Julia Louis-Dreyfus Has The Most Emmys For The Same Role & One Detail Makes It Even Better
For the past few years, the competition for the Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Emmy has been anything but a tight race. Though it's packed with talent, one women has been the queen of this category for five years running. And with her latest win, Julia Louis-Dreyfus broke an Emmys record. At the 2017 ceremony, her competition included Pamela Adlon for Better Things, Tracee Ellis-Ross for black-ish, Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin for Grace And Frankie, Allison Janney for Mom, and Ellie Kemper for Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt. With her sixth win for Veep, the actor has the most Emmys for playing the same role — not just the winningest woman, but the leader of the pack overall. She also tied record-holder Cloris Leachman for primetime acting Emmys, counting one win each for previous projects, The New Adventures Of Old Christine and Seinfeld.
It's pretty remarkable that these record holders are women. So though the lead comedic actors of the world are probably going to breathe a sigh of relief once Veep's final season comes to an end and Louis-Dreyfus is not longer eligible, her sticking around in this category enabled yet another milestone to be hit first by a woman. Prior to this win, Louis-Dreyfus was tied with Candice Bergen, who won five Emmys for playing the title role on her sitcom, Murphy Brown. According to TV Line, Bergen took herself out of Emmy consideration for the last three years of the show, so we'll never know whether she would have won another Emmy, or even three.
So you may be of the opinion that Louis-Dreyfus should do the same, to open up the category for some new blood. But consider that she's obviously thought of by this Academy to be at the absolute top of the game, and that she, as the actor said in her speech, considers Selina Meyer to be the "role of a lifetime." Why shouldn't she accept as many accolades as possible for her work? Would a man be similarly pressured to step aside, out of humility or just giving others a chance?
Either way, next year's Emmys will be the last ceremony where Julia Louis-Dreyfus will (almost certainly) be nominated for playing the disgraced ex-VP and president. HBO announced that Veep will be ending after next season — insert your jokes about how the real world has become even more ridiculous and pathetic than Veep's version of D.C. here. So it's possible that the actor may in fact remove herself from consideration or that for the first time in Veep's history, that she won't win. It's also possible that she won't be nominated at all, but that's not a bet that anyone with some sense would want to take. The remaining possibility is that Louis-Dreyfus will win another trophy for Season 7 of Veep, which would make it a clean sweep — the TV version of pitching a no-hitter. She's not the only funny woman bringing it on TV, but wouldn't it cool to watch Louis-Dreyfus bring this one all the way home? It would also give her some comfortable distance with this record.
ABC News caught up with Louis-Dreyfus backstage after the win, still reflecting on how singular this particular challenge is for her. "The bottom line is, that this job I have is so spectacular and this role is so through the roof, that that's the true treasure," the actor said. "Having said that, I'm delighted to have won."
And it's really just another fabulous bonus that Louis-Dreyfus' sixth consecutive win is also one giant leap forward for women performers. And none of them should ever have to apologize for being extraordinary.