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Joe Morton has nabbed his very first Emmy.
He was recognized for outstanding guest actor in a drama during Saturday’s Creative Arts Emmys. Morton plays Rowan Pope, the father of powerful crisis manager Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington), in ABC’s Scandal.
His win marks the show’s second Emmy. Last year, Dan Bucatinsky won in the same category, but his character was killed off this past season.
Morton topped five other men, including Mad Men‘s Robert Morse, who would have scored the AMC drama’s first acting recognition had he won. Morse was widely expected to win tonight.
“When my category came up, I looked for a door marked ‘exit,’ ” joked Morton from the stage, acknowledging that he didn’t expect to hear his name.
From backstage, Morton expressed his appreciation for the award: “It’s an incredible feeling to have been in the business this long — this is the first time I’ve been up for one of these things. And given who I was quote unquote up against, it’s terrific.”
He added: “My head is in the clouds somewhere, and my feet are trying to touch the ground.”
Scandal co-star Kate Burton lost the Emmy for her guest role to Masters of Sex actress Allison Janney later in the ceremony. The series will have another shot at recognition next week, as Washington is also nominated for the drama this season. She will be the first African American to take home the trophy for lead actress in a drama series if she wins.
Morton will likely return in season four to reprise his role as Olivia’s father. He won an NAACP award for the part earlier this year. The Emmy comes as he’s prepping to co-star in TNT’s new drama series Proof as a series regular.
For the full list of tonight’s Creative Arts Emmys winners, click here.
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