Every Guest Actor Who Has Received Emmy Nominations (And Actually Won)

Friends was one of the most critically acclaimed sitcoms during its original run. It earned 62 Emmy nominations and earned six, including Outstanding Comedy Series for its eighth season. Although the Academy notoriously snubbed Courteney Cox, the rest of the main cast received at least one Emmy nomination each, but only Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow won.

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Besides the main cast, Friends also garnered multiple Emmy nominations for some of its most famous guest stars. These actors were recognized by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences for their comedic performances on the show, although only two managed to claim the coveted golden statuette.


Guest Actors Who Received Emmy Award Nominations for Friends

Christina Pickles

Friends Jack and Judy

British actress Christina Pickles was no stranger to the Emmys when she received her nomination for playing Monica and Ross’ mother, Judy Geller, in Friends. The actress has received five previous nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role as nurse Helen Rosenthal in Saint Elsewhere.

Pickles received his only Emmy nod for Friends for the show’s first season but lost to Cindy Lauper, one of the top guest stars on Crazy of you. The pickles kept coming back to Friendsappearing in 19 episodes over the show’s 10 seasons, but she never received another nomination.

Marlo Thomas

Sandra talks to Rachel in Friends

TV icon Marlo Thomas was another beloved actress who earned an Emmy nomination for playing one of the show’s parent figures. Thomas was well known for starring in the sitcom This girlfor which she received four Emmy nominations, and was already an Emmy winner for her lead role in the TV movie Nobody’s child when she did Friends start.

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Thomas played Sandra Green, Rachel’s loving but overbearing mother. For her work on the season two episode “The One with the Lesbian Wedding”, Thomas received an Emmy nomination at the 1996 Emmys but lost to Betty White in The John Larroquette show. Thomas returned to Friends twice more but received no more Emmy nods.

Tom Selleck

Friends Monica visits Richard after a fight with Chandler

Friends scored a major guest star in season two with Tom Selleck. The actor, best known for playing Thomas West in the wildly popular crime drama Magnum, IP, played Dr. Richard Burke, Monica’s much older boyfriend in season two. He reappeared in season three, but it wasn’t until season six that he received any rewards.

Selleck received a nomination in 2000 for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series but lost to another Friends guest star, Bruce Willis. However, Selleck was already an Emmy winner, winning at the 1984 Emmys for his lead role in Magnum, IP

Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon - Friends Guest Stars

Susan Sarandon is one of the most iconic actresses of the 1990s, although her career began in the 70s and flourished in the 80s. She was the kind of big-name actress who attracted a thunderbolt of applause when she first appeared in Friends. Sarandon played Cecilia Monroe, an actress on days of our lives who enters into a brief affair with Joey.

Cecilia is a diva to the hilt, and Sarandon goes all-in with the character’s villainy. The Academy recognized her efforts with a nomination for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2001 Emmys, but she lost to Jean Smart, who won her second consecutive trophy for fraser. To date, Sarandon remains Emmy-less despite earning six nominations.

Gary Oldman

Matt LeBlanc and Gary Oldman on Friends acting side by side.

Gary Oldman is the star of countless films. He’s also not someone fans expect to see on Friends, which made his appearance all the more successful. The revered English actor appeared in the final two episodes of season seven and played Richard Crosby, Joey’s co-star and a respected actor with an affinity for spitting while performing and getting drunk on set.

Oldman’s performance is hilarious in both episodes, so it makes sense that the Television Academy recognized him with a well-deserved nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. However, winning was not in the cards, and he lost to Derek Jacobi for strawberries tree. Amazingly, Oldman hasn’t received another Emmy nomination since.

brad pitt

Friends Brad Pitt

In 2001, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were the hollywood couple. They were both young, handsome and hugely successful. Friends was also at the height of his success, so of course it made sense for him to be the guest star. Pitt appeared in a single Friends episode, “The One with the Rumor”, playing Will Colbert, a former classmate of Monica, Ross, and Rachel, who fabricated a cruel rumor about the latter out of hatred.

Pitt received a nomination for the 2002 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Alas, he went home empty-handed because the Television Academy bestowed the award on Anthony LaPaglia for — what else? — fraser.

Hank Azaria

Mike and David argue after Mike goes on Phoebe who cheated on him by kissing David in Friends

Hank Azaria made his Friends debut in the first season, playing David, a sweet but clumsy scientist who falls in love with Phoebe. Their romance ends abruptly when he leaves for Minsk, but he returns in season seven for a one-day stay in New York. In season nine, he returns to New York and rekindles his romance with Phoebe, but she ultimately chooses Mike, thus ending their relationship.

Azaria earned a nomination for Best Guest Actor in a Comedy Series in 2003, but lost to Gene Wilder’s guest appearance on will and grace. However, Azaria is a six-time Emmy winner, winning five of those trophies for voicing some of the best characters in The simpsons and win one for his guest role in Ray Donovan.

Danny DeVito

Danny DeVito - Friends Guest Stars

Season 10 episode “The One with the Stripper” is famous for having one of the funniest performances ever. Friends’ the story. Danny DeVito plays Officer Roy “Goodbody”, a stripper hired by Rachel for Phoebe’s bachelorette party.

DeVito is hilarious in the role, naturally earning a 2004 Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series; however, he lost to the passing of John Turturro on Monk. DeVito was no stranger to the Emmys, having won the 1981 ceremony for his supporting role in the iconic sitcom Taxi.

Guest Actors Who Won Emmys for Friends

Bruce Willis

Friends Bruce Willis

It’s a well-known fact that Bruce Willis appeared on Friends because he lost a bet with Matthew Perry, with whom he starred in The whole nine yards. Still, Willis was a good sport and appeared in three episodes of the show, playing Paul Stevens, the father of Ross’ girlfriend Elizabeth.

RELATED: Bruce Willis’ 10 Best Co-Stars, Ranked

The writers gave Willis some of their best bits, and the actor knocked it out of the park. The Academy thought so, too, and Willis won the 2000 Emmy for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Willis was already an Emmy winner, claiming the statuette in 1987 for his starring role in the cult classic Illegal work.

Christina Applegate

Christina Applegate as Amy Green in Friends

When she first appeared in Friends, Christina Applegate was already a beloved and well-known actress. She owes her fame to her leading role in one of the most watchable sitcoms of all time, Married with childrenand movies like Don’t tell mom the babysitter is dead.

Applegate first appeared in season nine, playing Amy, Rachel’s selfish and mean sister. Applegate won the 2003 Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance. In Season 10, she reprized the role and received another nod but lost it to Laura Linney’s guest appearance on fraser.

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