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29 Black Women Who've Won Primetime Emmys

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The annual Primetime Emmy Awards are the yearly celebration of excellence in television. Black women have long made waves in front of and behind the camera. Here's an overview of the women whose incredible work has been honored by the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.

Alfre Woodard
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Alfre Woodard won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries in 1997 for Miss Evers' Boys. She won in 1987 and 2003 in the Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series category. She won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1984.
Audra McDonald
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Audra McDonald shared an Emmy in 2015 for Oustanding Special Class Program for hosting Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber Of Fleet Street (Live From Lincoln Center).

Beah Richards
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Beah Richards won in 1988 for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. In 2000, She won  in Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for a role in The Practice.

Cicely Tyson
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Cicely Tyson became the first Black woman to win a primetime emmy in 1974 for her lead dramatic role in the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman. She won again in 1994 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie category for her role in Oldest Living Confederate Widow Tells All.


Debbie Allen
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Debbie Allen won for Outstanding Choreography in 1982, 1983, and 1990.

Esther Rolle
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Rolle won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie in 1979 for her role in Summer of My German Soldier.

Gail Fisher
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Gail Fisher is the first Black actress to win Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Mannix in 1970.

Halle Berry
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In 2000, Halle Berry won for Outstanding Lead Actress in a miniseries or movies for her role in Introducing Dorothy Dandridge.


Isabel Sanford
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Isabel Sanford was the first and only Black actress to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy series in 1980 for her role in The Jeffersons. She won again in 1981.

Jackee Harry
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In 1988, Jackee Harry became the first Black actress to win  Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role in 227.


Jacqueline Glover
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Jacqueline Glover won a Primetime Emmy award in 2007, 2010 and 2016 for producing When the Levees Broke, Teddy: In His Own Words, and Jim: The Jim Foley Story respectively.

Ja'net Dubois
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In 1999, Ja'net Dubois became the first Black person to win Outstanding Voice-Over Performance for her role in The PJs. She won again in 2001.

Judith Jamison
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Judith Jamison won for best choreography in 1999 for her work on Dance in America: A Hymn for Alvin Ailey (Great Performances).

Leontyne Price
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In 1983, Price won Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program.

Loretta Devine
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In 2011, Devine won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for her role in Grey's Anatomy.

Lynn Whitfield
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Won for Lead Actress in a miniseries or movie in 1991 for her portrayal of Josephine Baker in The Josephine Baker Story.

Madge Sinclair
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In 1991, Sinclair won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series at Gabriel's Fire.

Mary Alice

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Mary Alice won  Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series in 1993 for I'll Fly Away.

Olivia Cole
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Cole was the first Black woman to win Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role in Roots in 1977.
Oprah Winfrey
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When Tuesdays with Morrie won for Outstanding Made for Television Movie in 2000, Oprah won as a producer of the film.

Queen Latifah
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Bessie brought Queen Latifah an Emmy as one of its executive producers in 2015.

Regina King
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In 2015, King won in the category of Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role in American Crime.


Ruby Dee
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In 1991, Ruby Dee won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role in Decoration Day.

S. Epatha Merkerson
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In 2005, S. Epatha Merkeson won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Movie for her role in Lackawanna Blues.


Suzanne de Passe

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Legendary Motown Exec Suzanne deswqvscfr Passe won Emmys in 1983 and 1985 for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy program. One of the wins was for the Motown 25: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow best known for Michael Jackson's debut of the moonwalk.


Uzo Aduba
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Uzo Aduba won in 2014 for her role as Suzanne "Crazy Eyes" Warren in Orange is the New Black for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series. In 2015, she won for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series.  She is the first actress to win for same role in both Comedy and Drama categories.


Viola Davis
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In 2015, Viola Davis became the first Black actress to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her role in How to Get Away with Murder. 


Winifred Hervey
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In 1987, Winifred Hervey shared a win for Outstanding Comedy Series for producing The Golden Girls.

Whitney Houston
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Whitney Houston won Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program for her Grammy performance in 1986.



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