10 oldest Emmy winners of Best Drama Actress

Prior to the firm establishment of the Best Drama Actress Emmy category in 1966, leading women on continuing series typically competed directly against each other regardless of genre. These mixed contests happened to produce equal amounts of comedic and dramatic winners during the 1950s and 1960s, with Eve Arden (“Our Miss Brooks”) and Loretta Young (“The Loretta Young Show”) being the respective first ones to represent the formats. Young, who triumphed in 1955, 1957, and 1959, remains one of only six women to rack up three or more wins in this category.

Each episode of Young’s eponymous show, like those of 1950s programs “Hallmark Hall of Fame” and “Alcoa Theatre,” was a stand-alone special featuring a unique storyline and set of characters. For all eight seasons, Young consistently acted as the wraparound host and would often star in the main fictional portions of the episodes. Her last Emmy victory at age 46 gave her the distinction of being the oldest Best Drama Actress winner at the time. She lost the position just seven years later and has since dropped to 10th place on the list.

Since Young’s initial win in 1955, a total of 33 actresses have won Emmys for their lead roles on continuing drama programs. Including Young, 15 of the winners have triumphed multiple times.

Check out our photo gallery to find out who ranks ahead of Young on the list of 10 oldest Best Drama Actress Emmy winners.