Helen Hunt, whose character entered the realm of motherhood in “Mad About You,” was honored as best actress in a comedy series at Sunday’s 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
Television academy voters chose her performance over that of Ellen DeGeneres, whose “Ellen” character also entered a different realm, declaring her lesbianism in a controversial episode last season.
John Lithgow repeated as best actor in a comedy series with his antic performances as an alien visitor to Earth in “3rd Rock from the Sun.” Co-star Kristen Johnston won supporting actress in a comedy series, her first nomination.
Michael Richards, the manic neighbor Kramer on ‘Seinfeld,” won best supporting actor in a comedy series for the third time in five nominations.
“To Jerry and Julia and Jason, what a pleasure to be working with such a sound ensemble,” Richards said, complimenting co-stars Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Jason Alexander.
“Miss Evers Boys,” an HBO film based on the true story of notorious medical experiments on unsuspecting black men won three prestigious awards.
The show was named best miniseries, received the President’s Award for socially worthwhile programming and captured an acting award for Alfre Woodard.
Actor Laurence Fishburne, who was executive producer of the movie, saluted the survivors and President Clinton, “who had the decency to make a moral apology” for the experiments.
Awards for supporting actor and actress in a drama series went to Kim Delaney of “NYPD Blue” and Hector Elizondo of “Chicago Hope.”
“As my twisted character might say right now, ‘I’d love a tequila shooter,”’ said Delaney, who plays a recovering alcoholic police detective.
Elizondo captured his first Emmy after four nominations.
“Thanks to West 177th Street in New York for raising me right,” said Elizondo, who also thanked his parents for teaching him “that having bad manners is much worse than being poor.”
The trophy for best variety, music or comedy series went to “Tracey Takes On …,” which stars Tracey Ullman in offbeat skits. Jay Leno, David Letterman, Bill Maher and Dennis Miller were losers in the category. “As the Spice Girls would say: Girl Power! I beat the boys,” Ullman declared.
DeGeneres’ comedy “Ellen” won for outstanding writing for a comedy series. And she dedicated the award to gay and lesbian teenagers, telling them: “There’s nothing wrong with you. Don’t ever let anybody make you feel ashamed of who you are.”
xxxx The winners A partial list winners of the 49th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards: Drama series: “Law & Order,” NBC. Comedy series: “Frasier,” NBC. Miniseries: “Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgement,” PBS. Television movie: “Miss Evers’ Boys,” HBO. Variety, music or comedy special: “Chris Rock: Bring The Pain,” HBO. Variety, music or comedy series: “Tracey Takes On…,” HBO. Actor, drama series: Dennis Franz, “NYPD Blue,” ABC. Actress, drama series: Gillian Anderon, “The X-Files,” FOX. Actor, comedy series: John Lithgow, “3rd Rock From the Sun,” NBC. Actress, comedy series: Helen Hunt, “Mad About You,” NBC. Actor, miniseries or special: Armand Assante, “Gotti,” HBO. Actress, miniseries or special: Alfre Woodard, “Miss Evers’ Boys,” HBO. Supporting actor, comedy series: Michael Richards, “Seinfeld,” NBC. Supporting actor, drama series: Hector Elizondo, “Chicago Hope,” CBS. Supporting actress, drama series: Kim Delaney, “NYPD Blue,” ABC. Supporting actress, comedy series: Kristen Johnston, “3rd Rock From the Sun,” NBC.