Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

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Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Awarded for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Country United States
Presented by Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
First awarded 1954
Currently held by Julia Louis-Dreyfus,
Veep (2017)
Website emmys.com

This is a list of winners and nominees of the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Beginning with the 18th Primetime Emmy Awards, leading actresses in comedy have competed alone. However, these comedic performances included actresses from miniseries, telefilms, and guest performers competing against main cast competitors, such instances are marked below:

Winners and nominations[edit]

1950s[edit]

Year Actress Role Program Network
1953
(6th)
[note 1]
Eve Arden Connie Brooks Our Miss Brooks CBS
Lucille Ball Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy CBS
Imogene Coca Various Characters Your Show of Shows NBC
Dinah Shore Herself The Dinah Shore Show
Loretta Young Various Characters The Loretta Young Show
1954
(7th)
[note 1]
Loretta Young Various Characters The Loretta Young Show CBS
Gracie Allen Gracie Allen The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show CBS
Eve Arden Connie Brooks Our Miss Brooks
Lucille Ball Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy
Ann Sothern Susie McNamara Private Secretary
1955
(8th)
[note 1]
Lucille Ball Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy CBS
Gracie Allen Gracie Allen The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show CBS
Eve Arden Connie Brooks Our Miss Brooks
Jean Hagen Margaret Williams Make Room for Daddy ABC
Ann Sothern Susie McNamara Private Secretary CBS
1956
(9th)
Nanette Fabray Various Characters Caesar's Hour NBC
Edie Adams Herself The Ernie Kovacs Show NBC
Gracie Allen Gracie Allen The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show CBS
Lucille Ball Lucy Ricardo I Love Lucy
Ann Sothern Susie MacNamara Private Secretary
1957
(10th)
[note 1]
Jane Wyatt Margaret Anderson Father Knows Best NBC
Eve Arden Liza Hammond The Eve Arden Show CBS
Spring Byington Lily Ruskin December Bride
Jan Clayton Ellen Miller Lassie
Ida Lupino Eve Drake Mr. Adams and Eve
19581959
(11th)
Jane Wyatt Margaret Anderson Father Knows Best CBS / NBC
Gracie Allen Gracie Allen The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show CBS
Spring Byington Lily Ruskin December Bride
Ida Lupino Eve Adams Mr. Adams and Eve CBS
Donna Reed Donna Stone The Donna Reed Show ABC
Ann Sothern Katy O'Connor The Ann Sothern Show CBS

1960s[edit]

Year Actor Role Program Network
19591960
(12th)
[note 1]
Jane Wyatt Margaret Anderson Father Knows Best CBS
Donna Reed Donna Stone The Donna Reed Show ABC
Loretta Young Various Characters The Loretta Young Show NBC
19601961
(13th)
[note 1]
Barbara Stanwyck Various Characters The Barbara Stanwyck Show NBC
Donna Reed Donna Stone The Donna Reed Show ABC
Loretta Young Various Characters The Loretta Young Show NBC
19611962
(14th)
[note 1]
Shirley Booth Hazel Burke Hazel NBC
Gertrude Berg Sarah Green The Gertrude Berg Show CBS
Donna Reed Donna Stone The Donna Reed Show ABC
Mary Stuart Joanne Gardner Search for Tomorrow CBS
Cara Williams Gladys Porter Pete and Gladys
19621963
(15th)
[note 1]
Shirley Booth Hazel Burke Hazel NBC
Lucille Ball Lucy Carmichael The Lucy Show CBS
Shirl Conway Liz Thorpe The Nurses
Mary Tyler Moore Laura Petrie The Dick Van Dyke Show
Irene Ryan Granny The Beverly Hillbillies
19631964
(16th)
[note 1]
Mary Tyler Moore Laura Petrie The Dick Van Dyke Show CBS
Shirley Booth Hazel Burke Hazel NBC
Patty Duke Cathy Lane The Patty Duke Show ABC
Irene Ryan Granny The Beverly Hillbillies CBS
Inger Stevens Katy Holstrum The Farmer's Daughter ABC
19641965
(17th)
No Award
19651966
(18th)
Mary Tyler Moore Laura Petrie The Dick Van Dyke Show CBS
Lucille Ball Lucy Carmichael The Lucy Show CBS
Elizabeth Montgomery Samantha Stephens Bewitched ABC
19661967
(19th)
Lucille Ball Lucy Carmichael The Lucy Show CBS
Elizabeth Montgomery Samantha Stephens Bewitched ABC
Agnes Moorehead Endora
Marlo Thomas Ann Marie That Girl
19671968
(20th)
Lucille Ball Lucy Carmichael The Lucy Show CBS
Barbara Feldon Agent 99 Get Smart NBC
Elizabeth Montgomery Samantha Stephens Bewitched ABC
Paula Prentiss Paula Hollister He & She CBS
Marlo Thomas Ann Marie That Girl ABC
19681969
(21st)
Hope Lange Carolyn Muir The Ghost & Mrs. Muir NBC
Diahann Carroll Julia Baker Julia NBC
Barbara Feldon Agent 99 Get Smart
Elizabeth Montgomery Samantha Stephens Bewitched ABC

