Rami Malek would make Oscar history as first to win Best Actor while a series regular on television

Rami Malek has been on an incredible awards run for his role as the late rock star Freddie Mercury of Queen in the film “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He has so far won most the televised awards: Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA. Should he receive an Oscar as Best Actor on Sunday, February 24 he would also earn the distinction of being the first person to win that award while starring as a series regular on television. Malek won an Emmy for his performance in USA’s “Mr. Robot” and the final season of that show has been promised to premiere sometime in 2019.

This may not sound like such a big deal to younger people but there was a time when the divide between a film actor and a television actor was quite a huge gap. In a recent interview with Gold Derby, Glenn Close (“The Wife”) discussed how when she took a role in what became a landmark TV movie called “Something About Amelia,” her agent felt she had ruined her film career by working in the lesser medium of television.

The line between the two mediums has blurred to such an extent that Malek would be the third actor in a row to win while on an ongoing series. He would follow “Mom” star Allison Janney’s win as Best Supporting Actress for “I, Tonya” (2017) and Viola Davis of “How to Get Away with Murder” also winning Best Supporting Actress for “Fences” (2016).

In the past Helen Hunt won Best Actress in 1997 while still starring on the TV show “Mad About You” and Cloris Leachman took Best Supporting Actress in 1971 while a cast member on “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”

Interestingly Mahershala Ali has been appearing on the third installment of “True Detective” during the Oscar voting period, which probably has helped keep him in voters’ minds. The same thing happened to the first season’s star Matthew McConaughey, who won his Best Actor award for “Dallas Buyers Club” while that anthology series was airing. “True Detective” has a new cast every season so neither of those actors are series regulars like Malek is on “Mr. Robot,” so Malek still gets the distinction of being the first man to accomplish this feat should he win the Best Actor Oscar.

For Best Actor, Malek competes against Christian Bale (“Vice”), Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”), Viggo Mortensen (“Green Book”) and Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”). The 2019 Oscars air Sunday, February 24 on ABC.

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