Stars Who Were Nominated for Emmy Awards After Their Deaths

Jessica Walter, Anthony Bourdain and more stars whose television legacies lived on after their passings

01 of 25

Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman
Chadwick Boseman. Leon Bennett/Getty Images

The late actor was nominated for outstanding character voice-over performance in 2022 for playing his iconic Black Panther in the Disney+ animated series What If...? and in September, won the award. His wife Simone attend the Creative Arts Emmys to accept on his behalf, ending a heartfelt speech with, "Thank you so much for the honor — Chad would be so honored, and I'm honored on his behalf."

02 of 25

Norm Macdonald

Norm Macdonald
Jason Kempin/Getty Images

The late comedian's last Netflix project Norm Macdonald: Nothing Special, which was released posthumously, was nominated for three Emmy Awards in 2022 including outstanding variety special (pre-recorded), outstanding directing for a variety special and outstanding writing for a variety special. It marked his first-ever Emmy nominations.

03 of 25

Jessica Walter

Jessica Walter
Jessica Walter. Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Walter, who died in March 2021, was nominated for outstanding voice-over performance in both 2021 and 2022 (against Boseman, among others) for her work on FXX's Archer. The actress won an Emmy in 1975 for her lead role in the limited series Amy Prentiss.

04 of 25

Alex Trebek

alex trebek
Alex Trebek. Amanda Edwards/Getty

In 2021, the beloved Jeopardy! host was honored with a Daytime Emmy nomination, ultimately winning for outstanding game show host following his November 2020 death. In his lengthy career, Trebek was nominated a whopping 34 times for Jeopardy! and Classic Concentration, won eight times for Jeopardy! and in 2011, was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

05 of 25

Larry King

Larry King
Jordan Strauss/Getty

King was also nominated pothumously in 2021 for outstanding informative talk show host for Larry King Now. It was his first win after five nominations. King died in January 2021 at the age of 87.

06 of 25

Fred Willard

Fred Willard
Fred Willard.

Following his death in May 2020, the beloved funnyman earned a nod for guest actor in a comedy series for his role as Phil's dad Frank Dunphy on Modern Family. Ironically, the episode for which he was nominated dealt in part with his character's passing. It was his fifth Emmy nomination, though he never won; in 2020, Eddie Murphy took home the trophy for his SNL hosting gig.

07 of 25

Lynn Shelton

Lynn Shelton
Lynn Shelton. Fred Hayes/Getty Images

Director Shelton scored her first-ever nomination in 2020 following her death that May for her work on Little Fires Everywhere. Unorthodox director Maria Schrader instead took home the prize.

08 of 25

Anthony Bourdain

2016 Turner Upfront
Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Three months after his death in 2018, Anthony Bourtain was honored with posthumous Emmys for his CNN series, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Bourdain personally won outstanding informational series or special and outstanding writing for a nonfiction program — an award he was said to have "coveted," Deadline reported. The series also took home awards for its editing, sound editing and sound mixing, as well as its online series.

09 of 25

Craig Zadan

NUP_178251_0116.JPG

Influential producer Zadan was awarded a posthumous Emmy in 2018, less than one month after his death, as part of the producing team behind NBC's production of Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert, which was named outstanding variety music or comedy special. With the award, fellow producers John Legend, Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber each achieved EGOT status.

10 of 25

Carrie Fisher

Live Talks Los Angeles Presents Ruby Wax In Conversation With Carrie Fisher
Amanda Edwards/WireImage

Beloved actress Fisher received her third Emmy nomination in 2017, nearly seven months after her death, for her guest appearence in season 3 of Catastrophe. Fisher recurred on the Amazon comedy as Mia, the mother of Rob Delaney's character. "I revered Carrie until I met her and then I loved her," Delaney wrote in The Guardian. The award ultimately went to Melissa McCarthy for SNL.

11 of 25

Audrey Hepburn

Audrey Hepburn, about to begin filming for Breakfast At Tiffany's, wears one of the store's most expensive diamond necklaces. New York.
Getty

Iconic film star Hepburn received a posthumous Emmy Award for her documentary specials Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn, which filmed in 1990 but didn't premiere until one day after her death in 1993. That Emmy for individual achievement, along with a posthumous Grammy in 1994, made Hepburn the fifth person ever to become an EGOT winner.

12 of 25

Farrah Fawcett

farrah-2.jpg
Hulton Archive/Getty.

Three weeks after her death in 2009, onetime Charlie's Angels star Fawcett was nominted for an Emmy for her work as a producer on Farrah's Story, the documentary chronicling her experience with cancer. It was her fourth Emmy nomination. The award ultimately went to 102 Minutes That Changed America.