1970s[edit]

Year Actor Role Program Network
19691970
(22nd)
Hope Lange Carolyn Muir The Ghost & Mrs. Muir ABC
Elizabeth Montgomery Samantha Stephens Bewitched ABC
Marlo Thomas Ann Marie That Girl
19701971
(23rd)
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family CBS
Marlo Thomas Ann Marie That Girl ABC
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show CBS
19711972
(24th)
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family CBS
Sandy Duncan Sandy Stockton Funny Face CBS
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show
19721973
(25th)
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show CBS
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family CBS
Bea Arthur Maude Findlay Maude
19731974
(26th)
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show CBS
Bea Arthur Maude Findlay Maude CBS
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family
19741975
(27th)
Valerie Harper Rhoda Morgenstern Rhoda CBS
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family CBS
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show
19751976
(28th)
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show CBS
Lee Grant Fay Stewart Fay NBC
Bea Arthur Maude Findlay Maude CBS
Cloris Leachman Phyllis Lindstrom Phyllis
Valerie Harper Rhoda Morgenstern Rhoda
19761977
(29th)
Bea Arthur Maude Findlay Maude CBS
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family CBS
Valerie Harper Rhoda Morgenstern Rhoda
Suzanne Pleshette Emily Hartley The Bob Newhart Show
Mary Tyler Moore Mary Richards The Mary Tyler Moore Show
19771978
(30th)
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family CBS
Bea Arthur Maude Findlay Maude CBS
Valerie Harper Rhoda Morgenstern Rhoda
Cathryn Damon Mary Campbell Soap ABC
Katherine Helmond Jessica Tate
Suzanne Pleshette Emily Hartley The Bob Newhart Show CBS
19781979
(31st)
Ruth Gordon § Dee Wilcox Taxi ABC
Linda Lavin Alice Hyatt Alice CBS
Jean Stapleton Edith Bunker All in the Family
Katherine Helmond Jessica Tate Soap ABC
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons CBS

1980s[edit]

Year Actor Role Program Network
19791980
(32nd)
Cathryn Damon Mary Campbell Soap ABC
Katherine Helmond Jessica Tate Soap ABC
Polly Holliday Flo Castleberry Flo CBS
Sheree North § Dotty Wertz Archie Bunker's Place
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons
19801981
(33rd)
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons CBS
Eileen Brennan § Mrs. McKenzie Taxi ABC
Cathryn Damon Mary Campbell Soap
Katherine Helmond Jessica Tate
Lynn Redgrave Ann Atkinson House Calls CBS
19811982
(34th)
Carol Kane § Simka Dahblitz Taxi ABC
Nell Carter Nellie Harper Gimme a Break! NBC
Bonnie Franklin Ann Romano One Day at a Time CBS
Swoosie Kurtz Laurie Morgan Love, Sidney NBC
Charlotte Rae Edna Garrett The Facts of Life
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons CBS
19821983
(35th)
Shelley Long Diane Chambers Cheers NBC
Nell Carter Nellie Harper Gimme a Break! NBC
Mariette Hartley Jennifer Barnes Goodnight, Beantown CBS
Swoosie Kurtz Laurie Morgan Love, Sidney NBC
Rita Moreno Violet Newstead 9 to 5 ABC
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons CBS
19831984
(36th)
Jane Curtin Allie Lowell Kate & Allie CBS
Joanna Cassidy Jo Jo White Buffalo Bill NBC
Shelley Long Diane Chambers Cheers
Susan Saint James Kate McArdle Kate & Allie
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons CBS
19841985
(37th)
Jane Curtin Allie Lowell Kate & Allie CBS
Phylicia Ayers-Allen Clair Huxtable The Cosby Show NBC
Shelley Long Diane Chambers Cheers
Susan Saint James Kate McArdle Kate & Allie
Isabel Sanford Louise Jefferson The Jeffersons CBS
19851986
(38th)
Betty White Rose Nylund The Golden Girls NBC
Bea Arthur Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls NBC
Shelley Long Diane Chambers Cheers
Rue McClanahan Blanche Devereaux The Golden Girls
Phylicia Rashad Clair Huxtable The Cosby Show
19861987
(39th)
Rue McClanahan Blanche Devereaux The Golden Girls NBC
Bea Arthur Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls NBC
Blair Brown Molly Bickford Dodd The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
Jane Curtin Allie Lowell Kate & Allie CBS
Betty White Rose Nylund The Golden Girls NBC
19871988
(40th)
Bea Arthur Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls NBC
Kirstie Alley Rebecca Howe Cheers NBC
Blair Brown Molly Bickford Dodd The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd
Rue McClanahan Blanche Devereaux The Golden Girls
Betty White Rose Nylund
19881989
(41st)
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Bea Arthur Dorothy Zbornak The Golden Girls NBC
Blair Brown Molly Bickford Dodd The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Lifetime
Rue McClanahan Blanche Devereaux The Golden Girls NBC
Betty White Rose Nylund

