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Before Emmy Gold: Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie

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. With these immensely talented actresses, the Limited Supporting Actress category proves to be a tight race.

Connie Britton

Connie Britton has received five Emmy nominations for various projects throughout her career. In 2010, she earned her first nomination for her role as Tami Taylor in DirecTV’s Friday Night Lights and scored a second nomination for the same character in 2011. In 2012, she was nominated for her work as Vivien Harmon in FX’s American Horror Story. One year later, the Television Academy recognized her for ABC’s Nashville in the Lead Actress in a Drama Series category for her performance as Rayna James.

ABC’s sitcom Ellen from Ellen DeGeneres is credited as Britton’s first television project. Since then, she has had turns in various projects, including NBC’s The West Wing, FOX’s 24, and SHOWTIME’s SMILF, among others.

Britton is nominated for her work as Nicole Mossbacher in HBO’s The White Lotus this year.

Jennifer Coolidge

Jennifer Coolidge earned her first Emmy nomination this year despite her established career in television, film, and animation. Coolidge’s first television credit is an episode in season five of Seinfeld titled “The Masseuse,” where she played the titular character. A few years later, she appeared in an episode of Frasier season eight, where she played a character named Frederica. Two years later, she featured as Amanda Buffamonteezi in an episode of Friends titled “The One with Ross’s Tan.” After the series concluded, she starred as Joey’s agent, Bobbie Morganstern, in the Friends spin-off, Joey.

Coolidge earned several other comedic and dramatic credits, including FX’s Nip/Tuck, Starz’s Party Down, ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, and CBS’s 2 Broke Girls. She also appeared in the Academy Award-winning Promising Young Woman from Emerald Fennell. Her most iconic role, however, might just be her role as Paulette Parcelle in the Legally Blonde series.

Jennifer Coolidge is nominated for her performance as Tanya in HBO’s The White Lotus

Alexandra Daddario

Alexandra Daddario scored her first Emmy nomination this year. Her television career began in 2002 when she played Laura Lewis in ABC’s daytime soap opera, All My Children. A few years later, she appeared in the sixth season of HBO’s The Sopranos and had two turns on seasons 15 and 17 of Law and Order. In 2009, she appeared in the season two premiere of Damages opposite Glenn Close. Shortly after, she scored recurring roles in USA’s White Collar and NBC’s Parenthood. Since then, she has had roles in HBO’s True Detective, FOX’s New Girl and The Last Man on Earth, and FX’s American Horror Story.

In 2019, Daddario starred in the CBS All Access original series, Why Women Kill, opposite Kirby Howell-Baptiste (Killing Eve) and Reid Scott (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel). She also recurred as Tawny in Starz’s The Girlfriend Experience in season three.

Alexandra Daddario is nominated for her role as Rachel Patton in HBO’s The White Lotus.

Kaitlyn Dever

Kaitlyn Dever began her career as a child actress, starring in films An American Girl: Chrissa Stands Strong and Make It or Break It. Soon after, she was cast in ABC’s Modern Family and Private Practice episodes and roles in Starz’s Party Down and CBS’s The Mentalist. In 2011, she featured as Kyra O’Donnell in an episode of HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm

A few years later, Dever earned a recurring role opposite Timothy Olyphant in FX’s Justified as Loretta McCready.

 In 2019, she starred in A24’s Booksmart opposite Beanie Feldstein (Impeachment: American Crime Story). The Emmy-nominated Netflix limited series, Unbelievable saw Dever as teenager Marie Adler, opposite Toni Collette (The Staircase) and Merritt Wever (Marriage Story). She recently starred in the FOX comedy, Last Man Standing, a movie musical of Dear Evan Hansen opposite Amy Adams (Sharp Objects) and Ben Platt (The Politician).

Kaitlyn Dever earned her first Emmy nomination this year for her role as Betsy Mallum in Hulu’s Dopesick.

Natasha Rothwell

Natasha Rothwell began her career in television in 2014 as a writer on Saturday Night Live. Since then, she has written and executive produced an episode of Netflix’s The Characters and produced, directed, and penned several episodes of HBO’s Insecure. She also starred as the lovable and messy scene-stealer, Kelli. Since then, she has had turns in the Search Party, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, A Black Lady Sketch Show, and Hulu’s Love, Victor.

Rothwell also has voice-acted in several animated shows, including Disney’s Star vs. the Forces of Evil, Netflix’s Bojack Horseman, FX’s Archer, Adult Swim’s Tuca and Bertie, and Fox’s The Simpsons, among others. She also featured in Patty Jenkins’s Wonder Woman 1984 as Carol.

Rothwell received a nomination in Outstanding Comedy Series for Insecure in 2020 for her role as Supervising Producer. She earned her second nomination this year for her role as Belinda in HBO’s The White Lotus.

Sydney Sweeney

Sydney Sweeney began her acting career as a child star and had roles in NBC’s Heroes and CBS’s Criminal Minds. A few years later, she had guest turns in CW’s 90210, Disney’s Kickin’ It, and the 11th season of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy. In 2017, she featured in ABC’s The Middle and ABC Family’s Pretty Little Liars. Her first recurring role was in go90’s In the Vault, where she played Helen Caren. 

In 2018, Sweeney had three starring turns in Netflix’s Everything Sucks!, where she played Emaline, Eden Spencer in the second season of Hulu’s The Handmaid’s Tale, and Alice in HBO’s limited series, Sharp Objects. A year later, she played Snake in the Academy Award-winning film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. She also stars in the HBO series, Euphoria, which has earned 25 nominations and eight wins across its two-season run.

Sydney Sweeney earned dual nominations this year for her roles as Cassie in Euphoria and Olivia Mossbacher in the HBO limited series, The White Lotus.

Mare Winningham

Mare Winningham earned her first scripted television credit in the Emmy-nominated 1978 NBC series Police Woman. In 1986, she appeared as Norma Lewis in an episode of CBS’s The Twilight Zone. Winningham recurred as Dr. Amanda Lee in the ’90s Emmy juggernaut ER and featured in a season two episode of HBO’s Six Feet Under as Eileen Piper. A few years later, she recurred in the second season of ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy, ABC’s Boston Legal, FOX’s 24, and CBS’s Criminal Minds.

Winningham also earned several recurring roles in Emmy-nominated shows such as FX’s American Horror Story, SHOWTIME’s The Affair, and HBO’s The Outsider.

Winningham has earned eight Emmy nominations throughout her illustrious career. In 1980, she was nominated and won for her role in ABC’s Amber Waves; in 1986, she was nominated for NBC’s Love is Never Silent; in 1996, she was nominated for CBS’s The Boys Next Door. She took home a trophy in 1998 for her role as Lurleen Wallace in TNT’s George Wallace, and in 2004 and 2011, she was nominated for her roles in Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Mildred Pierce, respectively. Her prior nomination was in 2012 for the History Channel’s Hatfields & McCoy’s.

This year, Mare Winningham is nominated for her role as Diane Mallum in Hulu’s Dopesick.

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Written by Joshua Harris

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