Emmy-winning parents and their Emmy Award-winning children
Going into the family business does not always equal success, no matter how good of a role model some parents can be or what doors were opened by their names; creators and artists still need to put in the work to earn Emmy awards. And in these families, winning an Emmy is an honor that has been bestowed on more than one generation.
Before creating Schitt’s Creek with his son, Dan, Eugene Levy was among the most (in)famous dads in screen history (American Pie) and best known for his frequent collaborations with film director Christopher Guest. He’d also won two Emmys for writing the classic Canadian comedy series, SCTV — in 1982 and 1983. Dan was a TV host, helming the Great Canadian Baking Show and an after-show for The Hills on MTV Canada. Then in one dizzying sweep, the heavily eyebrowed pair not only became the first father-son duo to win Emmys in the same year, they won big in 2020 — Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy (Eugene); Supporting Actor, writing, and co-directing the series finale (Dan); and together as executive producers for Outstanding Comedy Series. The elder Levy thanked his son with classic understatement: “My multi-Emmy-nominated partner [who] took the show that we came up with and brilliantly guided it to this little Emmy party tonight. So thank you, son.”
Ron and Jasmine Cephas Jones made history in 2020 when they became the first father-daughter duo to win Emmys in the same year. The This Is Us actor scored his second Emmy and won in the Guest Actor in a Drama Series category at the Creative Arts Emmys, and his victory came just days after his daughter won her first Emmy for her role in Quibi’s #FreeRayshawn. "As a parent, that’s the most fulfilling [thing] I could ever feel," Ron said in the Emmys press room. “I mean, winning another Emmy is icing on the cake, but to see my daughter progress and move into this place where she’s earned an Emmy, it's beyond words." Speaking to EW after scoring their nominations, Ron and Jasmine expressed deep admiration for each other's work, with Jasmine proclaiming: “The first time I'm nominated for an Emmy and I get to share it with my dad, who introduced me to theater at a very, very young age, it's a very full-circle type thing. This stuff happens once in a blue moon, once in a lifetime type thing and it's just really, really special.”
Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz aren’t the only ones in the family with showbiz skills. Ball earned her her first Emmy for CBS’ I Love Lucy by winning Best Comedienne in 1953, and Best Actress — Continuing Performance in 1956. Her good fortune followed her to her next production, The Lucy Show, and she won the Emmy for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Comedy Series in 1967 and 1968, and was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1984 and honored with the Governors Award in 1989. Her first husband and I Love Lucy costar Desi Arnaz would took home Emmys for Best Situation Comedy in 1953 and 1954 as a producer on The Lucy Show, while her daughter Lucie Arnaz won the Emmy for Outstanding Informational Special Lucy and Desi: A Home Movie in 1993. Lucie also shares a 2002 nomination with her brother Desi Arnaz Jr. for Outstanding Special Class Program I Love Lucy's 50th Anniversary Special.
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Live music is a family business for the Bennetts. Crooner Tony Bennett won the Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program Emmys in 1996 for A&E’s Tony Bennett Live by Request: A Valentine's Special 1996, and again in 2007 for NBC’s Tony Bennett: An American Classic. His son Danny also shared in his 2007 win as executive producer of the NBC special, while his son Dae won the Outstanding Sound Mixing for a Variety or Music Series or Special Emmy for his work on the same concert.
A respected stage actor famously known for his role as Gart Williams in The Twilight Zone episode “A Stop at Willoughby,” James Daly earned an Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Drama Emmy in 1966 for Eagle in a Cage for playing Dr. O'Meara in NBC’s TV movie about Napoleon's last days in exile. His daughter, Tyne Daly, practically needs an entire wing of her home to hold all her Emmys. Tyne won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the part of Mary Beth on Cagney & Lacey in 1984, 1984, 1985, 1988. She also collected the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1996 (Christy) and again in 2003 for the part of Maxine Gray on Judging Amy. Tyne got to display her comedy chops on her brother Tim Daly’s high-flying sitcom Wings, earning her a nomination Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Tim was nominated for an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series for his work on The Sopranos as Chris’ sponsor, J.T. Dolan.
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There are the Amis, Tolkien, and Sedaris families of the publishing world, and then there is the television storytelling Kohan family. Father Buz Kohan has a dozen Emmy wins, including awards for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety or Music (The Carol Burnett Show, 1973); Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Program (Motown 25: Yesterday, Today, Forever, 1983); Outstanding Achievement in Music and Lyrics (Liberty Weekend, 1987); Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special (Sammy Davis, Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration, 1990); and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Writing in a Variety or Music Program (The 64th Annual Academy Awards, 1992.) Daughter Jenji Kohan earned her Emmy trophy for Outstanding Variety Series in 1997 for Tracey Takes On…, and went on to create two shows nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series, Weeds and Orange Is the New Black. Son David Kohan won the Emmy for Outstanding Comedy Series as creator of the hit sitcom Will & Grace in 2000.
Writer and producer David Lloyd won his first Outstanding Writing in a Comedy Series Emmy for Mary Tyler Moore in 1976, repeating the honor in 1977. After seeing nominations for his work on Taxi and Cheers, as a producer he won the Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy for Frasier in 1998. His son Christopher Lloyd (pictured), is one of the most decorated writers and showrunners in Hollywood, winning Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy five times for Frasier, and five times for Modern Family, in addition to two Emmys for Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series.
