“The category is love, y’all,” Billy Porter proclaimed as he took the stage to accept his first Emmy Award at the 71st annual ceremony September 22. The Kinky Boots Tony winner was nominated for his performance as Pray Tell on FX’s Pose.
Porter, who celebrated his 50th birthday just the day before, becomes the first openly gay black actor to win in the category.
Earlier in the night, Tony and Oscar nominee Michelle Williams won Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her portrayal of Gwen Verdon, bringing the showbiz luminary’s life and career—song and dance included—to the screen in Fosse/Verdon (also on FX).
Williams marked the fourth Emmy win for the Broadway-centered limited series, which previously took home Creative Arts trophies for Outstanding Music Direction (going to Hamilton collaborator Alex Lacamoire), Outstanding Makeup for a Limited Series or Movie (Non-Prosthetic), and Outstanding Hairstyling for a Limited Series or Movie.
Hot off a West End run, Phoebe Waller-Bridge received three Emmys, first as both writer and star of Fleabag. The wins come six years after she debuted the monologue play that inspired the Amazon comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with London and Off-Broadway bows following. “The journey has been absolutely mental to get here,” a bewildered Waller-Bridge said as she gave her third acceptance speech of the night, for Outstanding Comedy Series.
Additional theatre alums to earn trophies throughout the night included The Band’s Visit Tony winner Tony Shalhoub, winning his second consecutive Emmy for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (his fourth overall) and Broadway and West End alum Ben Whishaw, recognized for his performance in the limited series A Very English Scandal.
Click here for the full list of winnners.