Emmy Awards 2021 winners list: ‘The Crown’ and ‘Ted Lasso' win top honours

Drama about British royal family sweeps all major acting awards on TV's biggest night

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Netflix’s The Crown and The Queen’s Gambit, plus Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso, won top series honours at Sunday’s Primetime Emmy Awards, a first for streaming services, cementing their rise to prominence in the television industry.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said Peter Morgan, the creator and writer of the British royal saga The Crown, which collected acting, writing and directing awards in addition to four acting honours.

But the ceremony proved disappointing to those scrutinising diversity in Hollywood. The record number of nominees of colour yielded only two black winners, including RuPaul for RuPaul’s Drag Race and Michaela Coel for I May Destroy You.

The Crown stars Olivia Colman and Josh O’Connor won the top drama acting honours, with Jason Sudeikis, star of the warm-hearted Ted Lasso, and Jean Smart of the generation-gap story Hacks, winners on the comedy side.

‘The Crown’ and ‘Ted Lasso' win top honours at Emmy Awards

‘The Crown’ and ‘Ted Lasso' win top honours at Emmy Awards

Colman and O’Connor were a winning fictional mother-son duo: she plays Queen Elizabeth II, with O’Connor as Prince Charles in the British royal family saga that combines gravitas and soap opera.

“I’d have put money on that not happening,” Colman said of the award, calling it “a lovely end to the most extraordinary journey” with the show’s cast and creators. She cut her remarks short, explaining why she was growing tearful.

“I lost my daddy during Covid, and he would have loved all of this,” she said.

O’Connor described Emma Corrin, who played opposite him as Princess Diana and was also a nominee on Sunday, as a “force of nature”.

He also offered thanks to his grandparents, including his grandmother who died a few months ago, and his grandfather Peter O’Connor for the “greatest gifts” of kindness and loyalty.

Sudeikis, who also produces the series that many viewers found a balm for tough pandemic times, gave a speech that evoked the chipper, upbeat character he plays in the series about a UK football team and its unlikely American coach.

“This show’s about families and mentors and teammates, and I wouldn’t be here without those things in my life,” said Sudeikis. He also thanked his fellow cast mates, saying: “I’m only as good as you guys make me look.”

Smart, who received a standing ovation, began her acceptance speech on a sombre note: her husband actor, Richard Gilliland, died six months ago.

“I would not be here without him” and his willingness to put her career first, said Smart. She also praised their two children as “courageous individuals in their own right”.

Earlier in the evening, ebullient Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham, winner of the Best Supporting Actress Award for a Comedy, said Sudeikis “changed my life with this, and more importantly my baby girl’s”.

The show’s Brett Goldstein, who won the counterpart award for supporting actor, said he had promised not to swear and either mimed or was muted for a few seconds, then called the show the “privilege and pleasure” of his life.

Gillian Anderson and Tobias Menzies of British royal drama The Crown were honoured for their supporting performances.

Anderson, who played British political leader Margaret Thatcher, used her acceptance speech to thank her manager of 20 years for her mentorship and believing in her talent before she did.

Menzies, who plays Prince Philip, didn’t attend the ceremony, which included a London gathering for The Crown nominees.

Before announcing the winner in his category, presenter Kerry Washington saluted another nominee, Michael K Williams of Lovecraft County. Williams died on September 6 aged 54.

“Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon,” Washington said.

Another lost star was remembered by John Oliver of Last Week Tonight with John Oliver.

“No one was funnier in the last 20 years than Norm Macdonald on late-night comedy,” Oliver said while accepting the Emmy for Best Variety Talk Show, suggesting people spend time checking out clips of Macdonald, as he did after the beloved Saturday Night Live star died on September 14 at age 61.

Kate Winslet, who played the title character in Mare of Easttown, and Ewan McGregor, who starred in the fashion biopic Halston, were honoured as top actors for a limited series.

Winslet saluted her sister nominees in “this decade that has to be about women having each other’s back”.

Julianne Nicholson and Evan Peters claimed best supporting acting honours for Mare of Easttown, about crime and family dysfunction.

