Another Little Piece of Emmy History

This is the third in our series of Emmy moments and histories leading up to the big event on September 18.

As the sassy and man-hungry Sandra Clark, Jackee unexpectedly became the breakout member of the 227 cast after it premiered in 1985.

During its five-year run on NBC, 227 was largely ignored by the Emmy Academy — with show’s only nominations were for Jackee in 1987 and 1988 as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series. She won in 1987 against competition from Justine Bateman for Family Ties, Julia Duffy for Newhart, Estelle Getty for The Golden Girls and Rhea Perlman for Cheers (who had won for each of the previous three years).

To this day, Jackee remains the ONLY minority winner in this category.

Interestingly, Marla Gibbs herself became the first minority nominee in this category in not even so much as a nomination for series star Marla Gibbs, who had previously been nominated for her own breakout role as Florence Johnston on The Jeffersons.

The 1981. With four subsequent nominations through 1985 (all for The Jeffersons), Gibbs also holds the record for most nominations for a minority actress in this category.

Since then, Paula Kelly (in 1984 for Night Court), Lisa Bonet (in 1986 for The Cosby Show), Keshia Knight-Pulliam (in 1986 for The Cosby Show), Liz Torres (in 1994 and 1995 for The John Larroquette Show), Lucy Liu (in 1999 for Ally McBeal), Alfre Woodard (in 2006 for Desperate Housewives) and Vanessa Williams (from 2007-2009 for Ugly Betty) have also been nominated.

The 63rd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air on FOX at 8pm EST/5pm PST hosted by Jane Lynch.

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