Not The First Transgender

laverne coxSOLVED!

[Blind Gossip] Laverne Cox is an actress on the Netflix television series Orange Is The New Black. She was recently hailed by Time Magazine as “The first transgender person nominated for an Emmy award.”

Time Magazine is wrong.

Cox is simply the first openly transgendered person to have been recognized by the Emmys. From the LA Times:

Cox woke up to discover she’d become the first openly transgender woman nominated for an Emmy award. Cox herself makes the distinction “openly trans,” as she says she knows of another transgender woman who won an Emmy years ago, but was not out.

Transgendered Emmy Winner:

angela morley 4SOLVED!

It’s Angela Morley! Source: Readers

For her work as a composer, Angela Morley won two Emmys. She was also nominated for several more Emmys and two Oscars.

We’ve condensed and modified the following from Wikipedia:

Angela Morley, born Walter “Wally” Stott, was an English composer and conductor. Stott was born in Leeds, Yorkshire in 1924, and played saxophone in a number of dance bands.

In 1953, Stott began a long association with the Philips record label, arranging for and accompanying the company’s artists, as well as releasing records. He worked with Shirley Bassey, Dusty Springfield, Scott Walker, and Ronnie Carroll.

In 1972, Stott underwent sex reassignment surgery.

As Angela Morley, she orchestrated, arranged, and supervised the music for the final musical film collaboration of Lerner and Loewe’s The Little Prince (1974). At this time, she was also a regular guest conductor of the BBC Radio Orchestra and BBC Big Band.

Morley won two Emmy Awards for her work in music arrangement. These were in the category of Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction, in 1988 and 1990, both for television specials starring Julie Andrews. Morley also received Emmy nominations for composing music for television series such as Dynasty and Dallas.

Morley was twice nominated for an Academy Award in the category of Best Music, Original Song Score/Adaptation: for The Little Prince (1974) and for The Slipper and the Rose (1976).

Morley passed away in 2009 at the age of 84 in Phoenix Arizona.

What an fascinating life! Could you imagine someone trying to transition forty years ago? This story would make a really interesting film. Get cracking, screenwriters!

You can find more information and photos of Angela Morley at

Congratulations to our super sleuth Blinders, starting with IAmSage, for solving this one so quickly!

angela morley 3

angela morley 2

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111 comments to Not The First Transgender

  • momof3

    Bea Arthur?

  • kat411

    Liza Minnelli?

  • malkatz

    Hmmmm… the question is: is this person someone we know as a man (who is transgender but has not transitioned physically in any way,) or a woman? Interesting regardless.

  • Jinkies

    Bea Arthur?

  • ravenglass

    Bea Arthur

  • SouthJerseyGirl

    Bea Arthur… Kidding. Have no idea but it will interesting to see who is guessed.

  • IAmSage

    Transgendered Emmy Winner: Angela Morley (born Walter Stott)

    • rosiedoes

      Exceptional work.

    • popculturenut

      This is correct. She won for musical arrangements (two Emmys) and her transgender history is easily found (documented on Wikipedia). though it’s hard to imagine how she wasn’t “out” as she’d worked in the same field (as Wally Stott) before the surgery.

    • EastCoaster

      You are indeed sage! Truthfully, I had never heard of Angela Morley. But I just looked her up, and what a great career! Multiple Emmy wins and nominations, and Oscar noms to boot.

    • fotobandi

      Yes, I think you’ve got it. According to Wikipedia, she won two Emmys for Music Arrangement. here is a link to the article:

    • fishfish123


    • Paloma Suja

      ^^^ this! I knew there was a trasgendered composer, but couldn’t remember for the life of me whom it was.

    • illandri

      THIS! GREAT job!!!! :)

    • creeping_thistle

      This. Yes.

    • smoolie

      we have a WINNER!

    • QubbuQ

      Yes! ^^This ^^

    • brainy

      From Ms. Morley’s Wikipedia page: “During the 1980s she wrote numerous arrangements for the Boston Pops Orchestra and scored many episodes of television shows, including Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Hotel. She was nominated multiple times for Emmy Awards and won for music direction of Julie Andrews television specials.”

    • bowiefan

      This has to be it. I’d never heard of Angela Morley, but she did win two Emmy awards and was born a man. Well done!

    • robin

      Nice.. I think you got it

    • CountessLurkula


    • princessavenger

      I don’t think so because while she’d transitioned when she won, there’s no way that it could be said she wasn’t “out” given her extensive pre-transition professional music career.

      • MissNormaDesmond

        I think in this case, the meaning of “out” is different given the era. For example, there’s little doubt people in the industry knew Rock Hudson was gay, though he was never out. Same with Ms. Morely, her peers likely were aware of her transition – but it was not spoken of, therefore by our understanding of “out,” she was very much in.

      • wendy hood

        She wasn’t “out” like Laverne Cox is. The public didn’t know about it, there weren’t press tours being done over being transgender, no one was screaming “Pay attention to my sex change, but wait, that’s not all that I am!!!!” Even Angela’s British obituaries don’t mention her reassignment surgery, just that she started her career as Walter Stott.

