As a cancer-stricken chemistry teacher turned meth cooker on Breaking Bad, Cranston left his Malcolm in the Middle role far behind. "I knew it was going to change my life, and it has," says the actor, 55, who gives full credit to series creator Vince Gilligan's vision for Bad's slow-buzz cult following. "To start a show with a family man, who never got a parking ticket, become a hardened criminal was something no series had done before, he adds. "He changes from Mr. Chips to Scarface."
15 noms, 6 wins and 1 best actress win-- a now retired award
The veteran actress first stole America's hearts as happy homemaker Laurie Petrie on The Dick Van Dyke Show (1961-66), for which she earned her first Emmy, and then again as plucky TV producer Mary Richards on The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1970-77), a role that netted her three more wins. Moore, 74, is set to be honored in January by the Screen Actors Guild with its Life Achievement Award.
When Michael J. Fox revealed in 1998 that he had been suffering from early-onset Parkinson's disease, most assumed his acting career was over. But he has stayed in the game. This year, he received his 13th Emmy nomination for a guest arc on the CBS drama The Good Wife. And in 2009, he bagged his fifth Emmy for playing the wheelchair-bound love interest of Tommy Gavin's wife, Janet, on Rescue Me.
With legend Betty White, Louis-Dreyfus is Emmy's most-nominated comedy series actress, having scored a dozen mentions for her supporting turn as Elaine Benes on NBC's Seinfeld and as the bumbling titular divorced mother on CBS' The New Adventures of Old Christine, which earned her a supporting and lead comedy actress Emmy, respectively.