Can Julie Bowen ("Modern Family") keep that streak going? She is the reigning two-time champ for her role as frenzied stay-at-home mom Claire Dunphy. If she wins a third straight time this year, she will continue a trend that dates back to the 1970s.
Valerie Harper ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show") prevailed in this category for her first three times nominated (1971-73) as the wisecracking department store decorator Rhoda Morgenstern. She lost in 1974 to co-star Cloris Leachman. The following year, she won Best Comedy Actress for headlining her own spinoff series "Rhoda."
A decade later, Rhea Perlman ("Cheers"), who played the sarcastic bar waitress Carla Tortelli, won three straight times (1984-86). Shen then lost to Jackee Harry ("227") and Estelle Getty ("The Golden Girls") before picking up her fourth and final award in 1989.
As the socially-awkward younger sister Jackie Harris on "Roseanne," Laurie Metcalf owned this category for three years running, beginning in 1992. On her fourth try, she was defeated by Christine Baranski("Cybill").
As the domineering mother Marie Barone, Doris Roberts ("Everybody Loves Raymond") lost her first two races in 1999 (Kristen Johnston, "3rd Rock from the Sun") and 2000 (Megan Mullally, "Will and Grace"), then triumphed three straight times (2001-03). She was edged out in 2004 (Cynthia Nixon, "Sex and the City") but came back to win for the final season in 2005.