1990s[edit]

Year Actor Role Program Network
19891990
(42nd)
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Kirstie Alley Rebecca Howe Cheers NBC
Blair Brown Molly Bickford Dodd The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Lifetime
Delta Burke Suzanne Sugarbaker Designing Women CBS
Betty White Rose Nylund The Golden Girls NBC
19901991
(43rd)
Kirstie Alley Rebecca Howe Cheers NBC
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Blair Brown Molly Bickford Dodd The Days and Nights of Molly Dodd Lifetime
Delta Burke Suzanne Sugarbaker Designing Women CBS
Betty White Rose Nylund The Golden Girls NBC
19911992
(44th)
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Kirstie Alley Rebecca Howe Cheers NBC
Roseanne Arnold Roseanne Conner Roseanne ABC
Tyne Daly § Mimsy Borogroves Wings NBC
Marion Ross Sophie Berger Brooklyn Bridge CBS
Betty White Rose Nylund The Golden Girls NBC
19921993
(45th)
Roseanne Barr Roseanne Conner Roseanne ABC
Kirstie Alley Rebecca Howe Cheers NBC
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Marion Ross Sophie Berger Brooklyn Bridge CBS
19931994
(46th)
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Roseanne Barr Roseanne Conner Roseanne ABC
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Annie Potts Dana Palladino Love & War CBS
Patricia Richardson Jill Taylor Home Improvement ABC
19941995
(47th)
Candice Bergen Murphy Brown Murphy Brown CBS
Roseanne Barr Roseanne Conner Roseanne ABC
Ellen DeGeneres Ellen Morgan Ellen
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Cybill Shepherd Cybill Sheridan Cybill CBS
19951996
(48th)
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Ellen DeGeneres Ellen Morgan Ellen ABC
Fran Drescher Fran Fine The Nanny CBS
Patricia Richardson Jill Taylor Home Improvement ABC
Cybill Shepherd Cybill Sheridan Cybill CBS
19961997
(49th)
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Ellen DeGeneres Ellen Morgan Ellen ABC
Fran Drescher Fran Fine The Nanny CBS
Patricia Richardson Jill Taylor Home Improvement ABC
Cybill Shepherd Cybill Sheridan Cybill CBS
19971998
(50th)
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Kirstie Alley Veronica Chase Veronica's Closet NBC
Ellen DeGeneres Ellen Morgan Ellen ABC
Jenna Elfman Dharma Montgomery Dharma & Greg
Calista Flockhart Ally McBeal Ally McBeal Fox
Patricia Richardson Jill Taylor Home Improvement ABC
19981999
(51st)
Helen Hunt Jamie Buchman Mad About You NBC
Jenna Elfman Dharma Montgomery Dharma & Greg ABC
Calista Flockhart Ally McBeal Ally McBeal Fox
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City HBO

2000s[edit]

