Composer Robert Lopez won the American entertainment grand slam known as the EGOT with his Oscar win today. He received the Oscar, along with his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, for the song Let It Go from the Disney movie Frozen.
The couple playfully sang their Academy Award acceptance speech. They wished the crowd Happy Oscars to you. Then suggested let’s do Frozen 2 as part of their comments, along with thanks to the Frozen cast and crew and their families.
An EGOT is someone who has won the four biggest awards in the American entertainment industry: an Emmy for television, a Grammy for recording, an Oscar and a Tony. Winning one of these awards is a big deal; winning all four is like a tennis grand slam or PGA grand slam. The Oscar he won today makes the 39-year-old Robert Lopez the youngest person to achieve the rare EGOT feat.
Lopez has received three Tonys, including Best Original Score for Avenue Q and The Book of Mormon in 2004 and 2011. For Mormon, he also received a Tony for Best Book of a Musical. Lopez received his Grammy in 2012 for The Book of Mormon’s cast recording. He earned two Daytime Emmys in 2008 and 2010 for work on the Nickelodeon series The Wonder Pets. Some may quibble over the fact that Lopez’ Emmy was a Daytime Emmy. However it counted for Whoopi Goldberg. Lastly, he now has an Oscar for Frozen.
The EGOT acronym was coined by Philip Michael Thomas, of Miami Vice TV fame, who wore the initials on a necklace. In the television series 30 Rock, Tracy Jordan’s obsession with winning the EGOT became a repeated plot line.
There are now 12 people who have been accomplished the feat of earning competitive EGOTs: Richard Rodgers, Helen Hayes, Rita Moreno, Audrey Hepburn, Sir John Gielgud, Marvin Hamlisch, Mel Brooks, Jonathan Tunick, Mike Nichols, Whoopi Goldberg, Scott Rudin and now Bobby Lopez. Three other people have also won all four awards (Liza Minelli, James Earl Jones and Barbra Streisand). However, one award for each was a special or honorary award (Streisand’s Tony, Jones’ Oscar and Minnelli’s Grammy). Trey Parker and Matt Stone sometimes make EGOT lists too, but their Oscar win was a Student Academy Award for Animation while they were in college.
Lopez is a native New Yorker of Filipino descent. He received a bachelor’s degree in English from Yale University. He got his start working with another songwriter, Jeff Marx, on a Muppet parody of Hamlet, which was rejected by The Jim Henson Company. In 1999, the two then began work on the highly successful Avenue Q, an adult musical using puppets like those on Sesame Street. He worked with his brother, Billy on Wonder Pets, while working with Parker and Stone on The Book of Mormon. Lopez and his wife have worked on a few projects for Disney before Frozen and are now at work on a couple of musicals. However, as the mentioned clutching their Oscar, Frozen 2 would be a welcome gig. With the Oscar they won tonight, Robert Lopez and his wife, Kristen, might hope to become first couple to earn the EGOT title.
By Dyanne Weiss