Whether they realize it or not, most television fans are familiar with the directing, producing, and camerawork of father-son duo Jeff (pictured) and Adam Margolis from their many years of putting on some of the biggest award show broadcasts, including the Oscars, the American Music Awards, the Miss America Pageant, and the Screen Actors Guild Awards. Jeff himself won Emmys for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special — Sammy Davis, Jr. 60th Anniversary Celebration in 1990 and Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing for a Variety or Music Program The 67th Annual Academy Awards in 1995. Son Adam has won three Emmys for Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Series (Dancing With the Stars); three Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Limited Series, Movie or Special Emmys (Grease Live! in 2016, Hairspray Live! in 2017, Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert in 2018); and an Outstanding Technical Direction, Camerawork, Video Control for a Special Emmy for his work on The Late Late Show Carpool Karaoke Primetime Special in 2019.
Veteran director and producer Walter C. Miller is known for his work on awards shows, and was even given the Irving Waugh Award of Excellence by the Country Music Association for his 40 years of producing the CMA Awards, putting him aside the likes of Johnny Cash with the honor. His earned the Emmy for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Comedy, Variety or Music in 1972 for his work on 'S Wonderful, 'S Marvelous, 'S Gershwin; two Emmys for Outstanding Individual Achievement in Directing in a Variety or Music Program for The 46th Annual Tony Awards and The 47th Annual Tony Awards; and two Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Special Emmys for his work on the The 51st Annual Tony Awards and The 52nd Annual Tony Awards. His son Paul Miller was honored with the Outstanding Directing for a Variety or Music Program for The 52nd Annual Tony Awards in 1999, and earned the Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program in 2016 for It's Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown as director and executive producer.
As one of the most notable leading men of 20th-century cinema, it’s no surprise Christopher Plummer would have an Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series — which he does for 1977’s Arthur Hailey's The Moneychangers. But it’s the fun second Emmy for Captain Georg von Trapp that makes us smile, his 1994 Emmy for Outstanding Voice-Over Performance as the narrator of the animated series Madeline. And like father, like daughter. Actress Amanda Plummer will forever be tied to her character Honey Bunny in Pulp Fiction, but she he’s earned three Emmys in her career: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Special in Miss Rose White, Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her appearance on The Outer Limits in 1996, and Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for Law & Order: Special Victims Unit in 2005.
Beloved actor and comedian Carl Reiner earned his first Emmy nomination for Best Series Supporting Actor in 1954 for his work on Your Show of Shows, which was soon followed by his first Emmy win for Best Supporting Performance by an Actor in 1957 on Caesar's Hour. From there the elder Reiner would go on haul in five Emmys for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Comedy and an Outstanding Comedy Series Emmy as the creator of The Dick Van Dyke Show. Decades later, Reiner would collect an Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 1995 for his appearance on Mad About You. Son Rob Reiner rose to fame as Michael “Meathead” Stivic on All in the Family, picking up his first Emmy in 1974 for Best Supporting Actor in Comedy and taking home a second win in 1978 before going on direct the classic movies Stand by Me, A Few Good Men, When Harry Met Sally..., and The Princess Bride.
American Film Institute founder George Stevens Jr., son of legendary director George Stevens, has seen 17 Emmys wins in his career, including 10 for Outstanding Variety Special for his work on the Kennedy Center Honors, but in March of 2020, he joined a small club of honorees who have had awards rescinded when his three nominations with two wins for 1994’s George Stevens: D-Day to Berlin were discovered to be ineligible for competition, lowering his Emmy tally to 15. His son, Michael Stevens, earned five Emmys for his work on Kennedy Center Honors and a Outstanding Special Class — Short-format Nonfiction Programs Emmy in 2012 for producing DGA Moments In Time.
Donald Sutherland and Kiefer Sutherland are two of the most popular leading men to come out of Canada, and they have trophies to prove it. Father Donald won an Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Miniseries or a Special Emmy for the part of Mikhail Fetisov on HBO’s Citizen X in 1995, while son Kiefer has 11 Emmy nominations with wins coming in 2006 for Outstanding Drama Series and Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for the hit Fox series 24.
Actor, singer, and comedian Danny Thomas won the Emmy for Best Actor Starring in a Regular Series in 1951, was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1991, and was honored with the Bob Hope Humanitarian Award in 2004. His daughter Marlo Thomas earned her first Emmy in 1974 for Outstanding Children's Special Marlo Thomas and Friends in Free to Be...You and Me, which was based on her children’s book and accompanying record release. Its followup, Free to Be... a Family, helped Marlo take home a second Emmy in 1989 in the same category. Marlo also took home the trophy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for CBS’ Nobody's Child in 1986. Danny Thomas’ son Tony Thomas won two Emmys as executive producer of The Golden Girls, taking home the top prize for Outstanding Comedy Series in 1986 and 1987.
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World War Z author Max Brooks won Outstanding Writing for a Variety, Music or Comedy Program in 2002 as a writer for Saturday Night Live, while his mother, Anne Bancroft, won two Emmys: one for the variety show The Women in the Life of a Man in 1970 and one for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for 1999’s Deep in My Heart, which aired on CBS. Mel Brooks was honored with his first Emmy for Outstanding Writing Achievement in Variety in 1967 for his work on The Sid Caesar, Imogene Coca, Carl Reiner, Howard Morris Special, and would later go on to win three Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series for his appearances on Mad About You 30 years later, taking home the award in 1997, 1998, and 1999.
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