Awards Calendar

  • Comic-Con Starts
    July 10, 2015
  • ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Nominations are announced live (8:30 PM PDT)
    July 16, 2015
  • Teen Choice Awards
    August 9, 2015
  • ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Final round voting begins
    August 17, 2015
  • ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Final round voting ends
    August 28, 2015
  • MTV: Video Music Awards
    August 30, 2015
  • Venice International Film Festival Begins
    September 2, 2015
  • ATAS, Primetime Emmys Awards: Creative Arts Awards and Ball
    September 12, 2015
  • ATAS, 67th Primetime Emmy Awards (5:00 PM PDT)
    September 20, 2015
  • New York Film Festival Begins
    September 25, 2015

Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld Front Emmy Icons 2013 Portfolio

"Breaking Bad's" Bryan Cranston, "Mad Men's" Matthew Weiner, "Arrested Development's" Mitchell Hurwitz and more legends of television on how the award can save a series ("30 Rock"), give validation beyond ratings ("Seinfeld") and provoke anxiety. Says "ER" creator John Wells: "I forgot to thank George Clooney in my acceptance speech!"

THE RECORD-SETTER

Alfre Woodard (17 noms, 4 wins)

With an Oscar nomination for the 1983 period drama Cross Creek and a film résumé that boasts more than 40 titles -- including the critically acclaimed Grand Canyon, Primal Fear and Fox Searchlight's buzzy forthcoming awards contender 12 Years a Slave -- it's easy to forget Woodard is a record-shattering television icon.

Not only is she the most nominated nonseries performer (guest and miniseries/movie roles), but the Tulsa, Okla., native is also the most lauded black actor in TV history, having earned more accolades than other barrier-breaking stars such as Cicely Tyson and Andre Braugher.

Such a tidal wave of attention understandably can cloud the actress' memory. "Gosh … I know I wore a blue dress!" laughs Woodard, 60, of her first Emmy win in 1984 for a three-episode arc on NBC's Hill Street Blues. "It's funny: When you act, your job is to work with the director to find your character. Then suddenly you go to this big party, and maybe you'll get to shout, 'Bingo!' The nomination really does hit you; it's the thing that says, 'OK, I'm on the right track.' "

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As for her distinction among black actors, Woodard is frank about the challenges facing all performers trying to break into the business. "Most actors, whatever color or size or age, are pigeonholed," she says. "So you have to think past the obvious and find the specificity in that role, even if on the page it seems obvious."

With recent nominated arcs on Desperate Housewives, True Blood and this year for her acclaimed reinvention of Ouiser in Lifetime's Steel Magnolias reboot, Woodard nonetheless can't hide her gratitude. "I've been so fortunate," she says with a smile.

Photographed by Fabrizio Maltese on Sept. 6 at Brassaii in Toronto

Next … The Creators: John Wells, Christopher Lloyd, Greg Daniels, Marshall Herskovitz and Mitchell Hurtwitz

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