Emmys 2012: Who Should Win Best Guest Actress in a Drama Series? Take Our Poll!

Of the six women competing in the 2012 race for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series, only one is having her first tango with Emmy this year.

Loretta Devine won this award in 2011 
for her work on Grey’s Anatomy, and is hoping to make it back-to-back victories.

Both Jean Smart (nominated for Harry’s Law) and Julia Ormond (Mad Men
) are prior Emmy winners as well. The former actress took home the trophy as Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series in 2000 and 2001 for Frasier, as well as Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for Samantha Who? in 2008; the latter won Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie for Temple Grandin in 2010.

And while Joan Cusack (Shameless) and 
Martha Plimpton (The Good Wife
) have never won Emmys, they are both prior nominees. Cusack was in the 2011 Guest Actress race (also for Shameless), while Plimpton was nominated in 2002 (for a guest spot on Law & Order: SVU) and 2011 (as Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for Raising Hope).

That leaves Smash‘s Uma Thurman as the sole first-time Emmy nominee in the group.

What would you do if you had the power to send one of these fine actors to the podium when the Emmys are handed out in September? Take our poll below to vote for your favorite — TVLine voting closes Sept. 14, so act now! — then hit the comments to justify your pick!

Every day 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 are monitored, so don’t go off topic, don’t frakkin’ curse and don’t bore us with how much your coworker’s sister-in-law makes per hour. Talk smart about TV!

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  1. I’m pulling for Joan Cusack from Shameless. She is so good as Sheila

    • Damien says:

      Agreed!! No clue why she’s in this category though, she shouldn’t be a guest actress anymore. She’s in most episodes!

      • David says:

        It’s a money thing. The studio can pay her less if they bill her as a “guest actress” vs a regular cast member.

  2. TheBeach says:

    I really don’t get this Guest Actor/Actress category at all. Many of the nominees are characters that appear in most episodes the entire season. I think of a “guest actor” as one who appears in one, maybe two episodes a season. All the rest I would consider to be “supporting actors”. It comes off as just a reason to give another Emmy when the Supporting category gets too crowded.

  3. Best hands down was Loretta Devine’s perfromances in Grey’s Anatomy. She broke your heart as Adele Webber. I would love anything from Smash to win but since I thought UMA was very one note, I am rooting for LD.

  4. Chris says:

    Of these nominees I think Joan Cusack should win. But the true winner wasn’t even nominated. Maura Tierney did excellent work on Rescue Me and deserved the award hands down.

  5. Lauren says:

    Whether an actor is a supporting actor or a guest actor just goes by whether the show has them as a regular. If they aren’t a regular, they are a guest star. Joan Cusack is in most if not all episodes of Shameless but she’s listed by the show as a special guest star. Supporting actors are regulars who aren’t main characters. It’s not really anything to do with the Emmys, it’s more the shows. Although I don’t understand why Joan Cusack isn’t a regular, that might be Emmy-bait.
    I can’t believe Uma Thurman is in here, I couldn’t stand her on Smash. They should have given that spot to Carrie Preston on the Good Wife. I’m glad to see Martha Plimpton on here as well, but my vote goes to Joan Cusack.

  6. Emily says:

    Joan Cusack is amazing in Shameless. That entire cast and show is astoundingly underrated.

  7. Alan says:

    if you are in over a third of the episodes in any given season you are not a guest actor, you are supporting. or at least that how it would be if the emmy catagories made sense

  8. Britta Unfiltered says:

    Joan Cusack, 100% here. She’s great, and Shameless needs to win something, it’s a fantastic show. I know it’s really going to be Loretta Devine though. I’m sure the Emmy voters can’t resist the bait of her playing an Alzheimer’s patient. But Grey’s to me is like Glee…I don’t think they should reward terrible shows with awards, it’s just enabling them to continue to be melodramatic and horrible with bad writing.

  9. Sean D says:

    I can’t imagine someone watching Shameless and then not voting for Joan Cusack in this category. Astonishing performance, beautiful complication to the show. The guest categorization is odd though; why doesn’t she receive star billing?

  10. nick1372 says:

    I haven’t seen any of these, but I like Martha Plimpton a lot. She’s hilarious in Raising Hope, so she should win this to make it up for not being nominated for that role.

  11. Monica says:

    I still cannot wrap my mind about the fact that Carrie Preston is not on this list (and Uma Thurman? Did anyone actually see her in Smash?). That said, Martha Plimpton.

  12. anna says:

    Martha Plimpton FTW. Julia Ormond should not have been nominated for that horrendous accent she used on Mad Men.

  13. Alexis says:

    Patty Nyholm obviously!

  14. BtG says:

    Agreed with Monica, Carrie Preston 100% should be on this list. She stole every damn scene she was in on The Good Wife.

  15. Olive says:

    Julia Ormond!

  16. aayaan says:

    lorreta devine will win this. Even though Grey’s has jumped the shark, she always shines. she deserves it.

  17. Sean Knox says:

    Martha Martha Martha. Best actress ever

  18. Matt says:

    If anybody from Smash should be nominated, it should be Bernadette Peters.

    Pulling for Martha Plimpton!!!!