Year Actor Role Program Network
19992000
(52nd)
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Jenna Elfman Dharma Montgomery Dharma & Greg ABC
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle Fox
Debra Messing Grace Adler Will & Grace NBC
Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City HBO
20002001
(53rd)
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Calista Flockhart Ally McBeal Ally McBeal Fox
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle
Debra Messing Grace Adler Will & Grace NBC
Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City HBO
20012002
(54th)
Jennifer Aniston Rachel Green Friends NBC
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle Fox
Debra Messing Grace Adler Will & Grace NBC
Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City HBO
20022003
(55th)
Debra Messing Grace Adler Will & Grace NBC
Jennifer Aniston Rachel Green Friends NBC
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle Fox
Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City HBO
20032004
(56th)
Sarah Jessica Parker Carrie Bradshaw Sex and the City HBO
Jennifer Aniston Rachel Green Friends NBC
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Bonnie Hunt Bonnie Malloy Life with Bonnie ABC
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle Fox
20042005
(57th)
Felicity Huffman Lynette Scavo Desperate Housewives ABC
Marcia Cross Bree Van de Kamp Desperate Housewives ABC
Teri Hatcher Susan Mayer
Patricia Heaton Debra Barone Everybody Loves Raymond CBS
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle Fox
20052006
(58th)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Christine Campbell The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS
Stockard Channing Lydia Barnes Out of Practice CBS
Jane Kaczmarek Lois Malcolm in the Middle Fox
Lisa Kudrow Valerie Cherish The Comeback HBO
Debra Messing Grace Adler Will & Grace NBC
20062007
(59th)
America Ferrera Betty Suarez Ugly Betty ABC
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Felicity Huffman Lynette Scavo Desperate Housewives ABC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Christine Campbell The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS
Mary-Louise Parker Nancy Botwin Weeds Showtime
20072008
(60th)
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Christina Applegate Samantha Newly Samantha Who? ABC
America Ferrera Betty Suarez Ugly Betty
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Christine Campbell The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS
Mary-Louise Parker Nancy Botwin Weeds Showtime
20082009
(61st)
Toni Collette Tara Gregson United States of Tara Showtime
Christina Applegate Samantha Newly Samantha Who? ABC
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Christine Campbell The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS
Mary-Louise Parker Nancy Botwin Weeds Showtime
Sarah Silverman Sarah Silverman The Sarah Silverman Program Comedy Central

2010s[edit]

Year Actor Role Program Network
20092010
(62nd)
[1]
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, RN Nurse Jackie Showtime
Toni Collette Tara Gregson United States of Tara Showtime
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Christine Campbell The New Adventures of Old Christine CBS
Lea Michele Rachel Berry Glee Fox
Amy Poehler Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation NBC
20102011
(63rd)
[2]
Melissa McCarthy Molly Flynn Mike & Molly CBS
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, RN Nurse Jackie Showtime
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Laura Linney Cathy Jamison The Big C Showtime
Martha Plimpton Virginia Chance Raising Hope Fox
Amy Poehler Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation NBC
20112012
(64th)
[3]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Selina Meyer Veep HBO
Zooey Deschanel Jessica Day New Girl Fox
Lena Dunham Hannah Horvath Girls HBO
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, RN Nurse Jackie Showtime
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Melissa McCarthy Molly Flynn Mike & Molly CBS
Amy Poehler Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation NBC
20122013
(65th)
[4]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Selina Meyer Veep HBO
Laura Dern Amy Jellicoe Enlightened HBO
Lena Dunham Hannah Horvath Girls
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, RN Nurse Jackie Showtime
Tina Fey Liz Lemon 30 Rock NBC
Amy Poehler Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation
20132014
(66th)
[5]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Selina Meyer Veep HBO
Lena Dunham Hannah Horvath Girls HBO
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, RN Nurse Jackie Showtime
Melissa McCarthy Molly Flynn Mike & Molly CBS
Amy Poehler Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation NBC
Taylor Schilling Piper Chapman Orange Is the New Black Netflix
20142015
(67th)
[6]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Selina Meyer Veep HBO
Edie Falco Jackie Peyton, RN Nurse Jackie Showtime
Lisa Kudrow Valerie Cherish The Comeback HBO
Amy Poehler Leslie Knope Parks and Recreation NBC
Amy Schumer Various Characters Inside Amy Schumer Comedy Central
Lily Tomlin Frankie Bergstein Grace and Frankie Netflix
20152016
(68th)
[7]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Selina Meyer Veep HBO
Ellie Kemper Kimmy Schmidt Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix
Laurie Metcalf Dr. Jenna James Getting On HBO
Tracee Ellis Ross Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson Black-ish ABC
Amy Schumer Various Characters Inside Amy Schumer Comedy Central
Lily Tomlin Frankie Bergstein Grace and Frankie Netflix
20162017
(69th)
[8]
Julia Louis-Dreyfus Selina Meyer Veep HBO
Pamela Adlon Sam Fox Better Things FX
Jane Fonda Grace Hanson Grace and Frankie Netflix
Allison Janney Bonnie Plunkett Mom CBS
Ellie Kemper Kimmy Schmidt Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Netflix
Tracee Ellis Ross Dr. Rainbow "Bow" Johnson Black-ish ABC
Lily Tomlin Frankie Bergstein Grace and Frankie Netflix

Total awards by network[edit]

  • CBS – 26
  • NBC – 16
  • ABC – 7
  • HBO – 7
  • Showtime – 2

Superlatives[edit]

Superlative Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series
Actress with most awards Julia Louis-Dreyfus (7)
Actress with most nominations Julia Louis-Dreyfus (11)
Actress with most nominations
without ever winning
Jane Kaczmarek (7)

Multiple awards[edit]

Multiple nominations[edit]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

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

References[edit]