Since the inaugural SAG Awards ceremony in 1995 five women have won multiple trophies for Best TV Comedy Actress including the reigning champ Uzo Aduba for her breakthrough role as Crazy Eyes in “Orange is the New Black.” However, only two women have won three consecutively in the 22-year history of the SAG Awards. If Aduba should win again she would make history as only the third to do so and the first not on the Peacock Network.
Megan Mullally (“Will & Grace”) was the first to win three SAG Awards in a row (2002-2004). Next to accomplish this feat was the wildly popular Tina Fey (“30 Rock”), winning from 2008-2010 and again in 2013. With four, Fey is currently the all-time record-holder in this category.
Julia Louis-Dreyfus (“Seinfeld”) attempted to win three consecutively. She won from 1997-1998 but was bested by Tracey Ullman (“Tracey Takes On”) in 1999. Next to attempt making the three-time winner club was Betty White (“Hot in Cleveland”), a beloved TV veteran who won from 2011-2012 but with the season finale of “30 Rock” airing the week after the ceremony the SAG Awards decided to give Fey a goodbye hug in 2013. In addition to the sentimental push for Fey, White had also fallen off the Emmy map by then for that role; since both are industry peer-group awards, could that have affected her chances of winning her third SAG trophy?
Aduba should worry that like White her Emmy snub last summer could be her undoing. She easily won the Best Comedy Guest Actress Emmy for the first season of “OITNB” in 2014 and followed that up with a Golden Globe nomination in the catch-all Best TV Supporting Actress category and her first SAG Award for Comedy Actress in 2015. After a controversial Emmy rule change Aduba and “OITNB” were moved to the drama categories the following year. No longer a guest actress but a series regular, Aduba won Best Drama Supporting Actress in 2015 and then reaped another Golden Globe nomination for TV Supporting Actress and won her second consecutive SAG Award for Comedy Actress in 2016. Shockingly Aduba was snubbed at the 2016 Emmys, so it’s possible that now the SAG Awards will also move on.
The big obstacle standing in her way will be Louis-Dreyfus, who just won her fifth consecutive Emmy for “Veep.” Besides the two individual trophies she has for “Seinfeld” Louis-Dreyfus also has one SAG Award (2014) for her now iconic role as politician Selina Meyer. To date, Louis-Dreyfus has won seven acting Emmys, so the SAG voters may want to play catch-up and narrow that gap.
According to Gold Derby’s exclusive odds as of this writing Aduba is in second place with odds of 4/1 in a tight race with the expected winner Louis-Dreyfus with odds of 4/9. Currently it looks like this race could go either way, but not to be dismissed is this year’s SAG Life Achievement winner, Lily Tomlin (“Grace and Frankie”), with odds of 14/1.
If Aduba does win her third consecutive SAG Award, that would give her a necessary boost to get back in the Drama Supporting Actress Emmy race. It helps that there will be four open Emmy spots — Maggie Smith is out since “Downton Abbey” concluded last spring, and the three “Game of Thrones” women are out since the show’s new season won’t premiere in time for this Emmy cycle. But Aduba reaping a nomination is still not a guarantee as many newcomers from breakthrough dramas like “Westworld,” “Stranger Things,” “The Crown” and “This is Us” will be in fierce competition for their first chance at Emmy glory.
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