Emmys

Emmys 2011: Who Deserves the Award for Best Actress in a Drama?

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The 2010 Emmy winner for Outstanding Actress in a Drama Series — The Closer‘s Kyra Sedgwick — didn’t even crack the list of nominees for 2011, which will add a dose of unpredictability to the category when the winners are announced at the Sept. 18 kudo-fest. But which woman is most worthy of taking home the statuette?

Julianna Margulies and Connie Britton are both nominated for the second consecutive year for The Good Wife and Friday Night Lights, respectively, but with the latter show having reached its conclusion, it’s last call for the woman who brought Tami Taylor to life. Mad Men‘s Elisabeth Moss is on the ballot (and seeking her first win) for the third straight year, though it’s worth noting her 2010 nod was in the Best Supporting Actress race. Meanwhile, Kathy Bates and Mireille Enos have a chance to take home Emmy gold for the freshman seasons of their shows, Harry’s Law and The Killing. And then there’s Mariska Hargitay of Law & Order: SVU, nominated for the eighth consecutive year (though she’s won only once, back in 2006).

Take our poll below to vote for your favorite — polls close Sept. 13, so act now! — then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every afternoon for the next month, we’ll launch another “Who Should Win” Emmy poll, so come back to TVLine.com every day to weigh in on who’s most worthy of TV’s biggest honor, and to stay up to speed on all our races, follow me on Twitter @MichaelSlezakTV!



Comments (170)

  • Anna Torv. I’m just saying.

    Comment by Emily – August 11, 2011 12:55 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed!

      Comment by Don Draper – August 11, 2011 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • F’n A. She’s awesome!

        Comment by Buck – August 11, 2011 02:49 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • I will not vote until I find the Anna Torv buttton.

          Comment by Jackson – August 12, 2011 05:39 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • I would have agreed with you and not voted until Anna Torv, but unfortunately I already voted for Elizabeth Moss.

            Comment by elr – August 13, 2011 04:19 PM PDT  
        • OTHER: Lisa Edelstein. The woman has put up with more crap on that stupid show and still managed to make her Dr. Cuddy role singularly sympathetic and great. Plus she won the People’s Choice award for Best Dramatic Actress in a tv series this past year. Why isn’t she on the dang list of candidates?

          Comment by spoilerchicka – August 16, 2011 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Absolutely agree!

      Comment by Amber – August 11, 2011 01:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed!

      But if not, either Julianna or Connie.

      Comment by Courtney – August 11, 2011 01:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes.

      Comment by Tasha – August 11, 2011 01:29 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Completely agree, Anna Torv should win the Emmy.

      Comment by passing – August 11, 2011 01:52 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • this

      Comment by Kate – August 11, 2011 02:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Anna Torv is not nominated. Besides, she doesn’t deserve an Emmy. She’s a bad actress.

      Comment by SL – August 11, 2011 02:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • I don’t even know why I’m bothering to reply this comment. It’s such a waste of time. Obviously you’ve never watched an episode of Fringe before.
        And we know she’s not nominated. That doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve it.
        Anna Torv is a great actress.

        Comment by Dessy – August 11, 2011 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • She’s a crap actress. Don’t waste your time!

          Comment by SL – August 11, 2011 02:35 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • ^ blind + deaf

            Comment by Ellie – August 11, 2011 06:18 PM PDT  
        • I stopped watching that show because she is horrible.

          Comment by WiWri – August 11, 2011 07:45 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • screw you. Anna is a TERRIFIC actress and deserves an Emmy

        Comment by Taryn – August 11, 2011 07:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I must agree with you, but since I can’t pick Anna, I’ll pick Connie. Juliana is a close 2nd, but she’ll have other chances for The Good Wife.

      Comment by Jenny – August 11, 2011 03:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed

      Comment by Elin – August 11, 2011 03:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • COMPLETELY AGREE!!!!!

