With the commencement of the fall television season every September, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences recognizes achievement in television production at the annual Emmy Awards. The 2022 Emmys will be awarded on September 12. This year, series like Succession, The White Lotus, and Ted Lasso are among the primetime drama and comedy series with the most award nominations and poised for big nights at the Emmy ceremony.
The Emmys and their film-oriented awards counterpart, the Oscars, today have more content than ever to assess when identifying excellence in the field. With major investments over the last decade from streaming giants like Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, and Apple, in addition to more traditional production and distribution companies, TV and film creators have abundant opportunities to showcase their talent. These creators include the actors and actresses who power TV and film productions.
The Emmys and Oscars tend to focus on productions from the U.S., and as such, performers from the U.S. have won a significant majority of acting awards over time. More than four in five Oscar and Primetime Emmy acting awards (81.7%) have been won by actors and actresses from the U.S., compared to around one in five (18.3%) for international performers. In recent years, however, international actors and actresses have increased their share of awards: 59 of the 154 Emmys and Oscars awarded to international performers have been earned since 2000.
Domestically, New York and California are the leading states for the entertainment industry in the U.S., so it is unsurprising that the two states together account for more than one-third of Oscar and Emmy acting awards. New York’s dominance in television is especially notable: the state’s actors and actresses have earned a total of 137 Emmys, more than double the 56 earned by second place California. New York and California also far surpass other states when it comes to Oscars, with 50 and 40, respectively. The state with the next highest number of Oscars, Illinois, has just 16 awards in comparison.
Beyond New York and California, most of the locations that have produced acting awards at the Emmys and Oscars are high-population states where actors and actresses have ample opportunity to hone their craft. Illinois, which has strong theater and comedy scenes in Chicago, has produced a total of 44 Emmy and Oscar winners for acting. And performers in neighboring states take advantage of these opportunities too: New Jersey has produced 36 winners, likely due in part to its proximity to New York, while Illinois neighbors Wisconsin and Missouri have together accounted for another 53 winners. But a total of 10 states—mostly smaller or more remote locations—have produced no winners.
To identify the states that have born the best actors and actresses, researchers at HotDog.com ranked U.S. states and territories according to the total number of eligible Oscar and Primetime Emmy Awards won by actors and actresses born in each location. The data was sourced from the Official Academy Awards Database and the Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners database.
Here are the U.S. states and territories that have born the best actors and actresses.
State Rank Total awards Total Oscars Total Primetime Emmys Winningest actor/actress Year of most recent award New York 1 187 50 137 Julia Louis-Dreyfus (8 Emmys) 2020 (Billy Crudup, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series & Julia Garner, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) California 2 96 40 56 Helen Hunt (1 Oscar & 4 Emmys) & Candice Bergen (5 Emmys) 2021 (Jessica Chastain, Best Actress) Illinois 3 44 16 28 Dennis Franz (4 Emmys) 2021 (Gillian Anderson, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) New Jersey 4 36 14 22 Peter Dinklage (4 Emmys) 2019 (Peter Dinklage, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series) Massachusetts 5 34 14 20 Allison Janney (6 Emmys) 2020 (Jeremy Strong, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series) Missouri 6 29 10 19 Doris Roberts (5 Emmys) & Ed Asner (5 Emmys) 2017 (Sterling K. Brown, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series) Wisconsin 7 24 4 20 Tyne Daly (6 Emmys) 2019 (Tony Shalhoub, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series) Pennsylvania 8 23 8 15 Bill Cosby (3 Emmys) 2021 (Will Smith, Best Actor) Ohio 9 21 6 15 Patricia Wettig (3 Emmys) 2014 (Anna Gunn, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) Texas 10 20 8 12 Jim Parsons (4 Emmys) 2019 (Renee Zellweger, Best Actress) Connecticut 11 17 5 12 Katharine Hepburn (3 Oscars) & Christopher Lloyd (3 Emmys) 2009 (Glenn Close, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series) Oklahoma 12 15 4 11 Bill Hader (2 Emmys) & Larry Drake (2 Emmys) 2019 (Brad Pitt, Best Supporting Actor & Bill Hader, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series) Michigan 13 12 3 9 12 different people with 1 award each 2014 (J. K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor) District of Columbia 14 11 3 8 Michael Learned (4 Emmys) 2007 (Katherine Heigl, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series) Minnesota 15 8 4 4 Jessica Lange (2 Oscars) & E.G. Marshall (2 Emmys) 2016 (Louie Anderson, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)