12 Most Memorable Emmy Moments Over the Years: From Meryl Streep's Second Win to Viola Davis' Historic Feat

most memorable emmy moments of all time
Source: MEGA

Jan. 11 2024, Published 6:40 a.m. ET

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Billy Porter Became the First Openly Gay Black Man to Win an Award

billy porter became the first openly gay black man to win an award
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Billy Porter already won a Tony and a Grammy Award before his Emmy win.

The Television Academy acknowledged Billy Porter as the first openly gay Black man to win an Emmy for Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his role in FX's drama Pose.

"We are the people," he said in his speech. "We, as artists, are the people that get to change the molecular structure of the hearts and minds of the people who live on this planet. Please don't ever stop doing that. Please don't every stop telling the truth."

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Camryn Manheim Promoted Body Positivity

camryn manheim promoted body positivity
Source: MEGA

Camryn Manheim garnered attention when she appeared on the off-Broadway show 'Wake Up, I'm Fat.'

Camryn Manheim scored the Emmy for Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1998 for her work on The Practice. In her acceptance speech, she wowed the crowd by including a message regarding body positivity.

"This is for all the fat girls," she said of her award.

Bob Newhart Was Sealed in a Glass Container

conan obrien put bob newhart in a glass container
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Bob Newhart has been running his 'The Bob Newhart Show' for decades.

In 2006, Emmy producers put Bob Newhart inside a glass booth with only three hours of breathable air. That way, winners and presenters were forced to keep their choices short to ensure the comedian's survivability.

Fortunately, the ceremony ended three minutes earlier than scheduled.

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Glenn Weiss Used the Emmy Awards' Stage to Propose to His Girlfriend

glenn weiss used the emmy awards stage to propose to his girlfriend
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Glenn Weiss and Jan Friedlander Svendsen wed in February 2023.

Instead of only using his speech to thank everyone, Glenn Weiss grabbed the chance to propose to his then-girlfriend and now-wife, Jan Friedlander Svendsen.

The Directors Guild of America-winning director and producer won the Outstanding Director for a Variety Special Award for directing the 2017 Academy Awards. He spoke about his mother, who died two weeks before the ceremony, before hinting at his plans.

"Mom always believed in finding the sunshine in things and she adored my girlfriend Jan. Jan, you are the sunshine in my life," Weiss said. "And Mom was right: don't ever let go of your sunshine. You wonder why I don't like to call you my girlfriend? Because I want to call you my wife."

Svendsen joined him onstage and accepted his ring, leaving everyone emotional.

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Lucille Ball Forgot Her Glasses

lucille ball forgot her glasses
Source: MEGA

Lucille Ball died at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif., on April 26, 1989.

In 1975, Lucille Ball appeared onstage to present an award. However, she hit a bump when she realized she did not have her glasses with her. To avoid further disruption, she called someone from the audience to bring her glasses so she could read the cue.

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Matthew Perry Kissed Doris Roberts

matthew perry kissed doris roberts
Source: MEGA

Matthew Perry died on October 28, 2023.

When Doris Roberts got an award for her work in Everybody Loves Raymond, she also scored a kiss from Matthew Perry, who presented the recognition to her.

"That was worth coming up here for," she said.

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Melissa McCarthy Won Like She Was Miss America

melissa mccarthy won like she was miss america
Source: MEGA

Melissa McCarthy started her career in the 1990s.

The Emmy Awards turned into a Miss America beauty pageant when the nominees for the 2011 Best Actress in a Comedy category lined up onstage to wait for the result. Out of the potential winners, Melissa McCarthy ended up getting the accolade for her role on Mike & Molly.

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Merritt Wever Offered a Short Acceptance Speech

merritt wever offered a short acceptance speech
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Merritt Wever did not immediately score the spotlight when she first arrived in Hollywood, but she successfully expanded her empire and reached the peak of success after a few roles.

Merritt Wever had an overwhelming moment at the Emmy Awards 2013 when she won the award for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Nurse Jackie.

Because of the surprising moment, she was only able to deliver a short message before ending it with, "I gotta go, bye."

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Meryl Streep Boasted About Her Second Win

meryl streep boasted her second win
Source: MEGA

Meryl Streep and Don Gummer quietly separated after four decades of marriage, although they are still legally together.

"There are some days when I myself think I'm overrated, but not today," Meryl Streep said when she accepted the Emmy for Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie after appearing in the HBO adaptation of Angels in America.

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Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård Shared a Kiss

nicole kidman face photo plastic surgery
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Nicole Kidman and Alexander Skarsgård costarred in 'Big Little Lies.'

In 2017, Alexander Skarsgård received the Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie. He also got a kiss from Nicole Kidman after accepting the honor.

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Sean Spicer Made an Appearance

sean spicer made an appearance

Sean Spicer worked for former POTUS Donald Trump.

The 2017 Emmy Awards audience was surprised when former White House press secretary Sean Spicer appeared at the show where he mimicked Donald Trump.

"This will be the largest audience to witness an Emmys, period," he said. "Both in person and around the world."

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Viola Davis Made History in 2015

viola davis made history in

Viola Davis has the most film wins for an actress.

Viola Davis accepted the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her performance in How to Get Away With Murder in 2015, but she also made history at that time as she became the first woman of color to win in the category.


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