Veteran performers dominated this year’s Emmy Awards, a testament to the meaty roles being written for older actors in a medium whose audience is also graying.
The winner in every acting category but one was more than 40 years old, including the two repeat drama winners: 62-year-old Glenn Close and 53-year-old Bryan Cranston. The exception was Toni Collette, who will be 37 on Nov. 1 and was the surprise winner for comedy actress for her performance in “United States of Tara.”
The prevalence of older actors was particularly noteworthy in the category for outstanding actress in a drama series. Close’s fellow nominees were Sally Field (63 on Nov. 6), Holly Hunter (51), Mariska Hargitay (45) and Kyra Sedgwick (44). The only one under 40 was “Mad Men’s” Elisabeth Moss, age 27.
“We all go where there’s great writing,” Close said in her acceptance speech. “That’s what we live off of.”
Close was joined in the winner’s circle by “30 Rock’s” Alec Baldwin, 51, who was named outstanding actor in a comedy series; “Two and a Half Men’s” Jon Cryer, 44, who won for supporting actor in a comedy series; and “Pushing Daisies’ ” Kristin Chenoweth, 41, a winner for supporting actress in a comedy series.
Jessica Lange, 60, who won for actress in a miniseries or movie for “Grey Gardens,” called the part “a gift,” adding: “They don’t come around that often for me anymore.”
Her costar, Ken Howard, 65, took home the award for supporting actor in a miniseries or movie. “House of Saddam’s” Shohreh Aghdashloo, 57, was named outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie. Brendan Gleeson, 54, nabbed the Emmy for his performance as Winston Churchill in “Into the Storm.”
Cherry Jones, 52, for “24,” and Michael Emerson, 55, for “Lost,” both received Emmys for their work as supporting actors in the drama category.