      Comment by Fringie6989 – August 11, 2011 09:18 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Would have loved to have seen Anna nominated but since she isn’t…Connie all the way! FNL was an amazing show and she and Coach are 2 big reasons why! Of course, with that crazy awesome suitcase episode of Mad Men, I’m sure Elisabeth Moss has it in the bag.

      Comment by Mike – August 12, 2011 09:57 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Agreed. Can’t we do a write in?

      Comment by Kelly – August 17, 2011 09:04 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It’s time to give Friday Night Lights its due. Connie, Kyle, and the show for the win.

    Comment by Jim – August 11, 2011 12:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Could not agree more!!!

      Comment by Jessie – August 11, 2011 04:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m torn between Julianna and Connie.

    Comment by Dick Whitman – August 11, 2011 12:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Elizabeth Moss! She held her own against the boys this season.

    Comment by Josh – August 11, 2011 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • This is Julianna’s award to lose, but judging from the episode she chose I wouldn’t count on it! A win for Elisabeth would be OK, I don’t get the hype behind FNL and their actors. But, to each their own

    Comment by Kathryn – August 11, 2011 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • what? she chose the best episode. Which one you think she should’ve submitted instead?

      Comment by fanseriali – August 11, 2011 01:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • The person is saying that they think, based on the episode she chose, that she’s going to win.

        Comment by xav – August 11, 2011 01:11 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • my mistake then :)

          Comment by fanseriali – August 11, 2011 01:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • Kathryn’s post says that Julianna should be considered the front-runner, but that the episode she chose may be her downfall.

            It doesn’t say that she’s going to win based on the episode she chose.

            Comment by Fidelio – August 11, 2011 03:36 PM PDT  
          • fanseriali, to clarify I think that based on the episode she chose there is no way she won’t win. sorry for the confusion. Thanks xav

            Comment by Kathryn – August 12, 2011 11:16 AM PDT  
  • after watching all submitted episodes, my vote goes to absolutely phenomenal Julianna Margulies. Her episode, ‘In sickness’ is a killer!

    Comment by fanseriali – August 11, 2011 12:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • How would I find out what episodes the actors submit for voting?

      Comment by Sasha – August 12, 2011 07:13 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • For me it’s a tie: Britton, Margulies and Moss. I’m choosing Connie Britton only because it’s her last chance to get an Emmy for playing Tami Taylor, and she’s deserved it for so long.

    Comment by Dawn – August 11, 2011 12:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m going to go with Connie Britton – it feels like this would be an Emmy for her work during FNL’s entire run.

    Comment by Ashley – August 11, 2011 01:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anna Torv…

    Comment by maria – August 11, 2011 01:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I agree with Emily but since they robbed Anna and Kyra by not nominating them (morons), Julianna FTW…

    Comment by sladewilson – August 11, 2011 01:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Britton all the way !!! And she’s winning =D
    Margulies and Moss after, then Enos.
    No comment for Hargitay and Bates (who stole Tripllehorn, Torv or Sagal’s place).

    Comment by Soso – August 11, 2011 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I think Julianna has every reason to win this award, but I really want (and think) this is going to be Connie’s year. It’s her last chance and I’m hoping the voters really, really think long and hard about this. I love Elisabeth Moss too, and she did stellar work in season four, but MRS COACH FTW.

    Comment by Kaitlin – August 11, 2011 01:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I COMPLETELY agree. Juliana was fantastic, but Connie’s got such a great presence. Oh how I’m gonna miss the Taylors.

      Comment by the tenor – August 16, 2011 01:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Other: Lauren Graham.

    Comment by Steven – August 11, 2011 01:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I would guess Margulies will win, but from those who work I have seen (sorry, Enos), I wouldn’t have chosen any of them.

    Comment by Timothy McNeil – August 11, 2011 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Connie Britton FTW! I hope Friday Night Lights and its actors FINALLY get the recognition they deserve.

    Comment by Mikaylah – August 11, 2011 01:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • LAUREN GRAHAM

    Comment by l – August 11, 2011 01:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • God Bless you, Fringe fans (of which I used to be), but can’t you give it a rest? Anna didn’t get nominated. Kudos to the women who did, they are asking you to give your opinion on who should win out of them.

