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Emmys 2013: Behind The Candelabra takes three prizes

Behind The Candelabra

Story by Jack Foley

LIBERACE biopic “Behind The Candelabra”: emerged as the big winner at the 2013 Emmys, taking three of the night’s top prizes.

The film, directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Michael Douglas and Matt Damon, did not get a US cinema release because it struggled to find distribution. It was instead aired on cable network HBO and subsequently picked up best TV movie and best actor for Michael Douglas among its awards haul.

Upon collecting his award (the first Emmy of his career), an emotional Douglas thanked his family and his wife, Catherine Zeta Jones, as well as co-star and fellow nominee Damon, saying: “You’re magnificent… The only reason I’m standing here is because of you.”

Other top awards on the night went to acclaimed series Breaking Bad, which was, named best drama, and ensemble comedy Modern Family, which took the leading comedy award for the fourth time.

Claire Danes took the best actress prize for her role in Homeland, her second consecutive Primetime Emmy award for her portrayal of troubled CIA officer Carrie Mathison.

She paid tribute to Henry Brommell, one of the writers of the critically acclaimed series, who died in March and who received a writing award posthumously during the ceremony.

One of the night’s big surprises came in the lead actor category where Jeff Daniels won for his role in The Newsroom, ahead of both Homeland‘s Damian Lewis and Breaking Bad‘s Bryan Cranston.

The accolade was the first ever Emmy nomination and win for Daniels, who plays self-righteous news anchor Will McAvoy in the Aaron Sorkin scripted series. It also came ahead of Kevin Spacey, for House of Cards, and Mad Men‘s Jon Hamm.

Breaking Bad‘s good night was, however, completed with a second award in the supporting actress category, where Anna Gunn triumphed ahead of Downton Abbey‘s Dame Maggie Smith and Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss.

Bobby Cannavale won best supporting actor in a drama series for his portrayal of a violent Mob boss in Boardwalk Empire.

And British screenwriter Abi Morgan had success with newsroom drama The Hour, claiming the award for best writer in the mini-series or movie category. It was one of the night’s few British successes despite a strong showing among the nominees.

The best comedy actress category was won by Julia Louis-Dreyfus for her role as the US vice-president in Veep, from The Thick Of It creator Armando Iannucci.

The award marks her fourth Emmy following a supporting actress award in 1996 for playing Elaine Benes in the hit sitcom, Seinfeld.

She commented: “I’m very grateful to have the opportunity to make people laugh. It’s a joyful way to make a living.”

Jim Parsons, of The Big Bang Theory, won his third Emmy for best actor in a comedy.

The night was also notable for two more reasons: those programmes that left empty-handed or with just a few prizes and for the special posthumous tributes.

Of the former, pre-awards favourite Game of Thrones failed to triumph in any of its 16 nominations, while American Horror Story: Asylum won just one accolade having gone into the evening with the most nominations: 17.

Hotly tipped Netflix drama House of Cards only managed to convert one of its nine nominations – best director for David Fincher.

Among those to receive a special posthumous tribute, meanwhile, was 31-year-old Glee star Cory Monteith, who died in July of a drug and alcohol overdose.

His co-star Jane Lynch described him as a “beautiful soul”, adding: “He was not perfect, which so many of us here tonight can relate to. His death is a tragic reminder of the rapacious, senseless destruction that is brought on my addiction.”

And James Gandolfinin, star of The Sopranos, was also honoured during the ceremony. The actor, who won three Emmys for his role as a therapy-seeking mob boss in the show, died in June following a heart attack.

View the winners in full