Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series

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Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
Awarded for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama of Series
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
First awarded 1952
Currently held by Julianna Margulies,
The Good Wife (2014)
Official website http://www.emmys.com/

This is a list of winners of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress – a Drama Series. Beginning with the 18th Emmys leading actresses in drama have competed alone. However, these dramatic performances included actresses from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors. Such instances are marked below.


Award winners and nominations[edit]

1950s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Network
1953
(6th)
[note 1]
Eve Arden Our Miss Brooks Connie Brooks CBS
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy Lucy Ricardo CBS
Imogene Coca Your Show of Shows Various Characters NBC
Dinah Shore The Dinah Shore Show Herself
Loretta Young The Loretta Young Show Various Characters
1954
(7th)
[note 1]
Loretta Young The Loretta Young Show Various Characters CBS
Gracie Allen The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show Gracie Allen CBS
Eve Arden Our Miss Brooks Connie Brooks
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy Lucy Ricardo
Ann Sothern Private Secretary Susie McNamara
1955
(8th)
[note 1]
Lucille Ball I Love Lucy Lucy Ricardo CBS
Gracie Allen The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show Gracie Allen CBS
Eve Arden Our Miss Brooks Connie Brooks
Jean Hagen Make Room for Daddy Margaret Williams ABC
Ann Sothern Private Secretary Susie McNamara CBS
1956
(9th)
Loretta Young The Loretta Young Show Various Characters NBC
Jan Clayton Lassie Ellen Miller CBS
Ida Lupino Four Star Playhouse Various Characters
Peggy Wood Mama Mama
Jane Wyman Fireside Theatre Various Characters NBC
1957
(10th)
[note 1]
Jane Wyatt Father Knows Best Margaret Anderson NBC
Eve Arden The Eve Arden Show Liza Hammond CBS
Spring Byington December Bride Lily Ruskin
Jan Clayton Lassie Ellen Miller
Ida Lupino Mr. Adams and Eve Eve Drake
1958-1959
(11th)
Loretta Young The Loretta Young Show Various Characters NBC
Jan Clayton Lassie Ellen Miller CBS
Phyllis Kirk The Thin Man Nora Charles NBC
Jane Wyman Fireside Theatre Various Characters

1960s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Network
1959-1960
(12th)
[note 1]
Jane Wyatt Father Knows Best Margaret Anderson CBS
Donna Reed The Donna Reed Show Donna Stone ABC
Loretta Young The Loretta Young Show Various Characters NBC
1960-1961
(13th)
[note 1]
Barbara Stanwyck The Barbara Stanwyck Show Various Characters NBC
Donna Reed The Donna Reed Show Donna Stone ABC
Loretta Young The Loretta Young Show Various Characters NBC
1961-1962
(14th)
[note 1]
Shirley Booth Hazel Hazel Burke NBC
Gertrude Berg The Gertrude Berg Show Sarah Green CBS
Donna Reed The Donna Reed Show Donna Stone ABC
Mary Stuart Search for Tomorrow Joanne Gardner CBS
Cara Williams Pete and Gladys Gladys Porter
1962-1963
(15th)
[note 1]
Shirley Booth Hazel Hazel Burke NBC
Lucille Ball The Lucy Show Lucy Carmichael CBS
Shirl Conway The Nurses Liz Thorpe
Mary Tyler Moore The Dick Van Dyke Show Laura Petrie
Irene Ryan The Beverly Hillbillies Granny
1963-1964
(16th)
[note 1]
Mary Tyler Moore The Dick Van Dyke Show Laura Petrie CBS
Shirley Booth Hazel Hazel Burke NBC
Patty Duke The Patty Duke Show Cathy Lane ABC
Irene Ryan The Beverly Hillbillies Granny CBS
Inger Stevens The Farmer's Daughter Katy Holstrum ABC
1964-1965
(17th)
No Award
1965-1966
(18th)
Barbara Stanwyck The Big Valley Victoria Barkley ABC
Ann Francis Honey West Honey West ABC
Barbara Parkins Peyton Place Betty Anderson Cord
1966-1967
(19th)
Barbara Bain Mission: Impossible Cinnamon Carter CBS
Diana Rigg The Avengers Emma Peel ABC
Barbara Stanwyck The Big Valley Victoria Barkley
1967-1968
(20th)
Barbara Bain Mission: Impossible Cinnamon Carter CBS
Diana Rigg The Avengers Emma Peel ABC
Barbara Stanwyck The Big Valley Victoria Barkley
1968-1969
(21st)
Barbara Bain Mission: Impossible Cinnamon Carter CBS
Joan Blondell Here Come the Brides Lottie Hatfield ABC
Peggy Lipton The Mod Squad Julie Barnes

