Two-time Academy Award nominee Viola Davis made history as the first black woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at tonight’s Primetime Emmy Awards.
Her win—for her performance as Criminal Law professor and defense attorney Annalise Keating on ABC’s How to Get Away with Murder—comes 33 years after Debbie Allen became the first black woman in 1982 to be nominated in the drama lead actress category and just one year after many had hoped that Kerry Washington would win for her turn as Olivia Pope on ABC’s Scandal.
Since Debbie’s nomination in 1982, only six other black women have been nominated for drama lead actress. In fact, the Emmys made history this summer when Viola and Taraji P. Henson became the first two black women nominated simultaneously in the category.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS IN A DRAMA SERIES
Claire Danes, Homeland
Viola Davis, How to Get Away with Murder
Taraji P. Henson, Empire
Tatiana Maslany, Orphan Black
Elizabeth Moss, Mad Men
Robin Wright, House of Cards