Betty White, who died on New Years Eve just weeks before her 100th birthday, has been a TV star for nearly seven decades. It’s no surprise that White won five competitive Emmy Awards, but you might have forgotten that she won a Grammy 10 years ago for best spoken word album (includes poetry, audiobooks and narration) for his audiobook, If you ask me (and of course you won’t).
White, who was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1995, is one of 16 members of the organization to have won competitive Grammys. Here are 15 other Hall of Fame members – all television icons – who have won Grammys.
Carol Burnett: Burnett, whose eponymous 11-year variety show, won the 2016 Grammy for Best Spoken Album for an Audiobook on the Show, In such good company: eleven years of laughter, chaos and fun in the sandbox.
George Burns: The comedian, who teamed up with his wife Gracie Allen on The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show in the 1950s, became even more famous after his death in 1964. Like White, he was most loved in his later years. It won the 1990 Grammy for Best Oral or Non-Musical Recording for Gracie – A Love Story. Oddly enough, Burns never won an Emmy in competition.
Andy Griffith: Griffith’s eponymous sitcom was one of the highest-rated shows of the 1960s. He’s still popular in reruns, though his mellow humor is out of step with today’s brash comedy style. Griffith won the 1996 Grammy for Best Southern Gospel, Country Gospel or Bluegrass Gospel Album for I love to tell the story – 25 timeless hymns. Griffith received his first Grammy in 1959, before the launch of his sitcom, for his album Hamlet, nominated for the best comic performance. Like Burns, Griffith has never won an Emmy in competition.
Ron Howard: The former child star starred in two iconic TV series, The Andy Griffith Show and Happy Days. He enjoyed even greater success as a director. It was in this capacity that he won the 2016 Grammy for best musical film for The Beatles: eight days a week during the touring years.
Carl Reiner: Reiner won his first two Emmy Awards as a cast member on Sid Caesar’s Caesar’s hour, but he made his greatest contribution to television by creating and producing The Dick Van Dyke Show, the grandfather of smart and sophisticated sitcoms. Reiner and fellow comedy legend Mel Brooks won the 1998 Grammy for Best Spoken Comedy Album for 2000 year old man in the year 2000, an update on their classic comedy routine. Their original 2000 year old man album was nominated in this category in 1960.
Dick Van Dyke: The star of the aforementioned comedy series won the 1964 Grammy for Best Children’s Recording for Mary poppins in tandem with Julie Andrews.
Edward R. Murrow: The legendary journalist, who was part of the inaugural class inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1984, won the 1966 Grammy for best recording of spoken word, documentary or drama for Edward R. Murrow – A Journalist Remembers Vol. I The war years.
Steve Allen: Allen was the first NBC host Tonight’s show. Allen was also a prolific composer. He wrote a song that has become a pop standard, the zesty “This could be the start of Something Big”. Allen and Ray Brown won a 1963 Grammy for Best Original Jazz Composition for “Gravy Waltz”. Twenty years later Allen and his wife Jayne Meadows were nominated for Best Oral or Non-Musical Recording for Everything you always wanted to know about personal computers. Allen was nominated again in this category in 1989 for a 50th anniversary update to the legendary Orson Welles World war broadcast.
Charles Kuralt: CBS reporter and host ‘ On the road with Charles Kuralt won two Grammys 1997 – best spoken word album for Spring by Charles Kuralt and best children’s spoken word album for Winnie the Pooh.
Bob Newhart: The comedy icon’s dry style and perfect timing have served him well in two lengthy series, The Bob Newhart Show and Newhart. He won three 1960 Grammys, including Album of the Year for Bob Newhart’s button-down mind and best new artist. He is the only actor to have won in this last category.
Jim Henson: The beloved creator of The Muppets won five Grammys from 1978 to 1986, all for Best Children’s Recording.
Leonard Bernstein: that of Bernstein Youth concerts the 1960s specials made him a television icon. He won 16 Grammys from 1961 to 1992. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 1985, five years before being elected to the TV Academy Hall of Fame.
Perry Como: Como’s laid back style was ideal for television, which is renowned for being a cool medium. Como’s variety series was a hit in the 1950s. He won a Grammy in the first year of the competition for Best Male Vocal Performance for “Catch a Falling Star”. He received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Recording Academy in 2002, 13 years after being elected to the TV Academy Hall of Fame.
Joan Rivers: The irreverent comedian won the 2014 Grammy for best spoken word album for Diary of a Mad Diva. She was nominated for Best Comedy Recording in 1983, as she neared the peak of her fame, for What becomes more of a semi-legend? Despite being a mainstay of television for decades, Rivers was never even nominated for an Emmy in competition, which her Hall of Fame induction in 2017 helped rectify.
Dick Wolf: The producer, best known as the creator and executive producer of Law and order franchise, won a 2010 Grammy as one of the producers of the documentary The Doors When you are strange, which was voted best long-running music video.
Nine-time Grammy winner Bill Cosby was inducted into the TV Academy Hall of Fame in 1991, but his induction was revoked following his rape conviction in 2018.
Four members of the TV Academy Hall of Fame – producers Walt Disney and Dick Clark, artist Fred Astaire and inventor and engineer Ray Dolby – received special merit awards from the Recording Academy, but were not nominated for competitive Grammys.
Additionally, these members of the TV Academy Hall of Fame have received Grammy nominations, but have not won or, in the case of those who are still alive, have yet to win: All in the family stars Carroll O’Connor and Jean Stapleton, MASH POTATOES star Alan Alda, White’s Mary Tyler Moore Show co-starring Ed Asner, Star trek star William Shatner, Julia star Diahann Carroll, The Smothers Brothers, the original cast of Saturday Night Live, family guy Creator Seth MacFarlane, Comedian Ernie Kovacs, Presenter Walter Cronkite, Anchor Team Chet Huntley & David Brinkley, Journalist Eric Sevareid, Executive Fred W. Friendly and Kukla, Fran and Ollie puppeteer Burr Tillstrom.
The TV Academy awarded Hall of Fame awards every year from 1984 to 1993, but only awarded them 15 of the past 28 years. As a result, they are seriously behind the worthy recipients who have yet to be honored. Among them: Lily Tomlin, Robin Williams, Steve Martin, Eddie Murphy, David Letterman, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien, Chris Rock, Dave Chappelle, Jimmy Fallon and Tina Fey.