Winnie is lucky charm for John Lithgow (‘The Crown’) to win Emmy

Winston Churchill is romping through our Experts’ Emmy predictions like Britain’s pugnacious prime minister once stormed across Europe in pursuit of Adolph Hitler. Twelve of our 15 pundits believe John Lithgow will conquer the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Drama Actor for his rowdy Churchillian turn in Netflix series “The Crown.” That translates into 10-to-3 odds. Why is there such an overwhelming consensus?

Well, on one hand Lithgow gives a jolly good performance that’s a hoot to watch as he captures the scowling gaze and hilarious harrumphs of the British Bulldog. Lithgow is a proven Emmy darling, of course, having won five times in the past: thrice for “Third Rock from the Sun,” once for “Dexter” and once for “Amazing Stories.”

But there’s something else going on here that’s worthy of note. Very curious: the last two actors who were nominated for portraying Winnie won: Albert Finney (“The Gathering Storm,” 2002) and Brendan Gleeson (“Into the Storm,” 2009).

On one hand, that factoid is further evidence of what every Emmy nut knows. Voters are suckers for rewarding actors for portraying famous folks. Look at all of those actors who triumphed last year for “The People vs. O.J. Simpson” — Sarah Paulson as Marcia Clark, Courtney B. Vance as Johnnie Cochrane, Sterling K. Brown as Christopher Darden. This year Jessica Lange is favored to prevail for portraying Joan Crawford in “Feud,” having 10 to 3 odds.

Above: John Lithgow in “The Crown.” Courtesy of Netflix

Below: Albert Finney in “The Gathering Storm.” Courtesy of HBO

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