Julia Louis-Dreyfus makes Emmy history

Julia Louis-Dreyfus made Emmy history Sunday night, winning her sixth award for comedy lead actress.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

If Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Emmy win had a familiar ring, it was because the 55-year-old actress made history Sunday night.

Louis-Dreyfus won her sixth lead actress in a comedy Emmy — and fifth in a row — for her turn as career politician Selina Meyer on HBO’s “Veep,” giving her the most wins ever in that category. She had shared the record with Mary Tyler Moore and Candice Bergen.

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Louis-Dreyfus’ five-year run in the category is another record, eclipsing the four consecutive years Helen Hunt won for “Mad About You” from 1996-99.

In an emotional acceptance speech, a shaking, tearful Louis-Dreyfus dedicated the award to her father, billionaire businessman Gerard Louis-Dreyfus, who died Friday at the age of 84.

“I’m so glad that he liked ‘Veep’ because his opinion was the one that really mattered,” she said.

In a lighter vein, Louis-Dreyfus also took note of the surreal parallels between “Veep’s” political satire and the current events of this election year.


In an interview with The Times earlier this year, Louis-Dreyfus noted: “Right now in Trump crazy town, we’re just in the stratosphere,” adding, jokingly, that if the Republican nominee were to win the presidency, “we’ll be shooting [the show] in Canada.”

Her acceptance speech continued along those lines.

“I’d also like to take this opportunity to personally apologize for the current political climate,” Louis-Dreyfus said. “I think that ‘Veep’ has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it feels now like sobering documentary. So I certainly do promise to rebuild that wall and make Mexico pay for it.”

Tony Hale of ‘Veep’ dishes on ’Gary-oke’ with the Los Angeles Times’ Glenn Whipp.

With her win, Louis-Dreyfus now stands in second place for all time with seven acting Emmys. (She won the lead actress in a comedy Emmy for “The New Adventures of Old Christine” in 2006 and supporting actress in a comedy award in 1996 for her iconic turn as Elaine in “Seinfeld.”) Moore, Allison Janney and Edward Asner have seven too.

The Emmy acting record holder: Cloris Leachman with eight.

And if all that isn’t enough, Louis-Dreyfus won another Emmy on Sunday — as a producer of “Veep,” which won the comedy series award for a second consecutive year.

“We’re still learning, still fine-tuning, still having fun,” Louis-Dreyfus told The Times. “I feel like we have a lot more story to tell too. A lot more. It’s exciting. I couldn’t be more thankful.”


Twitter: @glennwhipp


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