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Who will be the next winner of the showbiz awards grand slam?

August 15, 2008 |  2:32 pm

Currently, there are 10 people who've won the four peer-group industry prizes bestowed for film (Oscar), TV (Emmy), music (Grammy) and theater (Tony): Mel Brooks, John Gielgud, Whoopi Goldberg, Helen Hayes, Audrey Hepburn, Marvin Hamlisch, Mike Nichols, Rita Moreno, Richard Rodgers and music arranger Jonathan Tunick.

Who could be the next to join that lofty pantheon?

The key word is "win" when discussing these awards. Honorary trophies don't count. Therefore, Barbra Streisand isn't on this list because, while she has the Oscar (2), Emmy (5) and Grammy (8), her Tony was an honorary trophy she got in 1970 after failing to win for her two earlier nominations: best supporting actress in a musical for "I Can Get It for You Wholesale" in 1962 and best actress in a musical for "Funny Girl" in 1964.


There's a devilish irony to Babs' loss for "Funny Girl" on Broadway, a performance that would yield her first Oscar when it transferred to the screen four years later (her other Oscar is for songwriting, "Evergreen"). Babs lost the Tony to a star whom she would replace when "Hello, Dolly!" became a film. (A vastly underrated pic, I hasten to say. Snooty film critics skewered it as a flop in 1969, but I think it's one of those wrongly trashed masterpieces like Burton and Taylor's "Cleopatra," but I digress.) Now Carol Channing has her ultimate revenge by having denied Babs entry to the grand slam pantheon.

Memo to Babs: Nowadays the Tonys have a new, special competitive category for one-person shows that's been won by Billy Crystal and Elaine Stritch in the past. The next time you do an absolutely final farewell concert tour, stop along the rialto for a while, dearie, beef up the script with more chatter and you're sure to snag that elusive, real Tony at last.

Who else? I posted this question in our forums and got amazingly detailed reax. Click here to check out Boomer's run-down of where many candidates stand. For example, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Elton John just need an Emmy.

Considering Broadway made Julie Andrews a star when she bowed in "My Fair Lady" and "Camelot," it's surprising to see that all she needs is a Tony to place on her mantle next to the Oscar, Grammy and Emmy. Also missing a Tony: Cher, Robin Williams and composer John Williams.


Just missing an Oscar are Lily Tomlin, Dick Van Dyke, James Earl Jones and composer John Kander.

Just missing a Grammy are Jeremy Irons, Liza Minnelli, Al Pacino and Maggie Smith. Liza snagged Grammy's Living Legend Award in 1989, but that doesn't count because it's honorary, natch. Being a music icon, however, Liza still has realistic hope of winning a real one someday soon. Irons, Pacino and Smith may seem unlikely candidates to win a Grammy, but remember that there are categories for best spoken word and children’s recordings. Spoken word got John Gielgud and Helen Hayes their Grammys while children’s recordings worked for Rita Moreno and Audrey Hepburn.

(Photos: AMPAS, St. James Theatre)