13(3) LGBT Actors Emmy-Nominated For Playing LGBT Characters


As we know, playing an LGBT character has been a Oscar good luck charm to many an actor, from Sean Penn to William Hurt to Charlize Theron or Hilary Swank to Jared Leto... But how many openly LGBT actors have won Oscars for playing LGBT characters? None. In fact, the only openly LGBT actor who has won an Oscar for playing a character of any orientation was Angelina Jolie for "Girl, Interrupted" (unless you count Jodie Foster or Kevin Spacey) and only a scant few others -- Ian McKellan the only one for playing an LGBT role in "Gods and Monsters" -- have even been nominated. The Emmys, however, are a much different story.

Over the past two weeks we've been looking back at every example in chronological order. Leading up to this year's 7 nominees, we counted 15 different LGBT characters played by 13 openly LGBT actors-



Sir Ian McKellen



Nominated For: In 1994, McKellen received his first of 5 Emmy nominations (in the best supporting actor in a TV movie or miniseries category) for playing real life gay activist Bill Kraus in the HBO movie "And The Band Played On." And then 12 years later, he received one for playing another gay man -- himself -- as a guest actor on Ricky Gervais' HBO series "Extras." These were in addition to non-LGBT roles in the likes of "The Prisoner," "Rasputin," and "Great Performances - King Lear."
Did He Win?: No. In 1994 he lost to Michael Goorjian for "David's Mother," and then in 2006 he lost to Stanley Tucci for "Monk" (he lost those other three too, sadly).

Sarah Paulson



Nominated For: Last year, the amazing Ms. Sarah Paulson got her second Emmy nomination in a row for playing lesbian journalist Lana Winters the second season of "American Horror Story" (she was nominated the year before for "Game Change"). She'd go on to make it a hat trick for this year's "AHS," though this time around she wasn't playing an LGBT character.
Did She Win?: No… she lost to Ellen Burstyn for "Political Animals"... though maybe they'll make up for it this year.
Significance: As noted before, this series has been seriously lacking when it comes to examples of LGBT women nominated for playing LGBT women. Paulson is only third to do so, and the first since 1998, with the "Asylum" season of "American Horror Story."

Angelina Jolie



Nominated For: In 1998, the openly bisexual Jolie received two Emmy nominations for playing real life people, one for the suggestively straight former first lady of Alabama Cornelia Wallace in the TNT miniseries "George Wallace," and the other as troubled bisexual model Gia Marie Carangi in "Gia."
Did She Win?: She didn't win for either (losing to Ellen Barkin and Mare Winningham, respectively), despite winning Golden Globes for both.
Significance: Well, one interesting thing to note here is that Jolie became the third LBGT person to be nominated for playing an LGBT person who dies of AIDS -- of only four ever to be nominated (Ellen DeGeneres being the only exception). Beyond that, Jolie -- who was in a relationship with model-actress Jenny Shimizu just prior to making "Gia" -- became the only (and remains as such) bisexual actor nominated for playing a bisexual character (though many claim Gia Marie Carangi was actually a lesbian). Her tour-de-force performance in the HBO film really also should have won her the Emmy (its the kind of TV movie role Emmys are made for), but hey, the role gave her the exposure that led to a certain Oscar winning role two years later...

The Rest of the List At The Source