Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Debicki, J. Smith-Cameron, Meghan Fahy, Rhea Seehorn, Sabrina Impacciatore and Simona Tabasco were also in the running
There's a new Emmy recipient for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series: Jennifer Coolidge!
The White Lotus star was nominated alongside her costars Aubrey Plaza, Meghann Fahy, Sabrina Impacciatore and Simona Tabasco, all vying for the prize against Elizabeth Debicki from The Crown, Succession's J. Smith-Cameron and Better Call Saul's Rhea Seehorn at Monday's 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards.
"I wanna thank all the evil gays," Coolidge, 62, joked in her acceptance speech — a shoutout to a viral moment from her character Tanya McQuoid — before being verbally nudged offstage.
Mike White's The White Lotus has quickly become a fan-favorite show since its HBO debut in 2021. Both the season 1 and 2 casts have garnered praise for their performances, netting major award nominations including Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild nods.
Coolidge became an instant breakout and fan-favorite for her role as Tabya in The White Lotus's debut seasons. The part also allowed her to walk away with a Golden Globe Award, two Critics' Choice Television Awards and two Screen Actors Guild Awards. She previously earned an Emmy for her efforts in September 2022.
Coolidge's character, however, was killed off suddenly in the season 2 finale. But the actress believes her on-screen death needed to happen.
Coolidge added, "But I also think Tanya's a lot. Maybe people would get sick of her on another season. Maybe people would be like, 'Oh my God, get rid of Tanya!'"
The White Lotus was renewed for a third season in November 2022.
Aside from Coolidge, many of her fellow contenders put up noteworthy performances in 2023, including The Crown's Debicki.
The Crown has garnered plenty of praise over the years, including 69 Emmy nominations and more than 20 wins.
Of The Crown's resonance, 33-year-old Debicki — who played the late Princess Diana — told PEOPLE in November 2023 that it provided a new layer of "empathy" for the real-life figures.
"It's been a long journey people have had with the show," she explained, "and I think it's one of the beautiful things The Crown has been able to do, is open up in this imaginary way, the very private lives of these public figures and create this huge empathy, I think, for the audience to experience in regards to characters that you may not have known so much about before."
Before joining the drama in its sophomore run, Plaza, 39, became a household name playing April Ludgate on the NBC sitcom Parks and Recreation. Post-Parks, she's continued to be celebrated for her diverse array of roles, including in Ingrid Goes West, Black Bear and Emily the Criminal.
Plaza said her White Lotus role "felt very personal to me" due to her upbringing, where her mother is an attorney like her character and her father works in wealth management.
"They're not in that billionaire world at all, but the idea of coming from nothing and working your way up — I think that's why the character felt very personal to me," she told Vanity Fair. "I grew up navigating different worlds and different communities where I was like, 'Oh, now all of a sudden we're living in a bigger house and a more fancy neighborhood.' But I always felt like an outsider."
Succession concluded its fourth and final season in May 2023. The series centered around the Roy family, with patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox) serving as the head of the global media and entertainment conglomerate Waystar Royco. Amid uncertainty surrounding his health, Logan's children — as well as other relatives — fought for control of the company throughout the show's run.
The HBO drama has received several awards and nominations over the years. Heading into Monday's ceremony, Succession dominated with an impressive 27 nominations.
Smith-Cameron, 66, has also been celebrated for her performance as Gerri Kellman over the years, earning a 2022 Emmy nomination as well.
"I will really miss that it's such a specific character, and I also feel like I have some ownership in creating her right from the start," she told Forbes of playing Gerri. "We've all kind of put our own stamp on our characters and that's been such a vibrant, wonderful, positive experience."
"I often feel like when they try to show middle-aged or older lady bosses, they're just these impenetrable, barracuda-type dragon ladies," Smith-Cameron added. "There's a vulnerability about her but she can be mean as a snake, so I will miss that kind of power she has, but also the reality of her being a flesh and blood person."
Before joining The White Lotus in its sophomore run, Fahy, 33, was best known for playing Sutton Brady on Freeform's The Bold Type. She also starred as Hannah O'Connor on the ABC soap One Life to Live and appeared in the Broadway musical Next to Normal.
But Fahy never anticipated getting to be on the HBO drama.
"I actually auditioned for the first season," she previously told W. "The second season came as a huge surprise for me, but the best surprise ever."
Better Call Saul concluded in August 2022 after six seasons on AMC. The Breaking Bad spinoff followed Bob Odenkirk's character Jimmy McGill — an attorney and former con artist who becomes the show's titular criminal defense attorney Saul Goodman.
Accolades have poured in for the series over the years. It has garnered two Peabody Awards, multiple Primetime and Creative Arts Emmy Awards, several Writers Guild of America Awards, dozens of Critics' Choice Television Awards and nine Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Ahead of Monday's ceremony, the role of lawyer Kim Wexler earned Seehorn, 51, two Satellite Awards and Screen Actors Guild Awards. She had also earned two other Emmy nominations, one of which was for Cooper's Bar, before Monday's ceremony.
Of saying goodbye to the character, Seehorn told The Hollywood Reporter, "I don't think that I will ever forget her."
"I hope one day there’s an occasion to revisit these characters. Getting to play one character over the course of seven years, and the massive allowance of evolving and subtext and growth that they allowed us to play — she feels very three-dimensional as a human to me," she added. "There are parts of her that, as an actor and as a human, I am still trying to learn from."
Before The White Lotus, Impacciatore appeared in The Passion of the Christ, Dog Years and 7 Women and a Murder, as well as has also appeared in dozens of Italian-language films.
For Impacciatore, 55, the HBO drama was a dream come true. "Do you remember when Cinderella goes to the ball? That's me now," she told W of her White Lotus success.
"I am dancing with my prince and my prince is America. I want to stay at this ball forever," she added.
Tabasco, 29, appeared in film and television projects including Luna Park and The Ties, plus dozens of Italian-language films, before booking her U.S. breakout turn in The White Lotus.
The actress told The Guardian that she "wanted to make sure that Lucia was full of emotions, and someone who was very aware and projecting her humanity, because she is hungry for life — but she's also a little confused."
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"As we see in the end, she does get to her declared goal of what she wanted to do, but I think she also left behind a part of herself ... The part that is to do with her most sincere and buried desires," Tabasco continued. "She didn't just want to earn money, she also wanted to earn love and warmth and closeness. In the end, she had to choose — and she chose the more harsh part of herself."
See PEOPLE's full coverage of the 75th annual Primetime Emmy Awards as they're broadcasting live on Fox from the Peacock Theater in Los Angeles.
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