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History made at 74th Emmys – passionate speeches, a full house and ‘gold carpet’ glamour

Zendaya left the <I>Dune 2</I> set to fly to LA, nailing her biggest fashion statement to date in this black Maison Valentino gown.

Zendaya left the Dune 2 set to fly to LA, nailing her biggest fashion statement to date in this black Maison Valentino gown. Photo: Getty

The prestigious 74th Emmy Awards night went off without a hitch or hiccup, with a young Hollywood star and two heavyweight series taking out top honours and making history as repeat winners.

Singer and actor Zendaya, 26, again made history, becoming the youngest two-time acting winner with her second Emmy for her role playing 17-year-old drug-addicted Rue Bennett in HBO teen drama Euphoria.

The Spiderman and Greatest Showman star previously set an Emmy’s record with her first win in 2020 for her lead role in the series, which made her the youngest to receive a best actress award in a drama series.

This time round, she beat Melanie Lynskey (Yellowjackets), Laura Linney (Ozark), Reese Witherspoon (The Morning Show) and the Killing Eve duo of Jodie Comer and Sandra Oh.

Wearing a stunning strapless black gown in a nod to the glamour of 1950s Hollywood, the Californian former child actor Zendaya – full name Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman – told a packed Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on Tuesday: “Thank you for making such a safe space to make this very difficult show.”

Euphoria follows a group of high school students from a fictional East Highland high school in LA, who go through the dramas of identity, drugs, family, friendships, love and sex.

“Thank you for believing in me, even in moments where I didn’t believe in myself,” she said.

With 149 million Instagram followers, Zendaya said her “greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people … anyone who has loved a Rue, or feels like a Rue, I want you to know that I’m so grateful for your stories, and I carry them with me, and I carry them with her”.

With the show renewed for a third season, Deadline reported it “has established itself as the most-watched [shows] in HBO’s history, behind only the epic fantasy series Game of Thrones”.

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Australian Sarah Snook after Succession again won for best drama. Photo: AAP

Repeat winners!

Succession, the story of a dysfunctional wealthy family jockeying for power, and feel-good comedy Ted Lasso took out top honours as repeat winners.

Succession was named best drama series, an award it won in 2020 before the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted its production schedule.

Ted Lasso won the Emmy for best comedy series for the second straight year, while stars Jason Sudeikis and Brett Goldstein were second-time winners of best comedy actor and supporting actor respectively.

One newcomer among the major winners was Lee Jung-jae, who landed the Emmy for best actor in a drama for his role on South Korean drama Squid Game.

The dystopian thriller about cash-strapped contestants risking their lives for wealth became a global sensation after its release a year ago.

The White Lotus, portraying wealthy vacationers and the workers who cater to them, landed the trophy for best limited series, with Australian actor Murray Bartlett named best supporting actor in a limited series for his portrayal of a hotel manager at a ritzy resort in the show.

Toni Collette missed out on a best actress Emmy for The Staircase, with Amanda Seyfried taking the honours for The Dropout.

Fellow Aussie Sarah Snook also missed out on a best supporting actress award for her part in the show, with that recognition instead going to Ozark’s Julia Garner.

Passionate speeches!

Besides Zendaya’s emotional nod to her difficult character, Abbott Elementary‘s Sheryl Lee Ralph, 65, who won best supporting actress in a comedy, took to the stage … and sang.

Without a backing band, she received a standing ovation for her rendition of the opening verse to Endangered Species by Dianne Reeves.

And in her own unique style, Jennifer Coolidge, who won her first Emmy best supporting actress in a limited series, gracefully took to the stage for her hilarious acceptance speech.

“I took a lavender bath tonight, right before the show. And it made me swell up inside my dress,” Coolidge shared with a captive audience. “And I’m having a hard time speaking. I’m not kidding.”

The Atlantic noted “making live-TV magic has been a challenge for awards-show producers” who rely on celebrity cameos, comedy or viral clips”.

“Some have to deal with unpleasant surprises that show the pitfalls of doing anything live.

“Tonight’s ceremony featured more planned moments than unplanned: Some, like the reunion of [host] Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell, were delightful, while others, such as the dance-heavy intro, were just awkward.

“But Ralph’s speech was the kind of showbiz alchemy that can’t be manufactured … they captured her stunned reaction along with every ovation, and never played her off as she spoke. They zoomed out, offering wide shots of the room, because that was how electrifying Ralph was.

“Her energy radiated into every corner – and straight into the screens of those watching at home.”

And a glamorous gold carpet!

Sheryl Lee Ralph in a black, strapless velvet gown. Photo: Getty 

The cast of Squid Game – Oh Yeong-su, Hoyeon, director Hwang Dong-hyuk, Kim Ji-Yeon, Lee Jung-jae and Park Hae-soo. Photo: Getty

Winners! Murray Bartlett, Sydney Sweeney, Natasha Rothwell, Steve Zahn, Jennifer Coolidge, Alexandra Daddario, Mike White and Connie Britton. Photo: Getty

Andrew Garfield all in white! Photo: AAP

Singer Lizzo brings colour and movement to an awards night. Photo: Getty

Yellowjackets Melanie Lynskey. Photo: Getty

British actor and Ted Lasso cast member Hannah Waddingham. Photo: Getty

The Great Elle Fanning brought old Hollywood glamour to the event. Photo: Getty

Mark Foster and Julia Garner. Photo: Getty

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Samantha Hanratty stocked up with water as humid LA weather took its toll. Photo: Getty

Matching in blue satin, Nicole Byer and Sasheer Zamata. Photo: Getty

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Jean Smart in understated, glamorous all-white. Photo: Getty

Carson Kressley and RuPaul cast bring their own glamour. Photo: Getty

Bridesman star Sydnee Washington. Photo: Getty

emmy awards

As Lee Jung-jae and Hoyeon walked on stage, Squid Game‘s creepy killer robot doll wore her customary yellow short-sleeve skivvy and orange pinafore. Photo: Getty

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