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Before Emmy Gold: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series

This week at Awards Radar, we’re doing deep dives into the past work of this year’s Emmy nominees. From underseen cult classics to mega-blockbusters, these nominees have had various roles and projects shaping their careers. The Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category proves to be a tight race with these immensely talented actresses.

Alex Borstein

Borstein is nominated for her role as Susie Myerson in the Prime Video comedy series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

Borstein’s first television credit was in 1993 in the Fox Kids series Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, where she voiced various characters. She has had turns in hit series like FriendsGilmore Girls, and Shameless

She has earned four Emmy nominations and one win for her work as a voice-over performer (2013, 2018, 2019) and producer (2008) on Family Guy. For her work on Maisel, she has received four nominations (2018, 2019, 2020, 2022) and two wins (2018, 2019).

Hannah Einbinder

Before her role as the quick-witted and heartfelt bisexual comedy writer Ava Daniels on HBO Max’s Hacks, Hannah Einbeinder vied for national attention on comedy stages across the country. In 2019, she appeared in the New Faces showcase with Just For Laughs and was soon named by NPR as one of the 10 Standout Performers from the festival. Vulture later recognized her as one of the 10 Comedians You Should Know.

A year later, Einbinder made her national television debut on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert and was the youngest person to perform stand-up in the history of the show. She embarked on a comedy tour in June and will perform on her tour until mid-November.

Einbinder was nominated in 2021 for her role in the first season of Hacks. This is her second nomination.

Janelle James

Janelle James began her career as a stand-up at an open mic night in Illinois. Since then, she has been recognized by Brooklyn Magazine as one of the 50 Funniest People, opened for Chris Rock’s 2017 tour, and had her work featured on Netflix, Comedy Central, SHOWTIME, Hulu, and more.

In addition to telling jokes in front of the camera, James has written on BET’s The Rundown with Robin Thede, SHOWTIME’s Black Monday, and Apple TV+’s Central Park, among other shows. Her recent acting credits include Life and BethCorporateCrashing, and the animated series, Tuca and Bertie.

She is nominated for her role as Principal Ava Coleman in ABC’s breakout comedy, Abbott Elementary, from creator Quinta Brunson (A Black Lady Sketch Show). This is her first nomination.

Kate McKinnon

In 2007, Kate McKinnon starred in Logo’s sketch series and remained in the cast throughout the show’s three-season run. In 2012, she joined the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live and remained on the series for ten seasons. McKinnon confirmed that she would depart the series in May of 2022. Since then, she has had featured roles in various animated projects, including China, IL, and Family Guy, among others, and starred in the 2016 Ghostbusters reboot.

Throughout her SNL run, McKinnon has received ten nominations (two in 2014 and one in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022) and two wins in 2016 and 2017. She has never been nominated for another project.

Kate McKinnon is nominated this year for various characters in Saturday Night Live.

Sarah Niles

Sarah Niles began her television career in the 1999 BAFTA Award-winning series, A Touch of Frost. Since then, she has had roles in the British television series Peep ShowDoctor WhoMister ElevenBeautiful People, and Waterloo Road, among others. In 2015, Niles began her role as Melissa in the Emmy Award-nominated Prime Video series, Catastrophe. In 2020 she appeared as Meg in Netflix’s Dracula and recurred in Apple TV+’s Trying as Alisha. Niles also played Officer Funmi opposite Michaela Coel’s Arabella in the Emmy Award-winning series I May Destroy You on HBO.

This year, Niles was nominated for her role as Dr. Sharon Fieldstone in Apple TV+’s hit comedy series, Ted Lasso. This is her first nomination.

Sheryl Lee Ralph

Sheryl Lee Ralph is a television veteran whose credits span fandoms, classic television shows, and other recognizable series. In 1978, Ralph played Vanessa Blake in an episode of Good Times on CBS. One year later, she had a role in ABC’s Wonder Woman and played Jeanie in the iconic CBS series, The Jeffersons.

In 1992, Ralph recurred as Etienne Toussaint Bouvier in the CBS hit comedy series Designing Women. Later, in 1996, she played Dee Mitchell in UPN’s Moesha, a teacher, and stepmother of the titular character. Since then, she has had roles in Whoopi7th HeavenERHannah Montana2 Broke Girls, and Criminal Minds. In 2017 she featured in Prime Video’s One Mississippi and later recurred in BET’s The Quad, TNT’s Claws, CBS’s Fam, and Freeform’s Motherland: Fort Salem

Despite her illustrious career, Ralph has never before received Emmy recognition for her work; this is her first nomination. She is recognized for her role as Barbara Howard in ABC’s Abbott Elementary.

Juno Temple

Juno Temple began her film career in the 1997 film Vigo: Passion for Life when she was eight. Since then, she has had turns in 2014’s Maleficent, HBO’s Vinyl, Comedy Central’s Drunk History, and Bravo’s Dirty John. She has starred in Starz’s Little Birds, Apple TV+’s Mr. Corman, and Paramount+’s The Offer in recent years. 

In 2021, she received her first nomination for her work as Keeley Jones in the Apple TV+ comedy Ted Lasso. This year marks her second nomination for her work as Keeley.

Hannah Waddingham

Hannah Waddingham originally established herself as a stage performer, vocalist, and recording artist. She has received accolades, including three Laurence Olivier Award nominations for her work on various projects.

In 2002, Waddingham earned her first television credit in the BBC series, Coupling. Since then, she has appeared in BBC’s Bad Education and Doctors and held a pivotal role in Game of Thrones as Septa Unella, where she was waterboarded on set, an experience she describes as traumatic. In recent years, she has recurred in SYFY’s 12 Monkeys and Krypton and starred in Netflix’s Sex Education as Sofia Marchetti.

Last year, Waddingham received a nomination and won for her performance as Rebecca Welton in Apple TV+’s Ted Lasso. She earned her second nomination this year for her work in the series.

The Primetime Emmy Awards will air Monday, September 12th at 8 P.M. EST on NBC.

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[…] learn,” she said. A musical theater veteran, the star of “Ted Lasso” has received three Laurence Olivier Award nominations for his work on the London stage, and even tried his hand at pop stardom with the hit, “Our […]

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Written by Joshua Harris

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