Fans of Friends are eagerly awaiting the upcoming HBO Max reunion special headed by the infamous cast: Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courtney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Matthew Perry (Chandler), and David Schwimmer (Ross).
The iconic sitcom garnered a plethora of Emmy nominations and wins during its 10-season run. Yet one star on the show never got a shot at the gold.
Season 1 recognizes two co-stars
When Friends premiered in 1994 on NBC, the sitcom immediately became a ratings hit. Following the lives of the six twenty-somethings through love, friendship, and careers, the comedy resonated with audiences through its humor and simplicity.
At the time, Cox had the most acting credits to her name. The rest of the ensemble cast were basically new to Hollywood, though Kudrow had some screen time on Mad About You. Brilliantly portraying the dippy massage therapist Phoebe Buffay, Kudrow landed her first Emmy nomination right out of the gate in the show’s rookie season in 1995.
The storyline of Ross’s unrequited love for Rachel proved to be an ideal showcase for Schwimmer’s acting chops. Exhibiting a comedic yet somewhat serious side, the actor was also nominated in season 1 for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
While neither Kudrow nor Schwimmer went home with awards that year, the cast of Friends was well on its way to stardom.
Jennifer Aniston and Lisa Kudrow bring home the gold
Though she didn’t win in 1995, Kudrow racked up the most nominations out of the entire cast. Nominated a total of six times and winning the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series in 1998, Kudrow was the first of the ensemble to bring home the gold.
Aniston’s portrayal of Rachel Green catapulted her to stardom, yet the role became somewhat suffocating for the actor. The Morning Show star soon felt pigeon-holed on the sitcom.
“I was feeling stuck in my career,” Aniston explained, according to UPI. “This bittersweet thing of this wonderful show and yet I feel like a product on the show. (It made me wonder,) ‘How are you going to escape Rachel?’ Rachel is my baggage, it’s old leather luggage that I love.”
Landing a myriad of film roles helped the Friends star shed her sitcom persona. Nominated as an Outstanding Supporting Actress in 2000 and 2001, Aniston was bumped up to a Lead Actress nod in 2002 and won. She was named in the same category in 2003 and 2004.
No nods for Courtney Cox
Schwimmer wasn’t the only one of the male cast members to receive an Emmy nomination. In 2002, Perry was considered for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series for his portrayal of the neurotic yet lovable Chandler Bing. Also in the running that year was co-star Matt LeBlanc.
Both Perry and LeBlanc went home empty-handed that year, though LeBlanc earned nominations in the following two years. The actor also received Emmy recognition for his work on the series Episodes, though he hasn’t won the award – yet.
Cox became the only member of the cast not to be recognized by the Emmys for her Friends role. According to Entertainment Weekly, she told Emmy Magazine that her “ego got really bruised” because of the snub.
“When everyone did but me, that doesn’t feel good at all,” Cox admitted. “There were certain years I thought, ‘Maybe I have a shot,’ like the Monica-Chandler years. But I don’t know how it happens and why … maybe I wasn’t ready.”
Despite the rebuff, Cox clearly has a place in television history thanks to her embodying the control-freak persona of Monica Geller on Friends.
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