2018 Emmys Stars Then and Now: Our Favorite Female Nominees and Their Best Throwback Roles
Two decades before her thrice-Emmy nominated role as duplicitous KGB agent Elizabeth Jennings in FX's The Americans, Keri Russell stole hearts in her star turn as the all-American college student Felicity. The WB series aired from 1998 to 2002, and though Russell won a 1999 Golden Globe for Best Actress, her very first Emmy nomination came 17 years later.
Iconic actress and comedian Lily Tomlin has been charming audiences since the 1960s. Her breakout role as a Laugh-In cast member led to a role in Robert Altman's award-winning '70s film Nashville. Tomlin then went on to become a major star in the '80s, delivering big laughs in comedy classics like All of Me with Steve Martin and 9 to 5 with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton.
She reunited with Fonda for HBO's Grace and Frankie, for which she's been Emmy-nominated four years in a row. Tomlin has won six previous Primetime Emmys and one Daytime Emmy.
Who's the boss? Judith Light, that's who! Light's acclaimed TV work began with a breakthrough role on the daytime soap One Life to Live from 1977 to 1983. She won two Daytime Emmys for the part, but became a real household name in the mid-'80s as Angela Bauer opposite Tony Danza (and Alyssa Milano) on the long-running ABC sitcom Who's the Boss?. Light has gone on to star in several TV shows since then, garnering Emmy nods for the past two years in a row, once for Transparent in 2017 and for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story in 2018.
Devoted fans may recall Regina King got her start in the '80s sitcom 227, playing Brenda Jenkins opposite Marla Gibbs and Jackée Harry. King went on to steal scenes in movies like Friday, a slew of John Singleton films and Jerry Maguire in the '90s. She was Emmy-nominated for American Crime in 2017 and again this year for Seven Seconds.
EVAN RACHEL WOOD
As Westworld's celebrated sentient android frontierswoman Dolores Abernathy, Evan Rachel Wood continues to illuminate the big and small screens. The former child actress first gained attention and critical acclaim in the late '90s and early '00s as Jessie on Once and Again. This is her third Emmy Nomination.
For nearly a decade (1988 to 1997), Laurie Metcalf's beloved performance as Roseanne's Aunt Jackie delighted primetime audiences and critics alike. Metcalf garnered three consecutive Emmys for that role, and was nominated again this year for the (controversial) series revival.
Rudolph joined the cast of Saturday Night Live back in 2000 and has been cracking audiences up ever since. Her first Emmy nomination came in 2012 for SNL, and she's nominated again this year for The Good Place.
Jessica Biel's first big TV break came in the late '90s as Mary Camden on the WB (and later CW) hit Seventh Heaven. Biel's gone on to star in multiple blockbuster movies (The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Blade: Trinity) throughout the 2000s, but her role as a troubled young mom in The Sinner has earned Biel her first Emmy nod. Hubby Justin Timberlake and son Silas must be proud.
Megan Mullally is no stranger to the Emmys. Her hilarious, star-making turn as wackadoo, gold-digging socialite Karen Walker on Will & Grace was an audience and critic favorite from the get-go back in 1998. Her performance garnered eight Emmy nominations, and she's won twice. Will this latest nod for the Will & Grace reboot make it three?
Professional funny lady Molly Shannon's 1995 to 2001 Saturday Night Live run gave the world the gift of awkward Catholic schoolgirl Mary Katherine Gallagher. Since then, she's starred in a long roster of movies and TV shows. Shannon's first Emmy nod came for the 2013 series Enlightened; her 2018 nomination is thanks to her role as Val on the new Will & Grace revival.
Since her breakout role as a fur-brained dog handler in 2000's Best in Show, Jane Lynch has been nothing but a joy to watch on the big and small screens. The former Glee star is nominated twice this year, for The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and for hosting Hollywood Game Night. The multi-talented Lynch has won four Emmys in her career thus far.