13 of 25

Kathryn Joosten

Kathryn Joosten
Jason Kirk/Getty

West Wing actress Joosten was nominated for four Emmys, winning two, for her role as Karen McCluskey on Desperate Housewives. Her final nomination — her first as a supporting actress, rather than guest actress, in a comedy — came a month-and-a-half after her death in 2012. Julie Bowen of Modern Family ended up winning the award.

14 of 25

Phil Hartman

NEWSRADIO, Phil Hartman, Season 1, 1995-99, (c)Brillstein-Grey Entertainment/courtesy Everett Collec
Everett Collection

Months after his 1998 murder made headlines, Hartman was honored with his fourth Emmy nomination. The talented Canadian actor, writer and comedian, who also had numerous voice roles on The Simpsons, had won an Emmy for his writing on SNL, but this was his first nomination for his work on NewsRadio, which was preparing to enter its fifth season. The award ultimately went to David Hyde Pierce for Fraiser.

15 of 25

Raúl Juliá

BURNING SEASON
Everett

Puerto Rican actor Juliá overcame illness to complete production on the 1994 TV movie The Burning Season but passed away months later. The next year, Juliá was honored with an Emmy — his first — for oustanding lead actor in a miniseries or movie. He won a Golden Globe Award for the project, too.

16 of 25

John Ritter

john ritter
ABC/GETTY

Ritter, who received his only Emmy Award for Three's Company in 1984, was honored with a nomination for his sitcom 8 Simple Rules in 2004, a little less than one year after his death. It was Ritter's sixth Emmy nomination. The award that night went to Kelsey Grammer for Frasier.

17 of 25

Richard Burton

Richard Burton
Harry Langdon/Getty

Welsh stage and screen icon Burton received his first and only Emmy nomination in 1985, one year after his death. The Oscar-nominated Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? actor was honored for his final role, in the 1984 miniseries Ellis Island, but lost the Emmy to Karl Malden (Fatal Vision).

18 of 25

Ossie Davis

Ossie Davis
Anthony Barboza/Getty

Months after his death in 2005, actor, director, writer and civil rights activist Davis received his fourth Emmy nomination — for his guest role on The L Word, on which his character also died. The episode featuring his character's death, which aired after Davis' death, was dedicated to him. He lost the Emmy to Ray Liotta (ER).

19 of 25

Nicholas Colasanto

Nicholas Colasanto
Herb Ball/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty

For his endearing performance as the loveably clueless Coach on Cheers, Colasanto received three consecutive Emmy nominations for supporting actor in a comedy series. The final nomination, in 1985, came months after his death. The award ultimately went to John Larroquette for Night Court.

20 of 25

Nancy Marchand

Nancy Marchand
CBS via Getty

Marchand's performance as Tony Soprano's manipulative mother Livia on The Sopranos was recognized with an Emmy nomination after her death in 2000. It was her seventh nomination overall; Marchand was nominated five times, winning four, for her role on Lou Grant. The 2000 award ultimately went to Allison Janney for The West Wing.

21 of 25

Alice Pearce

ALICE PEARCE
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Pearce, who played nosy neigbor Gladys Kravitz on the classic sitcom Bewitched, was nominated for and later won her first Emmy in 1966, just months after her death from ovarian cancer.

22 of 25

Marion Lorne

MARION LORNE
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

Bewitched suffered a second loss when Lorne, who played the bumbling Aunt Clara, passed away just 10 days before the Emmys ceremony in 1968. Lorne went on to win the award for outstanding supporting actress in a comedy, which was accepted on her behalf by series star Elizabeth Montgomery.

23 of 25

Diana Hyland

Diana Hyland
ABC Photo Archives/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty

For her role in The Boy in the Plastic Bubble, Hyland was posthumously awarded an Emmy in 1977, months after she died from breast cancer. John Travolta, her costar and then-boyfriend, delivered a memorably emotional speech when he accepted the award on her behalf, saying, "Wherever you are, Diana, I love you and we did it, baby."

24 of 25

Danny Thomas

Danny Thomas
Weegee/International Center of Photography/Getty

Comedian and actor Thomas, who won an Emmy for Make Room for Daddy in 1955, was nominated months after his death in 1991 for his guest role on Empty Nest. He lost that award to Murphy Brown's Jay Thomas (no relation). In 2004, Thomas — who also founded St. Jude Children's Research Hospital — posthumously received the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award.

25 of 25

Ingrid Bergman

Ingrid Bergman
Bettmann/Getty

For her final role as Israeli prime minister Golda Meir in A Woman Called Golda, screen legend Bergman was awarded the 1982 Emmy for outstanding lead acress in a miniseries or movie. Bergman passed away one month before the ceremony; her daughter Pia accepted her Emmy.

Related Articles