“The script was true to the horror and beauty of ordinary people’s lives,” particularly the lives of women, said Nicholson.

Both she and Peters saluted star Winslet.

“Man, you’re good at acting. But turns out you’re good at caring for a whole production,” Nicholson said.

Debbie Allen received the Governors Award for a long and acclaimed career as an actor, dancer, choreographer and activist.

“I am trembling with gratitude and grace and trying not to cry … it’s been many years in the making, taken a lot of courage to be the only woman in the room most of the time. Courage and creative and fight and faith to believe I could keep going, and I have,” she said.

The show opened with a musical number that featured host Cedric the Entertainer rapping a modified version of the Biz Markie hip-hop hit Just a Friend with lyrics such as “TV, you got what I need”. LL Cool J bounded from the audience as stars Rita Wilson, Mandy Moore and more dropped verses celebrating the breadth of television.

Seth Rogen presented the first award, throwing some cold water on the celebratory vibe by noting that the Emmys were being held in a giant tent. “There’s way too many of us in this little room,” he exclaimed in an attempt at humour that fell flat.

“Why is there a roof? It’s more important that we have three chandeliers than make sure we don’t kill Eugene Levy tonight. That is what has been decided.”

Cedric the Entertainer worked hard and landed some laugh-getting jokes, but the night’s comedy bits were hit and miss — including Stephen Colbert’s jokes about California’s failed gubernatorial recall and Ken Jeong’s effort to get past security and into the show.

Roughly 500 people attended the Emmys in downtown Los Angeles, with fashion standout Billy Porter sporting large wings attached to the sleeves of his black trouser look by Lebanon's Ashi Studio and Sudeikis walked the red carpet in a Tom Ford velvet suit of soft blue.

The producers’ ultimate goal was an upbeat ceremony that acknowledged how much TV’s importance grew during the pandemic and its lockdowns.

List of key winners of the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards:

