
Malcolm Jamal-Warner (16) for comedy series “The Cosby Show” in 1986
Patty Duke (18) for comedy series “The Patty Duke Show” in 1964
Sara Gilbert (18-19) for comedy series “Roseanne” in 1993-94
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.