Youngest Emmy Nominees Of All-Time & How Zendaya Could Make History Tonight

Zendaya can make history – again! -- at the 2022 Emmy Awards. Here's how she might do it and a list of some of the youngest Emmy nominees ever.

The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards take place tonight, Sept. 12, 2022, at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles. Hosted by Kenan Thompson, it’s a night that could see history be made, thanks to Zendaya. In 2020, Zendaya made history by becoming the youngest winner of the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series, taking the award just a few weeks after turning 24. Not only that, she was the second Black woman (after Viola Davis) to win the lead drama actress award – and she’s just getting started.

In 2022, she could make history again. Zendaya is nominated for her role as Rue Bennett in Euphoria. If she wins, she will be the youngest two-time winner in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series category. She would also be the second-youngest two-time Emmy winner, as Gold Derby notes that Kristy McNichol won the 1977 and 1979 Best Drama Support Actress awards for her part in the ABS series Family.

Zendaya faces stiff competition from Jodie Comer (Killing Eve), Laura Linney (Ozark), Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets), Sandra Oh (Killing Eve), and Reese Witherspoon (The Morning Show). Fans will have to tune in to see if Zendaya can do it. Until then, check out the list of youngest Emmy nominees ever.

Zendaya

Zendaya
Zendaya plays Rue on HBO’s ‘Euphoria.’ (HBO/AP Images)

Zendaya was one of the youngest nominees for the 2020 Emmys. She earned her first Emmy nomination at 24 for playing Rue in HBO’s Euphoria, an award she happily won.

Millie Bobby Brown

Millie Bobby Brown
Millie Bobby Brown stars as Eleven on ‘Stranger Things.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Millie Bobby Brown earned her first Emmy nomination in 2017 at just 13 years old for her performance as Eleven in Netflix’s Stranger Things. She was nominated again for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 2018 at 14 years old. While she didn’t receive a nomination for Stranger Things 3, many more nominations and wins are on the way for this talented young star.

Keisha Knight Pulliam

Keisha Knight Pulliam
Keshia Knight Pulliam starred as young Rudy Huxtable on ‘The Cosby Show.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Keshia Knight Pulliam, now 43, was just six years old when she was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 1986 Emmys. Keisha stole our hearts and made us laugh as the adorable Rudy Huxtable during her time on The Cosby Show. At six years old, she became the youngest Emmy nominee ever.

Malcolm-Jamal Warner

Malcolm Jamal-Warner
Malcolm Jamal-Warner played Theo Huxtable on ‘The Cosby Show.’ (The Everett Collection/MEGA)

Keshia’s Cosby Show co-star Malcolm-Jamal Warner, 52, also earned an Emmy nomination at a young age. At 16 years old, Malcolm-Jamal was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series in 1986. He played the lovable Theo Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

Claire Danes

Claire Danes
Claire Danes starred as Angela Chase in ‘My So-Called Life.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Claire Danes, 43, received her very first Emmy nomination at 16 years old for playing Angela Chase in ABC’s My So-Called Life. She was nominated in 1995 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She didn’t win the Emmy, but she did win the Golden Globe in 1995 for Best Performance by an Actress in a Television Series – Drama.

Frankie Muniz

Frankie Muniz
Frankie Muniz played Malcolm in the hit comedy ‘Malcolm in the Middle.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Frankie Muniz, now 36, was just 15 years old when he became an Emmy nominee. He was nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Television Series – Comedy or Musical for his performance as Malcolm in the FOX comedy. Frankie was also nominated for two Golden Globes for his performance in 2001 and 2002.

Asante Blackk

Asante Blackk
Asante Blackk played the young version of Kevin Richardson in ‘When They See Us.’ (Netflix/AP Images)

Asante Blackk, now 20, became one of the youngest Emmy nominees in history at 17 years old when he was nominated for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie in 2019. He was nominated for his tremendous performance as young Kevin Richardson in the Netflix miniseries When They See Us. It was his first-ever TV role.

Melissa Sue Anderson

Melissa Sue Anderson
Melissa Sue Anderson played Mary Ingalls in ‘The Little House on the Prairie.’ (The Everett Collection/SplashNews)

Melissa Sue Anderson, now 59, was 16 years old when she was nominated in 1978 for her role as Mary Ingalls in the classic series The Little House on the Prairie. The actress was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series.

Fred Savage

Fred Savage
Fred Savage played Kevin Arnold on ‘The Wonder Years.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Fred Savage, now 46, was nominated at 13 years old for playing Kevin Arnold on The Wonder Years. He was nominated for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series. Fred was nominated again at 14 for the same award.

Kristy McNichol

Kristy McNichol
Kristy McNichol played Buddy Lawrence on ‘Family.’ (The Everett Collection/MEGA)

Kristy McNichol, 60, was 15 years old when she became a first-time Emmy winner in 1977. She won the Outstanding Continuing Performance by a Supporting Actress in a Drama Series award for her role as Letitia “Buddy” Lawrence on Family. She won the Emmy on her 15th birthday. She won the same award in 1979 at 17.

Patty Duke

Patty Duke
Patty Duke starred in her very own TV show titled ‘The Patty Duke Show.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Patty Duke was 18 years old when she became an Emmy nominee for the first time. The actress was nominated for Outstanding Continued Performance by an Actress in a Series for her performance on The Patty Duke Show. Patty didn’t win at the time, but she did go on to win 3 Emmys over the course of her career. She passed away in 2016 at the age of 69.

Sara Gilbert

Sara Gilbert
Sara Gilbert plays Darlene Conner on ‘Roseanne.’ (The Everett Collection/AP Images)

Sara Gilbert, 47, earned her first Emmy nomination at 18 years old for playing Darlene Conner on Roseanne. She received back-to-back nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 1993 and 1994. Sara is still playing Darlene today in ABC’s Roseanne revival, which premiered in 2018.

Roxana Zal

Roxana Zal
Roxana Zal played Amelia Bennett in ‘Something About Amelia.’ (The Everett Collection)

Roxana Zal was only 14 years old when she won the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Special award in 1984. She played Amelia Bennett in the TV movie Something About Amelia.

Paul Mescal

Paul Mescal
Paul Mescal played Connell on ‘Normal People.’ (Hulu/AP Images)

Paul Mescal earned his first Emmy nomination for his first TV role at age 24. The young and rising actor was nominated in 2022 for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. His performance in Hulu’s Normal People has made him one of the most sought-after young actors.

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