Robin Wright (“House of Cards”) just received her sixth and final Best Drama Actress Emmy nomination for playing First Lady-turned-President Claire Underwood on Netflix’s political thriller. That number puts her in good company indeed, as only seven actresses have earned six or more bids in this category for the same show, the last being Mariska Hargitay (“Law & Order: Special Victims Unit”) exactly 10 years ago. Hargitay would go to earn eight consecutive noms (2004-11), winning on her third bid.
Only one other person earned more Best Drama Actress nominations than Hargitay throughout her show’s run: Angela Lansbury, who received a record 12 for “Murder, She Wrote” (1985-96). Of course, Lansbury infamously never won an Emmy Award, making her one of the industry’s biggest also-rans. Even though Wright lost her first five nominations (2013-17), she won’t come anywhere near Lansbury’s record as “House of Cards” ended last year.
Wright now ties these five leading ladies who scored six Best Drama Actress bids for the same program: Tyne Daly (“Cagney & Lacey”), Sharon Gless (“Cagney & Lacey”), Michael Learned (“The Waltons”), Edie Falco (“The Sopranos”) and Loretta Young (“The Loretta Young Show”). Two other actresses received more overall leading nominations, though they were split between two different series: Julianna Margulies (“ER” and “The Good Wife”) and Elisabeth Moss (“Mad Men” and “The Handmaid’s Tale”).
The final season of “House of Cards” gave Wright her strongest material yet as she was asked to finish the story of the power-hungry Underwoods after co-star Kevin Spacey was fired due to allegations of sexual misconduct. The show’s only other Emmy nominations this year came for Michael Kelly (Best Drama Supporting Actor) and Jeff Beal (Best Music Composition), a steep decline from the one-time Best Drama Series contender.
At this year’s ceremony Wright faces off against Sandra Oh (“Killing Eve”), Jodie Comer (“Killing Eve”), Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones”), Laura Linney (“Ozark”), Mandy Moore (“This Is Us”) and Viola Davis (“How to Get Away with Murder”). Of this group, only Davis has claimed the Best Drama Actress prize before, while Linney is a four-time Emmy champ for “Wild Iris” (2002), “Frasier” (2004), “John Adams” (2008) and “The Big C: Hereafter” (2013).
Another factor in Wright’s favor this year is that she was given the reigns of directing the all-important series finale, “Chapter 73,” which was actually the 10th time she helmed an episode of “House of Cards.” And the final season received a 71% score at Rotten Tomatoes, with critics unanimously praising Wright’s performance. Will the Emmys honor Wright with a goodbye hug for her six-season arc as Claire Underwood?
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