1970s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Network
1969-1970
(22nd)
Susan Hampshire # The Forsyte Saga Fleur Mont BBC
Joan Blondell Here Come the Brides Lottie Hatfield ABC
Peggy Lipton The Mod Squad Julie Barnes
1970-1971
(23rd)
Susan Hampshire # The First Churchills Sarah Churchill BBC
Linda Cristal The High Chaparral Victoria Montoya NBC
Peggy Lipton The Mod Squad Julie Barnes ABC
1971-1972
(24th)
Glenda Jackson # Elizabeth R Queen Elizabeth I of England BBC Two
Peggy Lipton The Mod Squad Julie Barnes ABC
Susan Saint James McMillan & Wife Sally McMillian NBC
1972-1973
(25th)
Michael Learned The Waltons Olivia Walton CBS
Lynda Day George Mission: Impossible Lisa Casey CBS
Susan Saint James McMillan & Wife Sally McMillian NBC
1973-1974
(26th)
Michael Learned The Waltons Olivia Walton CBS
Jean Marsh Upstairs, Downstairs Rose Buck ITV
Jeanette Nolan Dirty Sally Sally Fergus CBS
1974-1975
(27th)
Jean Marsh Upstairs, Downstairs Rose Buck ITV
Angie Dickinson Police Woman Sgt. Leann Anderson NBC
Michael Learned The Waltons Olvia Walton CBS
1975-1976
(28th)
Michael Learned The Waltons Olivia Walton CBS
Angie Dickinson Police Woman Sgt. Leann Anderson NBC
Anne Meara Kate McShane Kate McShane CBS
Brenda Vaccaro Sara Sara Yarnell
1976-1977
(29th)
Lindsay Wagner The Bionic Woman Jaime Sommers ABC
Angie Dickinson Police Woman Sgt. Leann Anderson NBC
Kate Jackson Charlie's Angels Sabrina Duncan ABC
Michael Learned The Waltons Olivia Walton CBS
Sada Thompson Family Kate Lawrence ABC
1977-1978
(30th)
Sada Thompson Family Kate Lawrence ABC
Melissa Sue Anderson Little House on the Prairie Mary Ingalls NBC
Fionnula Flanagan How the West Was Won Aunt Molly Culhane ABC
Kate Jackson Charlie's Angels Sabrina Duncan
Michael Learned The Waltons Olivia Walton CBS
Susan Sullivan Having Babies Dr. Julie Farr ABC
1978-1979
(31st)
Mariette Hartley § The Incredible Hulk Dr. Caroline Fields CBS
Barbara Bel Geddes Dallas Miss Ellie Ewing CBS
Rita Moreno § The Rockford Files Rita Capkovick NBC
Sada Thompson Family Kate Lawrence ABC

