The 74th Annual Emmy Awards were presented September 12, and a number of Broadway artists and artists with theatre connections took home top prizes.
Sheryl Lee Ralph, known for originating the role of Deena Jones in Dreamgirls, received the first major performance award of her career. A stalwart of stage and screen, Ralph was Tony- and Drama Desk-nominated for her role in the original Broadway cast of Dreamgirls and has received many NAACP Award nominations throughout her career, but her Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series Emmy win for the role of Barbara Howard in the comedy Abbott Elementary marks the first time Ralph has taken home the prize.
Ralph was visibly moved by the milestone and chose to perform a selection from Dianne Reeves' soul song "Endangered Species" in lieu of a traditional speech. Ralph received a standing ovation from the assembled crowd and capped off her acceptance with the following quote.
"To anyone who has ever, ever had a dream, and thought your dream wasn't, wouldn't, couldn't come true. I am here to tell you that this is what believing looks like. This is what striving looks like. And don't you ever, ever, ever give up on you, because if you get a Quinta Brunson in your corner, if you get a husband like mine in your corner, if you get children like mine in your corner, and if you've got friends like everybody who voted for me, cheered for me, loved me. Thank you, thank you, thank you."
Ralph is now the second Black woman in the history of the Emmy Awards to take home the Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. The first was Jackée Harry, who received the top honor for 227 in 1987. Ralph's speech is available to view below.
In addition to Ralph, movie musical favorite Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia! film) received the Best Actress, Limited Series or TV Movie Emmy for her portrayal of Elizabeth Holmes in The Dropout, Jennifer Coolidge (The Women) received the Supporting Actress, Limited Series or a Movie Emmy for her work on The White Lotus, and Jean Smart (The Man Who Came to Dinner) received the Best Actress, Comedy Emmy for Hacks.
Winners of the Creative Arts Emmys were announced last week, including Schmigadoon! and Annie Live!
For a complete list of this year's winners of the Emmy Awards, click here.