    Comment by Danielle H. – August 11, 2011 01:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Just a reminder that not everyone on that list deserves to be there and just because of politics or belonging to Hollywood-incrowd does not mean you deserve to be nominated automatically.
      This categorie has been devaluated amongst others by nominating Hagirty out of habit and Bates because they know the name,etc.

      I happen to think, and most critics agree, that Anna Torv is the outstanding lead actress and should have been nominated and should have gone on to win the Emmy.
      None of those on the list come close to what she has done this season. All the 6 on the list struggle to find one episode, Anna Torv has to many to choose from.
      So why not nominate someone who clearly deserves it.

      Comment by passing – August 11, 2011 02:09 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julianna Margulies -she deserves it and earned it. Her emotionless and emotional expressions were great. It should have been hers last year.

    Comment by MGL – August 11, 2011 01:23 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Connie Britton is fantastic, and I’m going to miss watching her on FNL. Julianna Margulies was great this past season too. I’d be happy if either won it. But for me it has to be Elisabeth Moss. She was absolutely terrific in season four of Mad Men.

    Comment by Thomas – August 11, 2011 01:24 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m a fan of L&O:SVU, but I don’t get why Mariska still gets nominations year after year. Yeah, she’s great, she’s consistent but I feel like they nominate her because it’s a safe bet – her spot could’ve been taken by Lauren Graham or even Anna Torv, like others suggested. Someone new, for a change.

    Comment by Kiki – August 11, 2011 01:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julianna Margulies! This woman is such a great actress and the episode she submitted is fantastic!

    Comment by Sietsx – August 11, 2011 01:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mariska Hargitay.

    Comment by LMFAO – August 11, 2011 01:41 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Yes Mariska!

      Comment by Ivy Castro – August 11, 2011 04:56 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Yeah, no.

        Comment by Chmarin – August 11, 2011 05:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
        • Mariska will win!!!!!!!!!!!!

          Comment by Ivy Castro – August 11, 2011 08:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
          • MARISKA IS THE GREATEST!!!!!

            Comment by Laura Gordon – September 9, 2011 01:49 PM PDT  
  • I honestly hope that Connie gets it, Friday Night Lights was such an amazing show it really deserves the recognition in all its nominated categories this year. Julianna will have more opportunities to win (she’d be my second choice) so I think Connie should definitely walk away with the award.

    Comment by Amanda – August 11, 2011 01:59 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Frankly, the most deserving actress wasn’t even nominated. Katey Sagal deserves to win everything.

    Comment by kimmie – August 11, 2011 02:04 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julianna. But I love Mariska. It’s a shame she’s only won one out of twelve seasons. Sad that Kyra was left out this year.

    Comment by Savannah – August 11, 2011 02:12 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’ll be happy whatever the result is, as these six women all excel at their job. As far as the poll is concerned, as much as I want it to go to Julianna Margulies, I voted for Connie Britton, because this is the last year she is eligible for that particular series and I think that might work in her favor.

    Comment by Romain – August 11, 2011 02:15 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julianna Marguilles. No further explanation needed.

    Comment by ingmar – August 11, 2011 02:30 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • anna torv!!!

    Comment by max – August 11, 2011 02:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I LOVE ANNA TORV ♥

      Comment by Puupi – August 14, 2011 11:15 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kyra Sedgwick is not a contender this year, otherwise could have been a winner again. My take is between Julianna or Mireille Enos.., but Katy Bates could be the element surprise!!

    Comment by nitemar – August 11, 2011 02:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I thought the link was supposed to take us to who Ausiello thought should win?

    Anyway, I said Connie.

    Comment by VBarkley – August 11, 2011 02:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • KATHY BATES.

    DUH.

    -.-

    No, seriously, Connie Britton has to win this year. If Mariska Hargitay wins, I will freak out and set a kitten on fire. I swear to God.

