When Mare Winningham won her first Emmy Award in 1980, she was not allowed to attend the ceremony.
As she explained in a chat with Gold Derby, “That was a special night because I had no expectations, no clue that I would win plus it was coupled with the regrettable actors’ strike, so none of us went to the awards. At the time, I was actually friends with Dennis Weaver and had played his daughter in that movie that I was nominated for, which was called ‘Amber Waves.’ I think he was president of SAG at the time, or if he wasn’t, he was just the past president. He let me know, ‘You’re not going to that thing.’
Winningham repeated as Best TV Movie/Miniseries Supporting Actress in 1998 for “George Wallace,” and was there to accept that Emmy in person. She contends for the fifth time in that category this year for her work as Sally McCoy in the History Channel miniseries “Hatfields and McCoys.”
Sally and her husband Randall (Bill Paxton) lead their Kentucky family in a battle with the Hatfield clan from West Virginia. Over the course of the six hours, she grieves for many family members and children, eventually going insane.
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The miniseries scored the second highest ratings of any in cable history, with the final installment attracting 14.3 million viewers. Emmy voters also responded bestowing a total of 16 nominations, including bids for Winningham, Paxton, Kevin Costner, Tom Berenger, directing, writing, and Best TV Movie/Miniseries.
Winningham said, “That was pretty spectacular as well, that three-day run. It just kept getting better and better with each day. The lead-up was good because in the subway station here and all around Manhattan, History did a powerhouse campaign. You couldn’t miss it … Hatfields on one side and McCoys on the other.”