Posthumous Emmy acting nominees: How many of these 26 performers won?

History was made when the 2022 Primetime Emmy nominations were announced, as Chadwick Boseman (“What If…?”) and Jessica Walter (“Archer”) became the first pair of direct competitors to be recognized posthumously. They are both up for the Best Character Voice-Over Performance prize after having passed away in August 2020 and March 2021, respectively.

Walter is now the only performer to ever receive two post-death Emmy bids, having just contended in the same category last summer (losing to Maya Rudolph, “Big Mouth”). Now including Boseman, the list of departed acting Emmy nominees consists of 26 entrants, four of whom were honored with wins.

The first actor to be nominated for and win an Emmy posthumously was Alice Pearce, who was awarded the Best Comedy Supporting Actress trophy for “Bewitched” two months after her death in 1966. The other three champs, all of whom triumphed for TV movie performances, are supporting players David Burns (“The Price,” 1971) and Diana Hyland (“The Boy in the Plastic Bubble,” 1977) and lead Raul Julia (“The Burning Season,” 1995).

Two more such contenders – Selma Diamond (“Night Court,” 1985) and Kathryn Joosten (“Desperate Housewives,” 2012) – were, like Pearce, also recognized in the featured comedic female category. The six other posthumous nominations that fall within the comedy genre are those of supporting men Nicholas Colasanto (“Cheers,” 1985) and Phil Hartman (“NewsRadio,” 1998), lead John Ritter (“8 Simple Rules,” 2004), and guests Danny Thomas (“Empty Nest,” 1991), Carrie Fisher (“Catastrophe,” 2017), and Fred Willard (“Modern Family,” 2020).

On the drama side, there have been six deceased competitors, with Jim Davis (“Dallas,” 1981) standing as the only lead in the bunch. Angela Baddeley (“Upstairs, Downstairs,” 1976), Michael Conrad (“Hill Street Blues,” 1984), and Nancy Marchand (“The Sopranos,” 2000) were all recognized for supporting turns, while Ossie Davis received a guest bid for “The L Word” in 2005. The group’s remaining member, Will Geer, posthumously contended in three 1978 races, as a supporting regular on “The Waltons” and a guest performer on both “Eight is Enough” and “The Love Boat.”

The other six deceased nominees were recognized for performances in limited series or TV movies. Those nominated for featured work include Walter McGinn (“Eleanor and Franklin: The White House Years”), Jack Albertson (“My Body, My Child,” 1982), Richard Burton (“Ellis Island,” 1985), and J.T. Walsh (“Hope,” 1998). The remaining two lead contenders are Stanley Baker (“How Green Was My Valley,” 1977) and Peter Finch (“Raid on Entebbe,” 1977).

A handful of other actors, including Michael K. Williams (“Lovecraft Country,” 2021), have died between a nominations announcement and corresponding awards ceremony. Three of these instances resulted in post-death wins: Marion Lorne (Best Comedy Supporting Actress, “Bewitched,” 1968), Ingrid Bergman (Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actress, “A Woman Called Golda,” 1982), and Colleen Dewhurst (Best Comedy Guest Actress, “Murphy Brown,” 1991).

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