What is an EGOT and who has won? As John Legend wins prestigious title

Singer and actor John Legend has become the first African-American man to become a EGOT winner, after snagging an Emmy in Los Angeles on Sunday.

The prestigious title reflects people who have won the big four awards in the entertainment industry: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony.

The 39-year-old, who is also one of the youngest EGOT winners, now joins 14 others who have the same achievement.

Legend won his Emmy alongside Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, who are now also EGOT winners, for producing the best variety special winner, “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert.”

But who else holds the title of EGOT?


American composer Richard Rodgers completed his grand slam of awards in 1962. Rodgers was a pioneer in crafting what became the quintessential American musical, integrating stories from books and plays and creating seamless storytelling from speech to song. 

Rodgers is credited with writing between 900 and 1,500 songs. To date, 19 film versions of his musicals have been made.


Known as “The First lady of the American Theatre”, Helen Hayes had a legendary career on stage and in films and television that spanned over eighty years. It took Hayes some 45 years to complete her EGOT which she was awarded in 1977.

Before launching a successful career on the stage Hayes made a handful of films during the silent era and in 1931 was signed to MGM. Her first three films, “Arrowsmith”, “The Sin of Madelon Claudet”, and “A Farewell to Arms”, were hits and in 1932 she won her first Oscar for Best Actress for her work in “Madelon Claudet.”


Rita Moreno, so far the only Puerto Rican to be awarded an EGOT, is an actress whose career has spanned for six decades. Winning her EGOT in the same year as Hayes, Moreno moved to New York City as a child where as an 11-year-old she began dubbing Spanish-language versions of US films.

The singer and actress is best known for appearing in the 1961 movie “West Side Story” and appearing in the TV series Oz between 1997 and 2003.


John Gielgud was the first British person to win an EGOT, and won the title in 1991. Born in Kensington, London, Gielgud, the actor and theatre director’s career spanned eight decades. Alongside Ralph Richardson and Laurence Olivier, he was one of the trio of actors who dominated the British stage for much of the 20th century.

Best known for his Shakespearean roles in the theatre, he first played Hamlet at the age of 26. Gielgud also appeared in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Secret Agent” in 1936, and acted in many Shakespearian film adaptations, such as “Julius Caesar” and “Richard III.”


Portrait of Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn (1929 – 1993) and French fashion designer Hubert De Givenchy, mid 1980s. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)


In 1994 Belgian-born actress Audrey Hepburn became the 5th person to win an EGOT. Known worldwide for being a film and fashion icon, Hepburn rose to fame during Hollywood’s Golden Age.

While growing up she faced living under a Nazi regime, after going on holiday with her mother in Arnhem, Netherlands when Hitler’s army took over the town. Hepburn suffered from depression and malnutrition during the hardship.

Arguably the pinnacle of her career was when she played Holly Golightly in the legendary film “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, for which she received an Oscar nomination.


One year after Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch won his EGOT. The american songwriter and composer penned tracks for film and the theatre.

Hamlisch specialised in the field of film scoring, but also became a film producer and was the co-producer of “The Entertainer” in 1975. Hamlisch won his Tony award for his scoring of the Broadway show “A Chorus Line,” in 1985.


Jonathan Tunick was born on April 19, 1938 in New York City and is known for his work as a composer and musician. Tunick won his EGOT in 1997.

Tunick is most recognised for his music on “Find Me Guilty,” 2006, “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street,” 2007, and “Young Frankenstein,” 1974.


92-year-old Mel Brooks won his EGOT in 2001 and is known for being a filmaker, actor, comedian and composer. He began his career as a comic and a writer for the early TV variety show Your Show of Shows.

Brooks, who served in WW2, has a series of patterns which appear in the majority of his films, including frequently making fun of Nazis and Adolf Hitler.

Some of his most notable film comedies are “Blazing Saddles,” “History of the World: Part I,” Young Frankenstein” and “Dracula: Dead and Loving It.”


Mike Nichols, who also won his EGOT in 2001, was an American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. He was reportedly known for his ability to work across a range of genres and an aptitude for getting the best out of actors regardless of their acting experience.

Nichols directed “Postcards from the Edge”, which was written by Carrie Fisher and based on her relationship with her real-life mother, Debbie Reynolds. He later directed “Closer”, which featured Fisher’s on-screen Star Wars mother, Natalie Portman.


Whoopi Goldberg as Jane in Boys on the Side

Whoopi Goldberg as Jane in Boys on the Side (Photo by Warner Bros.)


In 2002 Whoopi Goldberg sealed her place on the EGOT list. The actress and comedienne came to prominence after performing a HBO special and a one-woman show as “Moms Mabley.” Goldberg has been known in her prosperous career as a unique and socially conscious talent with articulately liberal views.

But Goldberg became a major star after appearing in “The Color Purple”, which received much critical acclaim and she gained an Oscar nomination. The 62-year-old solidified her stardom after appearing in “Sister Act”. In 1994 Goldberg became the very first woman to host the Academy Awards solo.


Scott Rudin is an American film and theatre producer. In the 1980s, he formed his own production company called Scott Rudin Productions, and his first film was Gillian Armstrong’s “Mrs. Soffel.”

Rudin, who is 60-years-old, won his EGOT in 2012. He is best known for producing “No Country for Old Men,” “The Social Network” and “The Truman Show.”


43-year-old American songwriter of musicals Robert Lopez won his first EGOT in 2014 but has since continued to win awards, which led to him to become the first person to ever win a second EGOT in 2018.

Lopez, born in New York City, is best known for co-creating “The Book of Mormon” and “Avenue Q” and composing songs featured in Disney’s “Frozen” and “Coco.”


Legend, who is the joint youngest EGOT winner alongside Lopez, won his Oscar in 2015 for his song which was included on the soundtrack to Martin Luther King drama “Selma.” Legend has won 10 Grammys for his music career and won a Tony in 2017 as co-producer of a revival of August Wilson’s play “Jitney.”

Andrew Lloyd Webber has received seven Tony awards and won an Oscar alongside Tim Rice for their song “You Must Love Me”, which was performed by Madonna. Webber has won three Grammys and Rice has five.