1980s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Network
1979-1980
(32nd)
Barbara Bel Geddes Dallas Miss Ellie Ewing CBS
Lauren Bacall § The Rockford Files Kendall Warren NBC
Mariette Hartley § Althea Morgan
Kristy McNichol Family Buddy Lawrence ABC
Sada Thompson Kate Lawrence
1980-1981
(33rd)
Barbara Babcock § Hill Street Blues Grace Gardner NBC
Barbara Bel Geddes Dallas Miss Ellie Ewing CBS
Linda Gray Sue Ellen Ewing
Veronica Hamel Hill Street Blues Joyce Davenport NBC
Michael Learned Nurse Mary Benjamin
Stefanie Powers Hart to Hart Jennifer Hart ABC
1981-1982
(34th)
Michael Learned Nurse Mary Benjamin NBC
Debbie Allen Fame Lydia Grant NBC
Veronica Hamel Hill Street Blues Joyce Davenport
Michele Lee Knots Landing Karen Fairgate CBS
Stefanie Powers Hart to Hart Jennifer Hart ABC
1982-1983
(35th)
Tyne Daly Cagney & Lacey Mary Beth Lacey CBS
Debbie Allen Fame Lydia Grant NBC
Linda Evans Dynasty Krystle Carrington ABC
Sharon Gless Cagney & Lacey Chris Cagney CBS
Veronica Hamel Hill Street Blues Joyce Davenport NBC
1983-1984
(36th)
Tyne Daly Cagney & Lacey Mary Beth Lacey CBS
Debbie Allen Fame Lydia Grant Syndicated
Joan Collins Dynasty Alexis Colby ABC
Sharon Gless Cagney & Lacey Chris Cagney CBS
Veronica Hamel Hill Street Blues Joyce Davenport NBC
1984-1985
(37th)
Tyne Daly Cagney & Lacey Mary Beth Lacey CBS
Debbie Allen Fame Lydia Grant Syndicated
Sharon Gless Cagney & Lacey Chris Cagney CBS
Veronica Hamel Hill Street Blues Joyce Davenport NBC
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher CBS
1985-1986
(38th)
Sharon Gless Cagney & Lacey Chris Cagney CBS
Tyne Daly Cagney & Lacey Mary Beth Lacey CBS
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher
Cybill Shepherd Moonlighting Maddie Hayes ABC
Alfre Woodard St. Elsewhere Roxanne Turner NBC
1986-1987
(39th)
Sharon Gless Cagney & Lacey Chris Cagney CBS
Tyne Daly Cagney & Lacey Mary Beth Lacey CBS
Susan Dey L.A. Law Grace Van Owen NBC
Jill Eikenberry Ann Kelsey
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher CBS
1987-1988
(40th)
Tyne Daly Cagney & Lacey Mary Beth Lacey CBS
Susan Dey L.A. Law Grace Van Owen NBC
Jill Eikenberry Ann Kelsey
Sharon Gless Cagney & Lacey Chris Cagney CBS
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher
1988-1989
(41st)
Dana Delany China Beach Colleen McMurphy ABC
Susan Dey L.A. Law Grace Van Owen NBC
Jill Eikenberry Ann Kelsey
Linda Hamilton Beauty and the Beast Catherine Chandler CBS
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher

1990s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Episode Network
1989-1990
(42nd)
Patricia Wettig thirtysomething Nancy Krieger-Weston "The Other Shoe" ABC
Dana Delany China Beach Colleen McMurphy "How to Stay Alive in Vietnam" (Parts One & Two) ABC
Jill Eikenberry L.A. Law Ann Kelsey "Lie Down and Deliver" NBC
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "How to Make a Killing Without Really Trying" CBS
Piper Laurie Twin Peaks Catherine Martell "Episode 7" ABC
1990-1991
(43rd)
Patricia Wettig thirtysomething Nancy Krieger-Weston "Guns and Roses" ABC
Dana Delany China Beach Colleen McMurphy "Fever" ABC
Sharon Gless The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Rosie O'Neill "When I'm 44" CBS
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "Thursday's Child"
1991-1992
(44th)
Dana Delany China Beach Colleen McMurphy "Through and Through" ABC
Sharon Gless The Trials of Rosie O'Neill Rosie O'Neill "Heartbreak Hotel" CBS
Shirley Knight § Law & Order Melanie Currants "The Wages of Love" NBC
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "Night Fears" CBS
Kate Nelligan § Road to Avonlea Sydney Carver "After the Honeymoon" Disney Channel
Regina Taylor I'll Fly Away Lilly Harper "Coming Home" NBC
1992-1993
(45th)
Kathy Baker Picket Fences Jill Brock "Thanksgiving" CBS
Swoosie Kurtz Sisters Alex Reed "Mirror, Mirror" NBC
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "Night of the Coyote" CBS
Regina Taylor I'll Fly Away Lilly Harper "Comfort and Joy" NBC
Janine Turner Northern Exposure Maggie O'Connell "Love's Labour Mislaid" CBS
1993-1994
(46th)
Sela Ward Sisters Teddy Reed "Land of the Lost Children" NBC
Kathy Baker Picket Fences Jill Brock "Guns 'R' Us" CBS
Swoosie Kurtz Sisters Alex Reed "Protective Measures" NBC
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "A Killing in Cork" CBS
Jane Seymour Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Michaela Quinn "Best Friends"
1994-1995
(47th)
Kathy Baker Picket Fences Jill Brock "Frogman Returns" CBS
Claire Danes My So-Called Life Angela Chase "Pilot" ABC
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "Dear Deadly" CBS
Sherry Stringfield ER Susan Lewis "Motherhood" NBC
Cicely Tyson Sweet Justice Carrie Grace Battle "In the Name of the Sun"
1995-1996
(48th)
Kathy Baker Picket Fences Jill Brock "Bottled" CBS
Gillian Anderson The X-Files Dana Scully "Piper Maru" Fox
Christine Lahti Chicago Hope Kathryn Austin "Transplanted Affection" CBS
Angela Lansbury Murder, She Wrote Jessica Fletcher "Death by Demographics"
Sherry Stringfield ER Susan Lewis "Take These Broken Wings" NBC
1996-1997
(49th)
Gillian Anderson The X-Files Dana Scully "Memento Mori" Fox
Roma Downey Touched by an Angel Monica "Missing in Action" CBS
Christine Lahti Chicago Hope Kathryn Austin "Back to the Future"
Julianna Margulies ER Carol Hathaway "The Long Way Around" NBC
Sherry Stringfield Susan Lewis "Fear of Flying"
1997-1998
(50th)
Christine Lahti Chicago Hope Kathryn Austin "Cabin Fever" CBS
Gillian Anderson The X-Files Dana Scully "All Souls" Fox
Roma Downey Touched by an Angel Monica "The Spirit of Liberty Moon" CBS
Julianna Margulies ER Carol Hathaway "Carter's Choice" NBC
Jane Seymour Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman Michaela Quinn "Point Blank" CBS
1998-1999
(51st)
Edie Falco The Sopranos Carmela Soprano "College" HBO
Gillian Anderson The X-Files Dana Scully "Milagro" Fox
Lorraine Bracco The Sopranos Jennifer Melfi "The Legend of Tennessee Moltisanti" HBO
Christine Lahti Chicago Hope Kathryn Austin "Karmic Relief" CBS
Julianna Margulies ER Carol Hathaway "The Storm, Part 2" NBC

