The Emmys took place last night, and while there were so many wonderful star-studded moments, one of the best was watching actress Jean Smart make history with her win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series thanks to her work on the HBO dark comedy Hacks.
In the show, Smart plays Deborah Vance, a legendary stand-up comedian in Las Vegas who feels like her time for stardom is running out. Paired with a disgraced younger writer to keep her material fresh, the two begin to help each other out in the topsy-turvy entertainment world of Vegas, among all the strong personalities around them.
As if an Emmy win isn’t exciting enough, the victory brought more great news for Smart. Along with iconic actress Betty White, the 70-year-old is now only the second actress to win the Emmys trifecta in comedy; she now possesses trophies for the comedy lead, supporting, and guest categories. Previously, she won guest actress Emmys for her role in Frasier back in 2000 and 2001, and more recently she picked up a supporting actress Emmy for Samantha Who? in 2008. Just as impressive, she was also nominated for her role in Mare of Easttown last night, which brought her up to 11 total Emmy nominations over the course of her career.
The night was also a poignant one for Smart. In addition to thanking her team and her children, she dedicated her award to her late husband Richard Gilliland, who passed away six months ago in March. The two were married for over 30 years at the time of his death. “I would not be here without him, and without his kind of putting his career on the back burner so I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I have had,” she told the crowd. It was a tear-jerking moment.
Congrats to Jean Smart on such a stellar accomplishment! We can’t wait to see what she stars in next.