Outstanding Drama Series

WINNER: The Crown

The Boys


The Mandalorian

Lovecraft Country


The Handmaid's Tale

This Is Us

Outstanding Comedy Series

WINNER: Ted Lasso


Cobra Kai


Emily in Paris


The Flight Attendant

The Kominsky Method

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series

WINNER: Josh O'Connor, The Crown

Rege-Jean Page, Bridgerton

Sterling K Brown, This Is Us

Billy Porter, Pose

Jonathan Majors, Lovecraft Country

Matthew Rhys, Perry Mason

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

WINNER: Olivia Colman, The Crown

Emma Corrin, The Crown

Uzo Aduba, In Treatment

Elisabeth Moss, The Handmaid's Tale

Jurnee Smollett, Lovecraft Country

MJ Rodriguez, Pose

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series

WINNER: Tobias Menzies, The Crown

Michael K Williams, Lovecraft Country

Bradley Whitford, The Handmaid's Tale

Max Minghella, The Handmaid's Tale

OT Fagbenle, The Handmaid's Tale

John Lithgow, Perry Mason

Giancarlo Esposito, The Mandalorian

Chris Sullivan, This Is Us

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series

WINNER: Gillian Anderson, The Crown

Helena Bonham Carter, The Crown

Emerald Fennell, The Crown

Ann Dowd, The Handmaid's Tale

Yvonne Strahovski, The Handmaid's Tale

Samira Wiley, The Handmaid's Tale

Madeline Brewer, The Handmaid's Tale

Aunjanue Ellis, Lovecraft Country

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series

WINNER: Jason Sudeikis, Ted Lasso

Anthony Anderson, black-ish

Michael Douglas, The Kominsky Method

William H Macy, Shameless

Kenan Thompson, Kenan

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

WINNER: Jean Smart, Hacks

Aidy Bryant, Shrill

Allison Janney, Mom

Kaley Cuoco, The Flight Attendant

Tracee Ellis Ross, black-ish

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series

WINNER: Brett Goldstein, Ted Lasso

Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live

Kenan Thompson, Saturday Night Live

Brendan Hunt, Ted Lasso

Nick Mohammed, Ted Lasso

Jeremy Swift, Ted Lasso

Paul Reiser, The Kominsky Method

Carl Clemons-Hopkins, Hacks

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

WINNER: Hannah Waddingham, Ted Lasso

Kate McKinnon, Saturday Night Live

Cecily Strong, Saturday Night Live

Aidy Bryant, Saturday Night Live

Rosie Perez, The Flight Attendant

Hannah Einbinder, Hacks

Juno Temple, Ted Lasso

Outstanding Limited Series

WINNER: The Queen's Gambit

Mare of Easttown

I May Destroy You


The Underground Railroad

Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

WINNER: Ewan McGregor, Halston

Paul Bettany, WandaVision

Hugh Grant, The Undoing

Lin-Manuel Miranda, Hamilton

Leslie Odom Jr, Hamilton

Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

WINNER: Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown

Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You

Anya Taylor-Joy, The Queen's Gambit

Elizabeth Olsen, WandaVision

Cynthia Erivo, Genius: Aretha

Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie

WINNER: Julianne Nicholson, Mare of Easttown

Jean Smart, Mare of Easttown

Kathryn Hahn, WandaVision

Phillipa Soo, Hamilton

Renee Elise Goldsberry, Hamilton

Moses Ingram, The Queen's Gambit

Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or Movie

WINNER: Evan Peters, Mare of Easttown

Daveed Diggs, Hamilton

Jonathan Groff, Hamilton

Anthony Ramos, Hamilton

Thomas Brodie-Sangster, The Queen's Gambit

Paapa Essiedu, I May Destroy You

Outstanding Variety Talk Series

WINNER: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver


The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah

Jimmy Kimmel Live

Outstanding Variety Sketch Series

WINNER: Saturday Night Live

A Black Lady Sketch Show

Outstanding Competition Programme

WINNER: RuPaul's Drag Race

The Amazing Race

Nailed It!

Top Chef

The Voice

Outstanding Host for a Reality or Reality-Competition Programme

WINNER: RuPaul, RuPaul's Drag Race

Bobby Berk, Karamo Brown, Tan France, Antoni Porowski and Jonathan Van Ness, Queer Eye

Nicole Byer, Nailed It!

Padma Lakshmi, Tom Colicchio, and Gail Simmons, Top Chef

Mark Cuban, Barbara Corcoran, Lori Greiner, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, and Kevin O'Leary, Shark Tank

Outstanding Writing for a Comedy Series

WINNER: Hacks, written by Lucia Aniello, Paul W. Downs, and Jen Statsky

The Flight Attendant, written by Steve Yockey

Girls5eva, written by Meredith Scardino

PEN15, written by Maya Erskine

Ted Lasso, written by Joe Kelly, Brendan Hunt, and Jason Sudeikis

Ted Lasso (pilot episode), written by Jason Sudeikis, Bill Lawrence, Brendan Hunt, and Joe Kelly

Outstanding Writing for a Drama Series

WINNER: The Crown, written by Peter Morgan

The Boys, written by Rebecca Sonnenshine

The Handmaid's Tale, written by Yahlin Chang

Lovecraft Country, written by Misha Green

The Mandalorian (Chapter 13: The Jedi), written by Dave Filoni

The Mandalorian (Chapter 16: The Rescue), written by Jon Favreau

Pose, written by Steven Canals, Brad Falchuk, Our Lady J, Janet Mock, and Ryan Murphy

Outstanding Writing for a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

WINNER: I May Destroy You, written by Michaela Coel

Mare of Easttown, written by Brad Ingelsby

The Queen's Gambit, written by Scott Frank

WandaVision (All-New Halloween Spooktacular!), written by Chuck Hayward and Peter Cameron

WandaVision (Filmed Before a Live Studio Audience), written by Jac Schaeffer

WandaVision (Previously On), written by Laura Donney

Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series

WINNER: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver

The Amber Ruffin Show

A Black Lady Sketch Show

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Saturday Night Live

Updated: September 20, 2021, 8:59 AM