2000s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Episode Network
1999-2000
(52nd)
Sela Ward Once and Again Lily Manning "Pilot" ABC
Lorraine Bracco The Sopranos Jennifer Melfi "Big Girls Don't Cry" HBO
Amy Brenneman Judging Amy Amy Gray "The Wee Hours" CBS
Edie Falco The Sopranos Carmela Soprano "Full Leather Jacket" HBO
Julianna Margulies ER Nurse Carol Hathaway "Great Expectations" NBC
2000-2001
(53rd)
Edie Falco The Sopranos Carmela Soprano "Second Opinion" HBO
Lorraine Bracco The Sopranos Jennifer Melfi "Employee of the Month" HBO
Amy Brenneman Judging Amy Amy Gray "The Undertow" CBS
Marg Helgenberger CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Catherine Willows "Justice is Served"
Sela Ward Once and Again Lily Manning "Second Time Around" ABC
2001-2002
(54th)
Allison Janney The West Wing C. J. Cregg "The Women of Qumar" NBC
Amy Brenneman Judging Amy Amy Gray "Tidal Wave" CBS
Frances Conroy Six Feet Under Ruth Fisher "Pilot" HBO
Jennifer Garner Alias Sydney Bristow "Truth Be Told" ABC
Rachel Griffiths Six Feet Under Brenda Chenowith "The Secret" HBO
2002-2003
(55th)
Edie Falco The Sopranos Carmela Soprano "Whitecaps" HBO
Frances Conroy Six Feet Under Ruth Fisher "Nobody Sleeps" HBO
Jennifer Garner Alias Sydney Bristow "Phase One" ABC
Marg Helgenberger CSI: Crime Scene Investigation Catherine Willows "Lady Heather's Box" CBS
Allison Janney The West Wing C. J. Cregg "The Long Goodbye" NBC
2003-2004
(56th)
Allison Janney The West Wing C. J. Cregg "Access" NBC
Edie Falco The Sopranos Carmela Soprano "All Happy Families..." HBO
Jennifer Garner Alias Sydney Bristow "The Two" ABC
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "Control" NBC
Amber Tamblyn Joan of Arcadia Joan Girardi "Pilot" CBS
2004-2005
(57th)
Patricia Arquette Medium Allison DuBois "In Sickness and Adultry" NBC
Glenn Close The Shield Monica Rawling "Hurt" FX
Frances Conroy Six Feet Under Ruth Fisher "Coming and Going" HBO
Jennifer Garner Alias Sydney Bristow "Before the Flood" ABC
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "Charisma" NBC
2005-2006
(58th)
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "911" NBC
Frances Conroy Six Feet Under Ruth Fisher "Everyone's Waiting" HBO
Geena Davis Commander in Chief Mackenzie Allen "Pilot" ABC
Allison Janney The West Wing C. J. Cregg "Institutional Memory" NBC
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer Brenda Leigh Johnson "Fantasy Date" TNT
2006-2007
(59th)
Sally Field Brothers & Sisters Nora Walker "Mistakes Were Made, Part 2" ABC
Patricia Arquette Medium Allison DuBois "Be Kind, Rewind" NBC
Minnie Driver The Riches Dahlia Malloy "Pilot" FX
Edie Falco The Sopranos Carmela Soprano "The Second Coming" HBO
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "Florida" NBC
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer Brenda Leigh Johnson "Slippin'" TNT
2007-2008
(60th)
Glenn Close Damages Patty Hewes "Get Me a Lawyer" FX
Sally Field Brothers & Sisters Nora Walker "History Repeating" ABC
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "Undercover" NBC
Holly Hunter Saving Grace Grace Hanadarko "Tacos, Tulips, Duck, and Spices" TNT
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer Brenda Leigh Johnson "Manhunt"
2008-2009
(61st)
Glenn Close Damages Patty Hewes "Trust Me" FX
Sally Field Brothers & Sisters Nora Walker "A Father Dreams" ABC
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "PTSD" NBC
Holly Hunter Saving Grace Grace Hanadarko "Have a Seat, Earl" TNT
Elisabeth Moss Mad Men Peggy Olson "Meditations in an Emergency" AMC
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer Brenda Leigh Johnson "Cherry Bomb" TNT