    Comment by Chmarin – August 11, 2011 02:58 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Care. You can freak out. Mariska is fabulous and you deserve some time another Emmy. And it is really beyond beautiful, a woman of great class.

      Comment by Anon – August 11, 2011 07:13 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Kyra Sedgewick, Anna Torv, Mirielle Enos would be my favs

    Comment by Pam Burns – August 11, 2011 03:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • CONNIE BRITTON! End of story. Julianna is incredibly overrated (although it might be her terrible personality that puts me off of her).

    Comment by Captain – August 11, 2011 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Terrible personality??? oh wow, you are the first person I see who thinks that. I think she’s amazing (not only her acting skills)

      Not judging you though, just commented cause I was really surprise. I respect your opinion :)

      Comment by Beatriz – August 11, 2011 04:51 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mariska Hargitay out ‘act’ them all…She’s a real professional!

    Comment by AJ – August 11, 2011 03:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Hahahahaha. Thank you for that one. You just made my day. Hahahahaha :D

      Comment by Chmarin – August 11, 2011 05:01 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • She surely is…I love her completely and hopes she wins. Her only competition, Kyra Sedgwick, isn’t even in the running this year.

      Comment by Laura Gordon – September 9, 2011 01:54 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • If we can choose actresses who weren’t nominated, then Emmy Rossum deserves to be mentioned. (Shameless is considered a drama for Emmy purposes.)

    Everyone expected William H. Macy and Joan Cusack to be the stand-outs, and it’s easy to see why, as they’re both terrific actors playing extremely memorable, larger-than-life characters.

    But as soon as the pilot aired, it was clear that the standout was Emmy Rossum – and the rest of the season just confirmed it.

    Comment by Fidelio – August 11, 2011 03:42 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • Who the hell is Emmy Rossum??? My vote goes to Mariska Hargitay!

      Comment by Ashley – August 11, 2011 03:46 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • Gosh, you’re so predictable. Any sane person would swap the two names in these two sentences. ;)

        Comment by Chmarin – August 11, 2011 05:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree… Shameless was robbed.

      Comment by Stephanie – August 12, 2011 06:31 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Connie Britton all the way! Juliana Margulies would be good too. But FNL deserves this win. Connie as Tami Taylor was both fierce (see her stare down of the scumb-bag TA) and heart-breaking (everything about her job opportunity in Philly). She has deserved an Emmy for years for her realistic, subtle, and powerful performance.

    Comment by Amy – August 11, 2011 04:00 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Mariska Hargitay, is the best actress ever!

    Comment by Dorothy – August 11, 2011 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • I agree. Mariska is a superb actress.

      Comment by Evan – August 11, 2011 07:16 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I hope Connie wins, but the right winner would be Anna Torv!

    Comment by FP – August 11, 2011 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • No offense to the other actresses but this year belongs to Connie Britton!!! Her and Kyle Chandler both upped their game in a BIG WAY!! They had the most realistic marriage on TV! It would be a total shame if either of them walked away empty handed!

    Comment by Jenn – August 11, 2011 04:02 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • So because “they had the most realistic marriage on TV!” they deserve Emmy wins? It would be a shame if they DO win.

      Comment by Tania – August 11, 2011 04:47 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • HARGITAY♥ HARGITAY♥ HARGITAY♥ No one else deserves to win.

    Comment by Ivy Castro – August 11, 2011 04:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Julianna Margulies all the way. I hope that The Good Wife does very well come Emmy night. Enough with the overrated Friday Night Lights.

    Comment by Tania – August 11, 2011 04:44 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • MARISKA HARGITAY THE BEST ALWAYS

    Comment by MARISKA – August 11, 2011 04:53 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • The Emmy is Elizabeth Moss’ to lose this year. Connie Britton was excellent, she has been amazingly consistent, and FNL deserves some wins in the worst way . . . (most notably last year for Zach Gilford in “The Son”) but Britton doesn’t touch what Moss did in Mad Men. The Suitcase was practically tailor-made for Emmy submission and both Moss and Hamm were pitch perfect. The voters will not be able to overlook that. I think it’s possible that Britton could pull off an upset, but this race is really between Margulies and Moss. Moss should take it, I predict she will.
    Also, as Anna Torv was not nominated, I am 100% sure that she will not win. Sorry, Fringe fans.

