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Data Study

States That Have Produced the Best Actors and Actresses

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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.

United States Focused Awards

The Emmys and Oscars tend to focus on productions from the US, and as such, performers from the US have won a significant majority of acting awards over time.

Nearly 1/5th of all Oscar and Primetime Emmy acting awards have been won by foreign-born actors and actresses

More than four in five Oscar and Primetime Emmy acting awards (81.7%) have been won by actors and actresses from the US, 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 (38.3%) Emmys and Oscars awarded to international performers have been earned since 2000.

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New York and California Dominate Acting Awards

Domestically, New York and California are the leading states for the entertainment industry in the US. So it is unsurprising that the two states together account for more than one-third of Oscar and Emmy acting awards.

New York-born actors and actresses dominate the Oscar and Primetime 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.

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Actors in Other States

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.

New York and California have born far more award-winning actors and actresses than the rest of the country

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 produced the best actors and actresses, researchers at HotDog.com ranked US 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.

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States and Territories That Have Produced the Best Actors and Actresses

Here are the US states and territories that have produced the best actors and actresses.

Minneapolis, MN
Photo Credit: Checubus / Shutterstock

15. Minnesota

  • Total awards: 8
  • Total Oscars: 4
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 4
  • Winningest actor/actress: Jessica Lange (2 Oscars) & E.G. Marshall (2 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2016 (Louie Anderson, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)

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Washington, DC
Photo Credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

14. District of Columbia

  • Total awards: 11
  • Total Oscars: 3
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 8
  • Winningest actor/actress: Michael Learned (4 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2007 (Katherine Heigl, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series)
Detroit, MI
Photo Credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

13. Michigan

  • Total awards: 12
  • Total Oscars: 3
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 9
  • Winningest actor/actress: 12 different people with 1 award each

Year of most recent award: 2014 (J. K. Simmons, Best Supporting Actor)

Tulsa, OK
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

12. Oklahoma

  • Total awards: 15
  • Total Oscars: 4
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 11
  • Winningest actor/actress: Bill Hader (2 Emmys) & Larry Drake (2 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2019 (Brad Pitt, Best Supporting Actor & Bill Hader, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series)
Connecticut, CT
Photo Credit: f11photo / Shutterstock

11. Connecticut

  • Total awards: 17
  • Total Oscars: 5
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 12
  • Winningest actor/actress: Katharine Hepburn (3 Oscars) & Christopher Lloyd (3 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2009 (Glenn Close, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series)
Houston, TX
Photo Credit: nektofadeev / Shutterstock

10. Texas

  • Total awards: 20
  • Total Oscars: 8
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 12
  • Winningest actor/actress: Jim Parsons (4 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2019 (Renee Zellweger, Best Actress)
Youngstown, OH
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

9. Ohio

  • Total awards: 21
  • Total Oscars: 6
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 15
  • Winningest actor/actress: Patricia Wettig (3 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2014 (Anna Gunn, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series)
Philadelphia, PA
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

8. Pennsylvania

  • Total awards: 23
  • Total Oscars: 8
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 15
  • Winningest actor/actress: Bill Cosby (3 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2021 (Will Smith, Best Actor)
Milwaukee, WI
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

7. Wisconsin

  • Total awards: 24
  • Total Oscars: 4
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 20
  • Winningest actor/actress: Tyne Daly (6 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2019 (Tony Shalhoub, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series)
St Louis, MO
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

6. Missouri

  • Total awards: 29
  • Total Oscars: 10
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 19
  • Winningest actor/actress: Doris Roberts (5 Emmys) & Ed Asner (5 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2017 (Sterling K. Brown, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series)
Boston, MA
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

5. Massachusetts

  • Total awards: 34
  • Total Oscars: 14
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 20
  • Winningest actor/actress: Allison Janney (6 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2020 (Jeremy Strong, Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series)
Jersey City, NJ
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

4. New Jersey

  • Total awards: 36
  • Total Oscars: 14
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 22
  • Winningest actor/actress: Peter Dinklage (4 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2019 (Peter Dinklage, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series)
Chicago,, IL
Photo Credit: Oleg Podzorov / Shutterstock

3. Illinois

  • Total awards: 44
  • Total Oscars: 16
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 28
  • Winningest actor/actress: Dennis Franz (4 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2021 (Gillian Anderson, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series)
Los Angeles, CA
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

2. California

  • Total awards: 96
  • Total Oscars: 40
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 56
  • Winningest actor/actress: Helen Hunt (1 Oscar & 4 Emmys) & Candice Bergen (5 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2021 (Jessica Chastain, Best Actress)
New York City
Photo Credit: Sean Pavone / Shutterstock

1. New York

  • Total awards: 187
  • Total Oscars: 50
  • Total Primetime Emmys: 137
  • Winningest actor/actress: Julia Louis-Dreyfus (8 Emmys)
  • Year of most recent award: 2020 (Billy Crudup, Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series & Julia Garner, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series)

Detailed Findings and Methodology

To identify the states that have produced the best actors and actresses, researchers at HotDog.com ranked US states and territories according to the total number of eligible Oscar and Primetime Emmy Awards won by actors and actresses born in each location. In the analysis, eligible Oscars and Primetime Emmy Awards include the following:

  • Oscars
    • Best Actor
    • Best Actress
    • Best Supporting Actor
    • Best Supporting Actress
  • Primetime Emmys
    • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series
    • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
    • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series
    • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series
    • Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series
    • Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
    • Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series
    • Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

All aforementioned Oscars and Primetime Emmy awards since the first year that supporting actors and actresses were awarded were included in the analysis (since the 9th Academy Awards in 1936 and the 6th Emmy Awards in 1954). Note that the format of some Primetime Emmy Award ceremonies and the names of the awards have changed over the years. All comparable awards were included.

In the event of a tie, the location with the most recent award was ranked higher. Further ties were broken according to the total number of Oscars won, and then according to the location with the winningest actor/actress. The data was sourced from the Official Academy Awards Database and the Emmy Awards Nominees and Winners database.

Featured image photo credit: LanKS / Shutterstock.

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By Frank Moraes

Frank loves video. How else could he watch one to two films every day?

He started streaming early, back in 2007 when Netflix introduced what seemed revolutionary even then, "instant watch," or what would eventually become the totality of the company. Then Hulu started and he was hooked. Very little work got done in 2008.

Today, he streams pretty much everything while his library of thousands of Blu-rays and DVDs collects dust.

Contact Frank with thoughts, questions, and story ideas at [email protected]

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