2010s[edit]

Year Actor Program Role Episode Network
2009-2010
(62nd)
Kyra Sedgwick The Closer Brenda Leigh Johnson "Maternal Insticts" TNT
Connie Britton Friday Night Lights Tami Taylor "After the Fall" NBC
Glenn Close Damages Patty Hewes "Your Secrets Are Safe" FX
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "Perverted" NBC
January Jones Mad Men Betty Draper "The Gypsy and the Hobo" AMC
Julianna Margulies The Good Wife Alicia Florrick "Threesome" CBS
2010-2011
(63rd)
Julianna Margulies The Good Wife Alicia Florrick "In Sickness" CBS
Kathy Bates Harry's Law Harriet Korn "Innocent Man" NBC
Connie Britton Friday Night Lights Tami Taylor "Always"
Mireille Enos The Killing Sarah Linden "Missing" AMC
Mariska Hargitay Law & Order: Special Victims Unit Olivia Benson "Rescue" NBC
Elisabeth Moss Mad Men Peggy Olson "The Suitcase" AMC
2011-2012
(64th)
Claire Danes Homeland Carrie Mathison "The Vest" Showtime
Kathy Bates Harry's Law Harriet Korn "Onward and Upward" NBC
Glenn Close Damages Patty Hewes "I've Done Way Too Much For This Girl" DirecTV
Michelle Dockery Downton Abbey Lady Mary Crawley "Episode Seven" PBS
Julianna Margulies The Good Wife Alicia Florrick "Parenting Made Easy" CBS
Elisabeth Moss Mad Men Peggy Olson "The Other Woman" AMC
2012-2013
(65th)
Claire Danes Homeland Carrie Mathison "Q&A" Showtime
Connie Britton Nashville Rayna Jaymes "Pilot" ABC
Michelle Dockery Downton Abbey Lady Mary Crawley "Episode One" PBS
Vera Farmiga Bates Motel Norma Bates "First You Dream, Then You Die" A&E
Elisabeth Moss Mad Men Peggy Olson "The Better Half" AMC
Kerry Washington Scandal Olivia Pope "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" ABC
Robin Wright House of Cards Claire Underwood "Chapter 10" Netflix
2013-2014
(66th)
Julianna Margulies The Good Wife Alicia Florrick "The Last Call" CBS
Lizzy Caplan Masters of Sex Virginia Johnson "Pilot" Showtime
Claire Danes Homeland Carrie Mathison "The Star"
Michelle Dockery Downton Abbey Lady Mary Crawley "Episode One" PBS
Kerry Washington Scandal Olivia Pope "The Fluffer" ABC
Robin Wright House of Cards Claire Underwood "Chapter 26" Netflix

Actresses with multiple wins[edit]

Actresses with multiple nominations[edit]


Notes
  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i Early Emmy ceremonies did not have genre specific acting categories

See also[edit]