Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

by ajc91995 | created - 26 Aug 2017 | updated - 2 months ago | Public

1. Billy Porter

Actor | Pose

Before embarking on a career as a mainstream pop vocalist, Billy Porter built a substantial reputation as a theatrical singer in Broadway productions such as Grease and Smokey Joe's Cafe. He made his initial impact by placing 'Love Is On The Way' on the soundtrack to the film First Wives' Club, in ...

2019: Pose

2. Matthew Rhys

Actor | The Americans

Matthew Rhys was born on November 8, 1974 in Cardiff, Wales as Matthew Rhys Evans. He is an actor and director, known for The Americans (2013), The Post (2017) and Burnt (2015). He has been married to Keri Russell since 2014. They have one child.

2018: The Americans

3. Sterling K. Brown

Actor | Black Panther

Emmy Award-winning actor Sterling K. Brown stars in NBC's Emmy and Golden Globe nominated drama series THIS IS US. For his role as Randall Pearson, Brown won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series, as well as a Golden Globe, becoming the first African American actor to win his ...

2017: This Is Us

4. Rami Malek

Actor | Bohemian Rhapsody

Rami Said Malek (born May 12, 1981) is an American actor. He won a Critics' Choice Award and the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his lead role as Elliot Alderson in the USA Network television series Mr. Robot. He also received Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors ...

2016: Mr. Robot

5. Jon Hamm

Actor | Mad Men

Jon Hamm was born on March 10, 1971 in St. Louis, Missouri, USA as Jonathan Daniel Hamm. He is an actor and producer, known for Mad Men (2007), The Town (2010) and Million Dollar Arm (2014).

2015: Mad Men

6. Bryan Cranston

Actor | Breaking Bad

Bryan Lee Cranston was born on March 7, 1956 in Hollywood, California, to Audrey Peggy Sell, a radio actress, and Joe Cranston, an actor and former amateur boxer. His maternal grandparents were German, and his father was of Irish, German, and Austrian-Jewish ancestry. He was raised in the Canoga ...

2014, 2010, 2009 & 2008: Breaking Bad

7. Jeff Daniels

Actor | The Squid and the Whale

Actor Jeff Daniels was born in Athens, Georgia, but was raised in Chelsea, Michigan. He is the son of Marjorie J. (Ferguson) and Robert Lee Daniels, who owned The Chelsea Lumber Company and was also mayor of Chelsea. Jeff attended Central Michigan University, but became involved in acting and ...

2013: The Newsroom

8. Damian Lewis

Actor | Band of Brothers

Damian Lewis was born on February 11, 1971, in St. John's Wood, London, England, to Charlotte Mary (Bowater), from an upper-class background, and J. Watcyn Lewis, a city broker whose own parents were Welsh. He was raised on Abbey Road in London until the age of 8 with his siblings Gareth, William, ...

2012: Homeland

9. Kyle Chandler

Actor | Argo

Kyle M. Chandler is an Emmy-winning American actor who was born in Buffalo, New York in 1965. He resides in the United States with his wife, Kathryn Chandler, and their two children, Sawyer and Sydney. Some of his most notable credits include "Friday Night Lights" (Friday Night Lights (2006)), "...

2011: Friday Night Lights

10. James Spader

Actor | The Blacklist

James Todd Spader was born on February 7, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts, the son of teachers Jean (Fraser) and Stoddard Greenwood "Todd" Spader. He attended Phillips Academy in Andover with director Peter Sellars; he dropped out in eleventh grade. He bused tables, shoveled manure, and taught yoga ...

2007, 2005 & 2004: Boston Legal

11. Kiefer Sutherland

Actor | 24

Kiefer Sutherland was born in London, England, UK, to Canadian actors Shirley Douglas and Donald Sutherland, who moved to California shortly after his birth. His maternal grandfather, Tommy Douglas, was a Scottish-born Canadian politician who was a Premier of Saskatchewan for over 17 years and led ...

2006: 24

12. James Gandolfini

Actor | The Sopranos

James Gandolfini was born in Westwood, New Jersey, to Santa (Penna), a high school lunchlady, and James Joseph Gandolfini, Sr., a bricklayer and head school janitor. His parents were both of Italian origin. Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater. His Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival ...

2003, 2001 & 2000: The Sopranos

13. Michael Chiklis

Actor | The Shield

Michael Chiklis has been working professionally as an actor since he was thirteen. He started in the theater and after receiving his BFA in acting from Boston University's College Of Fine Arts, Michael moved to New York City where he continued acting on the stage until he got his big break playing ...