        Essentially, no one cared that she was transgendered. Maybe us super smart modern folk could take a page or two out of her book and stop being so out and proud while also demanding that no one pigeonholes us to our sexuality. Its an unreasonable demand.

      • missmissy

        I am not sure why being “out” might matter here. She was certainly out among those in the profession. She went to a Scandinavian country male and came back female. She faced a good deal of ridicule from some musicians for that. But she was encouraged (and hired!) to continue composing and conducting by those who knew her talent. Her wife even stayed with her after transition.

        I think its a remarkable story. To be able to make that transition mid-career and remain respected and honored for your work is pretty amazing.

    • MissNormaDesmond

      You got it.

    • Jinkies

      You are so smaaht! Morley won two Emmys and was nominated for two Academy Awards but Ms. Cox may not realize that it wasn’t a secret that Ms. Morley had been born a man – it just wasn’t deemed necessary to mention it when she was nominated and won. She was a talented composer, arranger and conductor.

      • wendy hood

        Laverne Cox is trying to make a career out of being transgendered (and lining GLAAD’s pockets while doing so). Apparently, unless its mentioned in every article about you and part of every interview you do, it doesn’t count as being “out”. Take some notes from Angela Morley, LC. She seemed to be accepted and loved and praised for who she was and her exceptional musical talent, not her half baked acting and showcasing her surgery.

    • bjd44

      Yup. This.

      Morley won two Emmy Awards for her work in music arrangement. Had sex reassignment therapy.

    • Gemma

      You got it! I just question whether she counts as she transitioned while married to a woman and stayed with her for 30 something years. I imagine she was open as a lesbian (being married to a woman at least) so I question whether she would not be open about her transition. She does not seem the type to hide it though the industry may have not wanted her “out” so to speak.

      • EaterOfWorlds

        Why on earth would it not count simply because she’s in a relationship? I have several friends who have transitioned after marrying. They are all still married and their partners orientation hasn’t changed. They are still transgendered. Also, what does sexual orientation have to do with being out as transgender?

        I don’t think she hid it, either, since it’s obviously information that’s out there. It just sounds like she didn’t make a big deal of it and neither did anyone else.

      • rosiedoes

        Being transgender isn’t something that comes and goes – sometimes it takes people time to recognise in themselves, but it’s usually accepted to be present from birth.

        Think of it like being left handed but forced to learn to write with your right hand (as a girl in my class in rural Sicily was, when I was a child). It doesn’t mean you’re any less left-handed, it just means you’ve been suppressing that fact for some time.

      • Gemma

        I totally misunderstood. Her wiki page stated she married her wife in the 70’s while still a man. I took that to mean she had not yet begun to transition and was outwardly living as a man. I thought that meant she then transitioned from male to female while married not that she had been transitioning all the while. With that in mind, that is why I thought she would be open about it since she was well known in the industry by that time and it really could not be hidden. I apologize and learned my lesson not to post from my mobile. Can’t get my point across and edit on a tiny screen.

    • BlueHerons

      That is so cool! I googled her and her work and two Emmys came up!

    • carriebradshaw

      3 Emmy Awards and 2 Oscar Nominations- must be her.

    • MyBeans

      This is the answer here. This link to Angela’s wiki page details both her two Emmy wins and her transition.

      She won her Emmys in 1998 and 1990, so she fits the clue “years ago;” Laverne would definitely know of her existance.

      Hopefully as a society we are moving towards having more compassion for someone in this situation. Angela Morley died in 2009 so either way, she now has her peace.

    • ConfusedHarpy


    • minx

      Congrats, you did your homework!

  • CatBallou

    Jamie Lee Curtis? I know there has been speculation for years that maybe she was born a hermaphrodite (not that it would make her the same as trans I suppose).

  • Bamadex

    The popular guess will be Bea Arthur but her early history is too well documented. Tyne Daly could pass for a transexual but she has 3 daughters, presumably not adopted.

    Kirstie Alley is a big, ol’ mess in every way so I’ll say her.

  • rosiedoes

    Michael Learned, from The Waltons, had to be billed as ‘Miss’ to prevent any “confusion” about her gender.

  • pisces0023

    Anne Ramsey

  • iyamrocky

    Bea Arthur

  • bellethatsees

    Allison Janney, for no particular reason.

    It’s so sad that people can’t just be who they are.

    • jasper

      Definite NO on Allison, as she looked completely natural and in great shape in the s2 opener of Masters of Sex, where she had a topless scene.

      You could also confirm with her co-star Beau Bridges as to the authenticity, as he seemed to be really enjoying her body in that scene.

  • sake_kitty

    Hailed meaning Haile Berry? It was inferred a while back that she had surrogates for her babies?

  • Kerzep

    OK. This time I think the answer truly IS:

    Betty White!

  • LivDizzly

    Allison Janney?

  • Mtlmeee

    Allison Janney?

