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Emmys: 8 Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series Winners, Ranked

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Each year, we see some of the industry’s most successful and sought-after actresses take on the challenge of starring in a limited television series. From Kate Winslet to Frances McDormand to Nicole Kidman, these massive film stars leaped off the big screen and onto the television in our living rooms to deliver some of the best performances of their careers. One of the most exciting parts about such a powerful actress starring in a limited series rather than a film is simply that there is more time for them to expand on the story and their characters, and delve deeper into the plot. Rather than trying to tell a story within two or three hours, with a television series, they now have up to eight or ten hours.

The Primetime Emmy Awards each year honors actresses in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series category, and have been doing so since 1955. American Horror Story, Big Little Lies, and Mare of Easttown

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are just a few limited series with powerhouse lead actresses that received the Outstanding Lead Actress Award. On July 12, per Variety, we will see which talented and acclaimed actresses will be nominated for the award this year. Then, on September 19, television fans will be tuning into the Primetime Emmys to see who wins. In the meantime, here are eight of the most deserved wins in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series category, ranked.

In 2019, Academy Award-nominated actress Michelle Williams starred as the legendary dancer and choreographer Gwen Verdon in the Hulu original series Fosse/Verdon​​​​​​. Tony award-winner Gwen Verdon was one of the greatest influences on Jazz dance in America, and she is the mastermind behind her husband Bob Fosse’s iconic choreography and aesthetic. Williams completely embodied the role and gave an incredible performance. Other great works from Williams includes her performances in movies like Manchester By the Sea, Blue Valentine, Shutter Island, Brokeback Mountain, and The Greatest Showman.

Related: 8 Most Deserving Wins in Acting Categories of the 2010s

We’ve all heard of the O.J. Simpson trial in 1994, where the infamous football star was accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ronald Goldman, but in 2016, FX released the chilling limited series The People v. O.J. Simpson, which told the story from a new point of view. Sarah Paulson starred in the series as Marcia Clark, the lead prosecutor in the Simpson murder case. Her performance is raw, heartbreaking, and definitely one of the actress’ most exciting. She won her first Emmy for the role in 2016 after being nominated over six times for her work on American Horror Story, Game Change, and Impeachment: American Crime Story.

No matter what role she steps into Kate Winslet always delivers an exciting and authentic performance that you know will be incredible. Over the years, she has starred in some of the most successful and beloved films of all time, from Titanic to Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind to The Reader, the latter for which the actress won her first Oscar. In 2011, she stepped into her first television role as the titular Mildred Pierce a struggling single mother trying to provide for her two children during the depression. Mildred Pierce was released on HBO Max and almost immediately gained the attention of audiences and critics everywhere.

Meryl Streep is without a doubt one of the most talented and influential women in Hollywood, leading the way for young actresses and setting an example for people everywhere. She is a force to be reckoned with and a truly incredible actress. Angels in America is a perfect example of Streep’s range and ability to completely embody every character she portrays. With 21 Oscar nominations under her belt and three wins, it’s safe to say that she is one of the most deserving actresses to have received the Emmy for Outstanding Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series.

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