2002: The Shield

14. Dennis Franz

Actor | NYPD Blue

Dennis Franz was born Dennis Franz Schlacta in Maywood, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, and is the son of Eleanor (Mueller) and Franz Ferdinand Schlachta, who were postal workers. He has two sisters, Marlene (born 1938) and Heidi (born 1935). He graduated from Southern Illinois University and was ...

1999, 1997, 1996 & 1994: NYPD Blue

15. Andre Braugher

Actor | Homicide: Life on the Street

Andre Braugher was born on July 1, 1962 in Chicago, Illinois, USA as Andre Keith Braugher. He is an actor and producer, known for Homicide: Life on the Street (1993), Frequency (2000) and The Mist (2007). He has been married to Ami Brabson since December 28, 1991. They have three children.

1998: Homicide: Life on the Street

16. Mandy Patinkin

Actor | Homeland

Mandy Patinkin was born Mandel Bruce Patinkin in Chicago, Illinois, to Doris "Doralee" (Sinton), a homemaker and cookbook writer, and Lester Patinkin, who operated two scrap metal plants. He is of Russian Jewish and Latvian Jewish descent. Growing up, he began singing in synagogue choirs at the age...

1995: Chicago Hope

17. Tom Skerritt

Actor | Alien

Lean, ruggedly handsome leading man and supporting actor whose "outdoor" looks have improved with age, Tom Skerritt attended Wayne State University and UCLA. He was first noticed in a UCLA production of "The Rainmaker" before making his movie debut in War Hunt (1962). However, he spent most of the ...

1993: Picket Fences

18. Christopher Lloyd

Actor | Back to the Future

Christopher Lloyd was born on October 22, 1938 in Stamford, Connecticut, USA as Christopher Allen Lloyd. He is an actor, known for Back to the Future (1985), Clue (1985) and Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). He has been married to Lisa Loiacono since November 23, 2016. He was previously married to ...

1992: Road to Avonlea

19. James Earl Jones

Actor | Rogue One

Widely regarded as the one of greatest stage and screen actors both in his native USA and internationally, James Earl Jones was born on January 17, 1931 in Arkabutla, Mississippi. At an early age, he started to take dramatic lessons to calm himself down. It appeared to work as he has since starred ...

1991: Gabriel's Fire

20. Peter Falk

Actor | Columbo

Peter Michael Falk was born on September 16, 1927, in New York City, New York. At the age of 3, his right eye was surgically removed due to cancer. He graduated from Ossining High School, where he was president of his class. His early career choices involved becoming a certified public accountant, ...

1990 & 1976: Columbo

21. Carroll O'Connor

Actor | All in the Family

Carroll was born in Manhattan and raised in Forest Hills, a heavily Jewish community in New York City's borough of Queens. After graduating from high school in 1942, O'Connor joined the Merchant Marines and worked on ships in the Atlantic. In 1946, he enrolled at the University of Montana to study ...

1989: In the Heat of the Night

22. Richard Kiley

Actor | Jurassic Park

Although Richard Kiley's rich baritone and strong vocal talent was much in evidence and received due respect with his award of a Tony for "Man of La Mancha", it was little used in his television and movie appearances. Won two Tony Awards as Best Actor (Musical): in 1959 for "Redhead" and in 1966 ...

1988: A Year in the Life

23. Bruce Willis

Actor | Die Hard

Actor and musician Bruce Willis is well known for playing wisecracking or hard-edged characters, often in spectacular action films. Collectively, he has appeared in films that have grossed in excess of $2.5 billion USD, placing him in the top ten stars in terms of box office receipts.

Walter Bruce ...

1987: Moonlighting

24. William Daniels

Actor | St. Elsewhere

William Daniels was born on March 31, 1927 in Brooklyn, New York, USA. He is an actor, known for St. Elsewhere (1982), The Graduate (1967) and The Blue Lagoon (1980). He has been married to Bonnie Bartlett since June 30, 1951. They have two children.

1986 & 1985: St. Elsewhere

25. Tom Selleck

Actor | Blue Bloods

Thomas William Selleck is an American actor and film producer, known for his starring role as Hawaii-based private investigator "Thomas Magnum" on the 1980s television series, Magnum, P.I. (1980).

Selleck was born in Detroit, Michigan, to Martha S. (Jagger), a homemaker, and Robert Dean Selleck, a ...

1984: Magnum, P.I.

26. Ed Flanders

Actor | St. Elsewhere

Ed Flanders was born on December 29, 1934 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA as Edward Paul Flanders. He was an actor, known for St. Elsewhere (1982), The Ninth Configuration (1980) and Harry S. Truman: Plain Speaking (1976). He was married to Cody Lambert, Ellen Geer and Bennye Kelly. He died on ...

