Jean Smart Wins Best Lead Actress in a Comedy at the 2021 Emmy Awards

Jean Smart

Jean Smart has taken home the gong for Best Lead Actress in a Comedy at the 2021 Emmy Awards for her role in Hacks.

The category was a tough one, with a slew of incredibly talented performers up for the nod. The nominees included Aidy Bryant for Shrill, Kaley Cuoco for The Flight Attendant, Allison Janney for Mom, Tracee Ellis Ross for Black-ish and Jean Smart for Hacks. 

Of the actresses nominated, three of the shows they front were also nominated in the Outstanding Comedy Series category.

The Flight Attendant sees former Big Bang Theory star Cuoco as Cassie Bowden, a woman who gets thrust into a massive conspiracy after falling for a passenger named Alex Sokolov (Michiel Huisman) on one of her transatlantic flights…and waking up next to his bloody corpse in Bangkok.

Afraid to call the police, she cleans up the crime scene, then joins the other airline crew travelling to the airport. In New York City, she is met by Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) agents who question her about the layover in Bangkok. Still unable to piece the night together, and suffering intermittent flashbacks and hallucinations about it, she begins to wonder who the killer could be.

Black-ish, which was created by Kenya Barris, stars Ross as the matriarch of the Johnson family as they navigate life while trying to find their cultural identity in a predominantly white neighbourhood.

Anthony Anderson, Yara Shahidi, Marcus Scribner, Miles Brown and Marsai Martin star in this funny, yet subversive show, which explores themes of racism, identity, class, relationships and privilege through a comedic lens.

And finally, Hacks sees veteran performer Smart as Deborah Vance — a legendary stand-up comedian who has a Las Vegas residency but is struggling to remain relevant as she gets older.

She teams with a young Gen Z comedy writer (who is suffering from being #cancelled after posting a Tweet that was deemed insensitive) in order to try to freshen up Vance’s act and give them both a second shot at professional success.

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