Jean Smart Brings Us to Tears Thanking Her Late Husband at 2021 Emmys

Selina Meyer. Midge Maisel. Fleabag. Moira Rose. Now, Deborah Vance can join the ranks of the most recent characters to deserve an Emmy Award for their leading lady.

Jean Smart won the award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Hacks at the 2021 Emmy Awards on Sunday, Sept. 19. 

While accepting her fourth-ever Emmy Award, Jean paid tribute to her late husband, actor Richard Gilliland, who died in March following a brief illness. 

“Before I say anything else, I have to acknowledge my late husband Richard Gilliland, who passed away six months yesterday,” she told the crowd, following an emotional standing ovation. “I would not be here without him, and without his kind of putting his career on the back burner so I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I have had.” 

Jean, 70, also thanked her “incredible” and “unselfish” children, Connor and Forrest. The Frasier alum called them both “creative individuals” who have “put up with Mommy commuting from Philadelphia and back.”

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