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Was NPH Better Than Rock Hudson? 8 LGBT Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony Hosts

Was NPH Better Than Rock Hudson? 8 LGBT Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony Hosts


Are gays made to host big, flashy awards shows? Looks that way.

Lgbt-hosts-x633_0This year's Academy Awards have wrapped, and out host Neil Patrick Harris is receving mixed reviews for the three-and-a-half hour show. Some loved it, some hated it, some just felt it was too long and drawn out. As we watched Harris sing, dance, and make jabs at Hollywood, we though about how many other LGBT hosts have presided over high-profile awards shows such as the Oscars, Grammys, Tonys, and Emmys. Maybe emceeing is just in our blood? Take a walk down memory lane:

Rock Hudson: 45th Academy Awards, 1973
Rock cohosted that year with Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, and Charlton Heston (with a very gay opening number featuring Angela Lansbury). The big movie that year was Cabaret, ironically. It's hard to come by video of Rock at this ceremony, but check out his presentation of an Oscar 13 years earlier.

Richard Chamberlain: 35th Tony Awards, 1981
Chamberlain cohosted with Ellen Burstyn, and the big winners of the evening were Amadeus and 42nd Street. Meanwhile, Ian McKellen took home the award for Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Play, for Amadeus. The theme of the night was "Women's Achievements in the Theater," in case you were wondering.

Sean Hayes: 64th Tony Awards, 2010
The big winners in 2010 were Red, the musical Memphis, and a revival of La Cage aux Folles. The highlight of the show came when Kristin Chenoweth took the stage and ended up in a memorable make-out session with Hayes, her costar in a revival of Promises, Promises. The kiss came in response to a Newsweek article questioning whether the newly out Hayes would be believable in a straight role.

Jane Lynch: 63rd Emmy Awards, 2011
Lynch was praised as host in a year that saw Modern Family and Glee, shows with prominent LGBT storylines, nominated 18 times. The Big Bang Theory's star Jim Parsons, who would come out as gay a few months later, took home the Emmy for Lead Actor in a Comedy, and out actors Lynch, Chris Colfer, Alan Cumming, and Evan Rachel Wood received nominations for supporting performances in Glee, The Good Wife, and Mildred Pierce, respectively.

Nathan Lane: 49th Tony Awards, 1995 (cohosted with Glenn Close and Gregory Hines); 50th Tony Awards, 1996; 54th Tony Awards, 2000 (cohosted with Rosie O'Donnell); 55th Tony Awards, 2001 (cohosted with Matthew Broderick)
Whenever Lane hosts, he puts on quite a show, sometimes taking home an award or two himself. In 1996 he won Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical for A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. That same year, the LGBT-inclusive Rent won the award for Best Musical as well as Best Original Score and Best Book. When Lane, who came out in The Advocate in 1999, cohosted the Tonys in 2001, he received another Best Actor award, this time for his role in The Producers.

Rosie O'Donnell: 51st Tony Awards, 1997; 52nd Tony Awards, 1998; 54th Tony Awards, 2000 (cohosted with Nathan Lane); 41st Grammy Awards, 1999; 42nd Grammy Awards, 2000
O'Donnell was busy in the late '90s/early '00s; in addition to hosting five awards shows, she was hosting the most popular day time talk show on television. The 52nd Tonys saw history made when women took home best directing honors in both the play and musical categories. Garry Hynes was the first woman to win Best Direction of a Play (The Beauty Queen of Leenane), and Julie Taymor won Best Direction of a Musical for The Lion King. Rosie loves musicals, which makes her an excellent host for the Great White Way's big night.

Neil Patrick Harris: 87th Academy Awards, 2015; 61st Emmy Awards, 2009; 65th Emmy Awards, 2013; 63rd Tony Awards, 2009; 65th Tony Awards, 2011; 66th Tony Awards, 2012; 67th Tony Awards, 2013
Harris has worked the awards circuit aplenty, hosting a total of seven times. The most memorable ceremony was the 2013 Emmys, when the HBO biopic about Liberace, Behind the Candelabra, received three major awards. It won for Outstanding Miniseries or Movie, Michael Douglas took home Outstanding Lead Actor in a Movie for his portrayal of the flamboyant pianist, and Steven Soderbergh received Best Cirector honors. Matt Damon was nominated for his portrayal of Liberace's lover Scott Thorson. NPH got good marks at the Emmys, but his Tony gigs really highlighted his song-and-dance acumen.

Ellen DeGeneres: 79th Academy Awards, 2007; 86th Academy Awards, 2014; 46th Emmy Awards, 1994 (cohosted with Patricia Richardson); 53rd Emmy Awards, 2001; 55th Emmy Awards, 2003 (cohosted with many, including Wanda Sykes); 57th Emmy Awards, 2005; 38th Grammy Awards, 1996; 39th Grammy Awards, 1997
Talk show host by day, awards host by night, Ellen wins at it all. The only awards show she has not presided over is the Tonys. Far and away, the most memorable moment came in 2014 when she assembled 10 A-listers for an Oscar selfie, which was retweeted over 3 million times, raising $3 million for St. Jude's Children's Hospital and the Humane Society. Can we bring her back (or Wanda)?

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