    Comment by Yo Mama – August 11, 2011 05:08 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I’m between Margulies and Moss. I need to rewatch The Suitcase though, haven’t seen it in a while…

    What the hell is Mireille Enos doing there btw? She’s okay but there were much more deserving actresses (Anna Torv, anyone?). And Hargitay, seriously?

    Comment by nanda – August 11, 2011 05:10 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • whats up with you ????… Mariska Hargitay should win!
      She deserves to win for a long time, she has been doing a great job, no one compares to her! is a magnificent woman, don’t underestimate her, SHE WILL WIN!!!!!!!!! HARGITAY I LOVE♥

      Comment by Ivy – August 11, 2011 08:43 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • nanda o como carajos te llames….. te voy a decir algo “VETE A LA MIERDA” como esta eso de y Hargitay….
      q putas tienes en la cabeza…… ahhh!!! ya se donde deberia estar tu cerebro tienes caca…. acaso no sabes q MARISKA HARGITAY es la mejor…. sabes mejor ni ubieras comentado……. anda a joder a tu madre mejor si no tiens nada q hacer pero con MARISKA no te metas….

      MARISKA HARGITAY ES LA MEJOR… LA AMO
      ELLA GANARA!!!!!

      Comment by vita magaña – August 11, 2011 09:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • ^^^ jaja k chistoso. Pero muy bien echo. es obio k ella deve ganar. la persona k aiga puesto eso a d ser pork no la conose bien, nosave toda las mravillosas cosas k a echo para ayudar a la gente, y no reconose su talento como actriz. Ella es una maravillosa person, mdre, actriz y todo lo k puedan imaginar. ella es mi idolo <3

        Comment by PerlaLizeth – August 18, 2011 12:36 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
    • You’re a big F U C K E R ;) Mariska is the best ♥ Yeah!! She deserves to win ♥

      Comment by Puupi – August 14, 2011 11:19 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
      • mariska deservers to with she is the best acctres

        Comment by lorenza – August 20, 2011 09:11 AM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • How do you guys know what episodes were submitted?

    I voted for Connie, last chance for her to win for FNL and she has been phenomenal since the beginning.

    Comment by Samantha – August 11, 2011 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • It really is a shame that Anna Torv didn’t make the cut. I know the Fringe complaining can be too much, but what she and John Noble did this past season was magical. It is an utter failing that they can’t get mingy Emmy nods, but Hargitay, Bates and The Good Wife guys get in based on name recognition or by simply being a part of Emmy friendly shows. Torv and Noble put in the work and the writing was there to back them up.

    Anyways, I’ll take Britton or Moss FTW.

    Comment by JohnJohn – August 11, 2011 05:26 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • I have such a soft spot for Mariska, lol. I know she’s the one on the list every year, but still, I fell in love with SVU around season 7 because of her performances. And now, with her career on SVU on the downswing, and the show itself coming to an end soon (I would imagine) I just can’t help but cast my vote her way. Even when SVU throws those crazy plots our way, I still watch because of Mariska. As for the actual Emmy, I think it’ll go to Julianna Margulies – I enjoy her performances, as well. :)

    Comment by T – August 11, 2011 06:03 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv
    Anna Torv

    Comment by Kety – August 11, 2011 06:17 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Connie Britton. Fantastic acting in FNL’s last season, and the previous four, long deserved I would think.

    Comment by Lou – August 11, 2011 06:28 PM PDT  Reply To This Post
  • Definitely Connie Britton and all FNL cast and crew. Great great job, the best series ever. Clear eyes, full heart can’t lose. Texas forever!

    Comment by Apples – August 11, 2011 06:32 PM PDT  Reply To This Post

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