  • MacTalk

    Transgendered Emmy Winner: Bea Arthur


  • jjonesy

    RuPaul? Not sure if Drag Queen = Transgender

  • robin

    Edie Falco maybe
    2nd guess would be Felicity Huffman.

  • Preesi

    Jamie lee Curtis

    • luvprue1

      I like the Jamie Lee Curtis guess. I buy that.

      • PandoraWolf

        I think that Jamie Lee Curtis has an androgen sensitivity, where she was technically born XY, but her body failed to recognize the male hormones that would have caused her to develop into a male. That’s also why she had to adopt. So she “should have been” born a man, but her body failed to recognize the fact so she didn’t. It’s something like that, not quite being trans.

  • yeahemily

    Eileen Davidson?

    • kcritical

      Although a daytime Emmy, this is who I thought of immediately. I remember hearing years ago that Victor no longer wanted to play intimate roles with her once he found out she used to be a man. Never knew if this was true though.



  • jujub23

    Possibly Bea Arthur?

  • True007

    This is pretty interesting. I actually find this to be pretty fascinating.
    My guess is Merritt Wever. Honestly, I have no idea.

  • joheinous

    I’m going with Allison Janney and my clue is “hailed” as in hail to the chief—“West Wing.”

  • tuckerlee123

    Camryn Manheim is my guess

  • bengalcat

    Bob tur

  • nuagenuage

    Edie Falco, Felicity Huffmann and Kyra Sedgwick look all really manly to me.
    I guess Edie or Kyra.

  • GoneGirl

    Toni Collette

  • sassay

    Eileen Davidson from Young and the Restless

  • stolidog

    Bea Arthur

  • BackToMe

    Wendy Williams – am I alone here on that?!? (if she’s every received an Emmy before)

  • guestimation

    Kristen Johnston from Third Rock From the Sun

  • bigjinla

    Chaz Bono

  • augustmom

    Yes, Angela Morley.

  • bigjinla

    I think “IAmSage” got the answer right. It’s composer Angela Morley born Walter Stott.

  • bigjinla

    I think it’s a bit confusing. Most of the articles I’ve seen refer to her as the first openly transgender woman to receive an acting nomination.

    Chaz Bono received a non-acting nomination and.P.J. Torokvei received an Emmy nomination as one of the producers of WKRP in Cincinnati.

    The only winner I can find who was transgendered was Morley who wasn’t an actor but a composer.

  • ginnny

    Allison Janney grew up in my hometown and is a family friend. Not her.

  • ashanean

    I am sage sounds to be right

  • katefall

    S Epatha Matheson? pure speculation…she did retweet something about laverne cox being the first open trans person nominated….

  • bg565

    Angela Morley did win 2 Emmy’s and was born Walter Stott, but since she worked and received accolades as a man, too, she would have been “out,” no? So is it someone else?

  • gotu

    I looked up the Angela Morley answer–and it fits, except the clue suggests no one knew she made the transition. But she certainly won two Emmys, so she fits that way–but I don’t know enough about her and whether or not she made her transition public.

  • emarie

    No way is it Bea, like a poster above said she has a well-documented history. She went to an all-girls school and spent time in the Marines as a typist during WWII.

  • Shaliza

    Angela Morley. She’s listed on Laverne Cox’s Wikipedia page as the only other transgendered person to be nominated.

  • Visha

    Angela Morley (RIP) who won an emmy but was born Walter Scott.

  • PapillonLover

    Joan Rivers!!….(jk

  • Blondenycblonde

    Allison Janney

  • Steffy44

    No way it was Bea Arthur. She was in the Marines and they would have never let a transgendered person in back then. There are pictures of her in her female uniform too. I have no clue who else it could be though…

  • Roxy

    I doubt it’s Kristen Johnson. She has a serious form of lupus, and at least 90% of people DX’ed with lupus are female.

  • guessingnotknowing

    I say good luck to them, whoever it is. If the person is secretive about it… it’s totally understandable. It’s tough enough today to do it. Imagine being transgender 10 years ago… life would have been hell. I hope they are comfortable in their own skin, that’s all. It’s such a big decision; I can’t imagine going through that. And being in the public eye would make it much harder. The public is so judgemental. I think it’s amazing that they won an Emmy, regardless.

  • lily is my puppy

    Linda Hunt

  • lnkls

    Chaz Bono? He was Emmy nominated for “Becoming Chaz” wasn’t he.
    He would also be the 1st transgender to be Emmy Nominated.

  • DuchessofSilly

    Oh Darlings, it’s got to be Shirley Booth….so silly of us not to remember that one simply had to be closeted way back in the dark ages of early film and television days.

  • lnkls

    Sorry transgender woman (man to woman) Chaz would be the 1st transgender MAN nominated for an Emmy.
    Never mind.

  • RitaSkeeter

    lea M
    from glee

    she looks like a man.

  • timesink

    Since transgendered women often do a better impersonation of women than women do, I am going with Heidi Klum.