Primetime Emmy Tally: Eight plus one Daytime Emmy
How She Got the Gold: Three guest-actress awards: two for Fox’s Malcolm in the Middle (2002, ‘06) and one for the CBS telefilm Promised Land (1998); two supporting-actress awards: for CBS’s The Mary Tyler Moore Show (1974, ‘75); two individual performance awards: for the CBS variety show Cher (1975) and the CBS special Screen Actors Guild 50th Anniversary Celebration (1984); and a lead-actress award for the telefilm A Brand New Life (1973). The Daytime Emmy was for an ABC Afterschool Special, The Woman Who Willed a Miracle (1983).
Now for the Noms: Fourteen more nominations, for series including The Mary Tyler Moore Show and Malcolm in the Middle and Raising Hope.
In the Beginning: “When I went to Northwestern University, I already knew I wanted to be an actress. My friend Paul Lynde and I ran that school! He was so funny.”
Funny You Should Ask: “I don’t really think I’m funny. I’m sort of silly at times, I guess.”
Mary and the Gang: “The Mary Tyler Moore Show was a gorgeously written show. My character, Phyllis, wanted Mary to be her best friend… and she couldn’t stand Rhoda [Valerie Harper]. Ha! In reality, Valerie and I were best friends.”
Malcolm Memory: “[As Grandma Ida] I had so much fun. It was a very funny show. At one point, Ida stabbed her grandson in the leg for some little thing, and when he didn’t laugh, she stabbed him again!”
That Magic Moment: “I never had a speech because I never thought I was going to win. But if you are good at what you do — and I always intend to be good at what I do — then the acclaim is just the follow-through. But it is a wonderful feeling.”
Photograph by Corey Nickols