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Jean Smart pays tribute to her late husband during Emmys speech

·1 min read
Jean Smart pays tribute to her late husband during Emmys speech

Deborah Vance would be proud!

During Sunday's Emmy Awards, Hacks star Jean Smart took home the award for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on the hit HBO Max series. In Hacks, Smart plays legendary Las Vegas stand-up comedian Deborah Vance, who finds herself struggling to stay relevant in today's landscape. Vance is then paired up with a young writer named Ava (Hannah Einbinder) who has been canceled following a controversial tweet, and together, they reinvigorate her comedy routine.

Smart, who was also nominated for her work on HBO's Mare of Easttown (and lost to costar Julianne Nicholson), makes history with this win, joining Betty White as the only other actress to have Emmys for guest, supporting, and lead actress in a comedy.

Emmy Awards
Emmy Awards

Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images 'Hacks' star Jean Smart wins Lead Actress in a Comedy Series at the 2021 Emmys

Overall, this marks Smart's 11th nomination and fourth win.

Smart took the stage on Sunday to a standing ovation from the crowd. Before thanking her Hacks cast and crew, she first acknowledged her late husband, Richard Gilliland, who died six months ago, saying, "I would not be here without him, without him putting his career on the back burner so that I could take advantage of all the opportunities that I've had." She also thanked her "courageous" children.

Smart beat out fellow nominees Kaley Cuoco, Allison Janney, Tracee Ellis Ross, and Aidy Bryant.

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