Regina King took home the fourth Emmy win of her career on Sunday night when she nabbed the prize for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her performance as detective Angela Barr in HBO’s “Watchmen.” That means she is tied with only Alfre Woodard for the most Emmy wins ever for a Black performer. King won in 2018 for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for “Seven Seconds,” in 2016 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie for “American Crime,” and in 2015 for the same category in “American Crime.”
Chris Rock and Bill Cosby also have four Emmy wins each, but their awards were in non-performance categories.
Woodard, meanwhile, won Emmys for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series for “The Practice” in 1997, Outstanding Lead Actress in a Miniseries or a Special for “Miss Evers’ Boys” in 1997, Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series for “St. Elsewhere” in 1982, and Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for “Hill Street Blues” in 1981.
King was the frontrunner for tonight’s prize but faced competition from Shira Haas (Netflix’s “Unorthodox”), Octavia Spencer (Netflix’s “Self Made”), Cate Blanchett (FX on Hulu’s “Mrs. America”), and Kerry Washington (Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere”). King’s nomination was one of 11 for “Watchmen,” the most recognized program at the 2020 Primetime Emmys.
In an interview with IndieWire earlier this year, King said of her now Emmy-winning “Watchmen” role: “I feel like roles find people. The simple, cosmic answer at the same time is the role chose me, but getting into the weeds of it, Damon [Lindelof] sent the script and I was on board before I even read it, because Damon wrote it. I had not seen the film at that time. I’d never read the comic books, but I had been a fan of Damon’s work. And my experience working with him on ‘Leftovers’ was exceptional.”
With the Emmy win now under her belt, King heads into the 2021 Academy Awards race for her feature directorial debut “One Night in Miami,” the runner-up for the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival and an awards season contender coming from Amazon Studios later in the year. King directed the film from a script by Kemp Powers based on his stage play. The film casts Kingsley Ben-Adir as Malcolm X, Leslie Odom Jr. as Sam Cooke, Aldis Hodge as Jim Brown, and Eli Goree as Cassius Clay in a story set over a single night as the four Black icons meet up in a Florida hotel room.