Actor Peter Coyote won Best Narrator at the Creative Arts Emmys on Saturday, Sept. 12. He lent his voice to PBS’s “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History” and was specifically awarded for “Episode 1: Get Action (1858-1901).” He was previously nominated for Best Drama Guest Actor in 1991 for “Road to Avonlea” but lost to David Opatoshu (“Gabriel’s Fire”). This was the first ever Primetime Emmy for the veteran character actor. (He did win a News and Documentary Emmy in 1993 for Best Historical Program for “The Pacific Century.”)
All voice-over performances used to compete in one category at the Emmys, but starting in 2014, the award was split into two races honoring the best character performances (including actors in animated shows like “The Simpsons,” “Family Guy,” etc.) and the best narrators (including fiction programs and documentaries). This year’s Best Narrator lineup was a mixed bunch, recognizing those voices behind a science show, two animal programs and a comic telenovela in addition to “The Roosevelts.”
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson contended for National Geographic’s “Hubble’s Cosmic Journey.” This was the second Emmy nomination in a row for the popular scientist. He contended last year for Best Nonfiction Series for “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey,” which lost to “American Masters.” He was also nominated this year for Best Informational Series for “StarTalk,” but that prize went to “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown.”
Though “Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez was snubbed for Best Comedy Actress, the CW show did break through with a nomination for narrator Anthony Mendez. He sets the comic tone for the series and untangles its complex web of storylines. He was nominated for the episode “Chapter Fourteen.” This was his first-ever Emmy bid.
Henry Strozier was nominated in this category for the second year in a row for Animal Planet’s “Too Cute!” He lost last year to another veteran screen actor, Jeremy Irons for Nat Geo Wild’s “Game of Lions.” This time Strozier was considered for the episode “Tubby Puppies.”
Nat Geo Wild was back this year with “Operation Orangutan,” narrated by two-time Oscar-nominee Miranda Richardson. The actress has an impressive list of acting credits, including the Emmy-winning miniseries “The Lost Prince” in 2004, so it’s surprising that this was her first Emmy bid.
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Photo: “The Roosevelts: An Intimate History.” Credit: PBS
Photo: Peter Coyote at Creative Arts Emmys, 2015. Credit: Picture Perfect/REX