It might be hard to believe, but Angela Bassett has never won an Emmy before. She’s now her fifth nomination after making the Best Narrator lineup for her work on Nat Geo’s “The Flood.” If she prevails, not only will she get her first statuette, but she and husband Courtney B. Vance will join the club of Emmy-winning married couples.
Vance has a perfect record at the Emmys, converting his first nomination into a win in 2016 in Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actor for his performance as Johnnie Cochran on “The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story.” He gave a brief but memorable speech in which he dedicated the award to his wife of now nearly 22 years — or “the woman that rocks my chain.” #truelove
Bassett’s previous nominations were for “The Rosa Parks Story” (Best Limited Series/TV Movie Actress, 2002), “American Horror Story: Coven” (Best Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actress, 2014), “American Horror Story: Freak Show” (Best Limited Series/TV Movie Supporting Actress, 2015) and “Master of None” (Best Comedy Guest Actress, 2017). In “The Flood,” Bassett’s powerful voice guides viewers through Africa’s astonishing Okavango Delta, which undergoes massive changes every year because of an annual flood that rejuvenates the land.
Couples who’ve won performance Emmys before or during their marriage include:
Felicity Huffman (“Desperate Housewives,” 2005) and William H. Macy (“Door to Door,” 2003)
Joanne Woodward (“See How She Runs,” 1978; “Do You Remember Love,” 1985) and Paul Newman (“Empire Falls,” 2005)
Michael Emerson (“The Practice,” 2001; “Lost,” 2009) and Carrie Preston (“The Good Wife,” 2013)
Jessica Tandy (“Foxfire,” 1988) and Hume Cronyn (“Age-Old Friends,” 1989; “Broadway Bound,” 1992; “To Dance with the White Dog,” 1993)
Danny DeVito (“Taxi,” 1981) and Rhea Perlman (“Cheers,” 1984-86, 1989)
Anne Bancroft (“Deep in My Heart,” 1999) and Mel Brooks (“Mad About You,” 1997-99)
Jessica Walter (“Amy Prentiss,” 1975) and Ron Leibman (“Kaz,” 1979)
William Daniels (“St. Elsewhere,” 1985-86) and Bonnie Bartlett (“St. Elsewhere,” 1986-87)
Alfred Lunt (“The Magnificent Yankee,” 1965) and Lynn Fontanne (“The Magnificent Yankee,” 1965)
Daniels and Bartlett, and Lunt and Fontanne are the only married couples to win acting Emmys on the same night for the same program. But Lunt’s and Fontanne’s victories were shared; that year, the academy gave multiple awards in just four categories (program, performing, directing and writing), and Lunt and Fontanne were two of the five performers (out of 16 nominees) to win.
If Bassett wants his-and-hers Emmys in the Bassett-Vance household, she’ll have to defeat reigning champ David Attenborough (“Our Planet”), Charles Dance (“Savage Kingdom”), Anthony Mendez (“Wonders of Mexico”), Liev Schreiber (“The Many Lives of Nick Buoniconti”) and Juliet Stevenson (“Queens of Mystery”). Previously, narrators competed under a single voiceover category alongside character voiceovers, but the TV academy split it into two categories in 2014 — Best Narrator and Best Character Voiceover Performance — to differentiate the two. Bassett would be the second woman, after Meryl Streep (“Five Came Back,” 2017), and second black narrator, after Keith David (“Jackie Robinson,” 2016), to win since the category’s inception.
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