How many Oscar winners have had their own TV shows, you ask?
Would you believe dozens? While there was a time when a major movie was thought as higher status than a TV role, even acclaimed actors have long gone to whichever form offered work. In fact, we can break the Oscar/TV names into categories: people who won Oscars and then did TV, people who were TV actors and went on to win Oscars, and even some who won Oscars while working in TV.
That last category includes three winners of supporting actress Oscars: Allison Janney, who won for “I, Tonya,” while starring on “Mom,” Viola Davis, with “Fences” and “How to Get Away With Murder,” and Patricia Arquette, who won her Oscar for “Boyhood” about two weeks before her series “CSI: Cyber” premiered.
Another supporting actress winner, Lee Grant in “Shampoo,” picked up her Oscar about five months after her short-lived sitcom “Fay” was taken off the air. NBC showed some leftover episodes after Grant’s Oscar win.
As for Oscar winners who afterward had TV series, the long list goes back at least 65 years, when Loretta Young hosted an anthology drama and goes on to Walter Brennan, Shirley Booth, Donna Reed, Anthony Quinn, Shirley Jones, Broderick Crawford, Patty Duke, Cloris Leachman, Timothy Hutton, Marlee Matlin, Mary Steenburgen, Dorothy Malone, Maggie Smith, Anna Paquin, Reese Witherspoon and Whoopi Goldberg, among others.
People who were famous first on TV and then won Oscars include Sally Field, George Clooney, Art Carney, Martin Landau, Robin Williams, Jamie Foxx, Mo’nique, Melissa Leo, Denzel Washington, Red Buttons, Lee Marvin and Henry Fonda. (Fonda was, of course, one of our greatest actors, but he did not win an Oscar until shortly before his death in 1982, and he’d starred in several TV series before then.)