A look at 5 of the big winners at the Emmys

By Sam Gusway

Chances are you've already heard about who won what, so today we're going to take a look at five very deserving winners from the 2015 Emmys

By Sam Gusway |

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Pictured: George, but not Oscar.

Sunday night was Emmy night, where the Amercan Academy of Television Arts and Sciences hands out its awards. Today, we'll take a closer look at some of the winners.

Viola Davis, Best Lead Actress in a Drama Series for How to Get Away with Murder

An award well earned.
Photo: AFP

Let's start with the tragically big news.Why tragic? Because how can it be such a shocker in 2015 that a black woman could win the outstanding actress award for drama? But it is big news, mostly for a whole history of obvious racist (and subtle racist) reasons. But we're not going to get into that (at least not today).

Instead let's talk about Viola Davis, an actor's actor. ...or actress' actress if you prefer. Viola honed her craft while studying at Julliard, the legendary New York City arts school that is considered one of the best in the world. Did it help? Well, within 10 years of graduating she won a Tony award. For those that don't know, those are the ones they give out for Broadway stuff.)

Following her success onstage, Viola continued working her way to have the same success onscreen. After a string of bit parts, she finally got a role she could sink her teeth into in 2008. Her performance in Doubt won her huge accolades, including an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

Two years later, she took home another Tony, for Best Actress in a Play.

The following year she was nominated for the Best Actress Oscar for her role in The Help. She didn't win, but chances are it won't be her last shot at it.

Witness what acting looks like

People and critics alike love her in her current show How to Get Away with Murder. And I mean that literally. She won the Peoples Choice Award, the Screen Actors Guild Award, and the Emmy for her outstanding performance.

How to Get Away With Murder

The show premiered last year, but has become incredibly popular, so it's no surprise that it was renewed for a second season (which just started on Thursday, September 24). In case you wanna get caught up before joining the show, here's what you need to know:

Viola plays Annalise Keating, a big-time lawyer and law professor who takes a handful of college students under her wing to try and solve a couple of very troubling murders. 

Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Veep

Back on top!
Photo: AFP

Julia's been a big star for a while now, starting back in 1982, when she was a fresh-faced young cast member on Saturday Night Live. She had a few memorable moments, but the show didn't instantly launch her into stardom the way it did for actors like Eddie Murphy, Will Ferrell,Andy Samberg, or Kristen Wiig....but it did introduce her to Larry David, who would go on to become co-creator of the groundbreaking show about nothing, Seinfeld.

Some of Elaine's funniest moments

That show ran for nine seasons, gave Julia her first Emmy, and made the cast world famous ... but it also stuck them with "the Seinfeld curse". Similar to how no one in the cast of Friends has done much amazing work since that show went off the air, all the cast members from Seinfeld have fizzled since the show's end.

Except for Julia. 

Not all of her next attempts were successes, but she found her stride with The New Adventures of Old Christine, where she played a divorced mom whose ex remarries a younger woman ... also named Christine. That returned her to Emmy glory as she picked up her second Outstanding Actress award.

Julia has worked exceptionally hard to erase the Seinfeld curse, and she's doing it by taking more control over her shows. She's won the Outstanding Actress award for Veep for the last four years! But she's also given credit for her work as the producer of the show, which lets her take home twice as much hardware.

Peter Dinklage: Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for GOT

Many more to come, I'm sure.
Photo: AFP

Currently starring in Adam Sandler's latest stinkaroo makes it even more obvious how amazing an actor Peter Dinklage is. 

Peter is a man who will always stand out. Especially in a world like Hollywood, which sets pretty ridiculous standards of "acceptable" beauty. But from an early age, he put that behind him and focused on being one of the best actors you will ever see.

Outstanding performance is right.
Photo: AFP

His role on Game of Thrones as Tyrion Lanister tells the very specific story of the life of a dwarf who is considered a black mark on an otherwise "noble" family. But as you will see in many of his other films, including last year's X-Men: Days of Future Past, most of the time he simply plays a character who happens to be a dwarf. Perhaps one line is mentioned about it, but sometimes nothing at all.

It's sort of a philosophy for him, and it's reflected in a scene from one of his earliest works.

Warning: contains strong language.

Jon Stewart: Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series, Outstanding Variety Talk Series, Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series, for The Daily Show

Many more to come, I'm sure.
Photo: AFP

This was a bittersweet year for Jon Stewart fans, as the host of The Daily Show rode off into the sunset. But before he went, the Emmys wanted to give him one last hurrah - or make that three last hurrahs, because that's how many awards the show won this year.

That's just a drop in the ocean of all the awards the show has won during the  16 years Jon manned the desk. I've already told you plenty about The Daily Show in previous blogs, so I won't get into it here.

Since he taped his final show on August 6, 2015, Jon's been busy with all kinds of important stuff ...like wrestling in the WWE.

I see a very limited future for you here, Jon.

Aside from that bold career move, no one is quite sure what he'll do next, but if his past record is anything to judge by, it will be hilarious and successful - unless it's a movie.

Jeffrey Tambor: Outstanding Lead Actor in a Comedy Series, for Transparent

Many more to come, I'm sure.
Photo: AFP

The seventh time proved to be the charm for Jeffrey Tambor, who finally picked up an Emmy for his performance on Amazon's Transparent.

For a good 15 years of his career, Jeffrey played bit characters that were almost always uptight and well-to-do.He finally caught a big break in 1992, when he landed the role of "Hey Now!" Hank Kingsley on the satirical comedy The Larry Sanders Show. Jeffrey's character was a cheeseball sidekick to the fictitious talk-show host Larry Sanders, played by Garry Shandling.

Hank Kingsley explains the origin of his phrase "Hey Now!"

The show was a huge success, but Jeffrey always lost the awards to other sitcom stars.

Outstanding performance is right.
Photo: AFP

The same thing happened when he took on the role of family patriarch George Bluth (and his twin brother Oscar) on Arrested Development. Despite having a huge cult following, Jeffrey was constantly nominated but never won.

Outstanding performance is right.
Photo: AFP

This year things changed, after critics were floored by his performance in Transparent, where he plays a divorced father who is transitioning to live his life as a woman. Though it's officially listed as a comedy, it is some pretty high drama as he navigates exactly how and when to break this news to his children.

Honourable Mention: Tracy Morgan

A show of support.
Photo: AFP

Though he didn't win an award, and in fact wasn't even nominated, Sunday night was an important public appearance for Tracy Morgan.

Tracy, who got his start on Saturday Night Live, is most famous for playing the outlandish Tracy Jordan on 30 Rock.

In 2014, while returning home from a comedy show, he was involved in a serious car crash that left him in a coma  for two weeks while doctors debated amutating his leg.

A show of ... something.
Photo: AFP

His appearance on stage at the Emmys on Sunday showed two things: 1) that Tracy is strong and healthy again, and 2) that he is funny as always. Welcome back.

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