1983: St. Elsewhere

27. Daniel J. Travanti

Actor | Hill Street Blues

The highly regarded actor Daniel J. Travanti was born Danielo Giovanni Travanty in the southeastern part of Wisconsin on March 7, 1940, but raised for a time in Iowa before returning to his native state. The youngest son of an American Motors auto worker, he showed both athletic and academic ...

1982 & 1981: Hill Street Blues

28. Edward Asner

Actor | Up

Ed Asner is a television legend, the winner of seven acting Emmy Awards (which puts him tied with Mary Tyler Moore, both of whom rank second to their "The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970) Show" co-star, Cloris Leachman who has nine). In all, he has been nominated 20 times for an Emmy Award, with 17 ...

1980 & 1978: Lou Grant

29. Ron Leibman

Actor | Zorro: The Gay Blade

Ron Leibman was born on October 11, 1937 in New York City, New York, USA. He was an actor and writer, known for Zorro: The Gay Blade (1981), Garden State (2004) and Kaz (1978). He was married to Jessica Walter and Linda Lavin. He died on December 6, 2019 in New York City.

1979: Kaz

30. James Garner

Actor | The Notebook

Amiable and handsome James Garner had obtained success in both films and television, often playing variations of the charming anti-hero/con-man persona he first developed in Maverick, the offbeat western TV series that shot him to stardom in the late 1950s.

James Garner was born James Scott ...

1977: The Rockford Files

31. Robert Blake

Actor | Lost Highway

American actor who began as a child in Our Gang comedies and reappeared as a powerful adult performer of leading and character roles. Born in New Jersey, the young Mickey Gubitosi won a role in MGM's Our Gang series at the age of 5. As one of the more prominent children in the Gang, he gained ...

1975: Baretta

32. Telly Savalas

Actor | Kojak

Of Greek descent on both sides, the son of immigrants, Savalas was a soldier during World War II, although most of his enlistment records were destroyed in a fire at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri, in 1973. He later studied psychology at Columbia University under the ...

1974: Kojak

33. Richard Thomas

Actor | The Waltons

Richard Thomas was born on June 13, 1951 in New York City, New York, USA as Richard Earl Thomas. He is an actor and director, known for The Waltons (1971), Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) and It (1990). He has been married to Georgiana Bischoff since November 20, 1994. They have one child. He was ...

1973: The Waltons

34. Hal Holbrook

Actor | Into the Wild

Hal Holbrook is an Emmy- and Tony-Award winning actor who is one of the great craftsman of stage and screen. He is best known for his performance as Mark Twain, for which he won a Tony and the first of his ten Emmy Award nominations. Aside from the stage, Holbrook made his reputation primarily on ...

1971: The Bold Ones: The Senator

35. Robert Young

Actor | Father Knows Best

Quiet, soft-spoken Robert grew up in California and had some stage experience with the Pasadena Playhouse before entering films in 1931. His movie career consisted of playing characters who were charming, good-looking--and bland. In fact, his screen image was such that he usually never got the girl...

1970: Marcus Welby, M.D. 1957 & 1956: Father Knows Best

36. Carl Betz

Actor | Judd for the Defense

Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Carl Betz formed a repertory theatre company while still in high school, then worked in summer stock. He served in the U.S. Army during the Second World War, then attended Carnegie Tech. Following graduation, he worked as a radio announcer. He made his Broadway ...

1969: Judd, for the Defense

37. Bill Cosby

Actor | The Cosby Show

Bill Cosby is one of the world's most well-known entertainers and comedians. William Henry Cosby, Jr. was born on July 12, 1937, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Anna Pearl (Hite), a maid, and William Henry Cosby, Sr., a U.S. Navy sailor. After tenth grade, Cosby joined the Navy and completed high...

1968, 1967 & 1966: I Spy

38. E.G. Marshall

Actor | 12 Angry Men

With over 150 Film and TV appearances to his credit, E.G. Marshall was arguably most well known as the imperturbable Juror No. 4 in the Sidney Lumet mystery 12 Angry Men (1957).

Some of his stand-out performances are in Creepshow (1982), National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), and Nixon (1995).

...

1963 & 1962: The Defenders

39. Raymond Burr

Actor | Rear Window

Born Raymond William Stacy Burr on 21 May 1917 in New Westminster, British Columbia, Burr spent most of his early life traveling. As a youngster, his father moved his family to China, where the elder Burr worked as a trade agent. When the family returned to Canada, Raymond's parents separated. He ...

1961 & 1959: Perry Mason

40. Robert Stack

Actor | Airplane!

"Straight Shooting" - whether skeet shooting, or portraying Eliot Ness, Robert Stack always tells it like it is, and shoots straight. Robert was the second child of Elizabeth Modini Wood (who named him Charles after his grandfather) and James Langford Stack (who changed his name to Robert, after no...

1960: The Untouchables



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