The actor was presented with the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series trophy for her role in The Act. After expressing her happiness at being give “the best roles” in her fifties, her speech turned emotional when she mentioned her sister, Alexis, who died at the age of 47 in 2016.
“I’m so sad I lost my sister Alexis and that trans people are still being persecuted,” Arquette said. “Let’s get rid of this bias that we have everywhere.”
Orange Is the New Black star Laverne Cox was on her feet during Aruqette’s speech as the audience applauded the award-winner.
Alexis was best known for her appearances in films including Pulp Fiction and The Wedding Singer. She was also involved in LGBTQ+ activism and documented her transition in a 2007 documentary entitled Alex Arquette: She’s My Brother.
Michelle Williams and Billy Porter – who became the first openly gay Africa-American winner of Outstanding Actor in a Drama Series in Emmys history – were also praised for their acceptance speeches.
HBO series Game of Thrones, which was the evening’s most nominated show, took home just two trophies – Outstanding Drama Series and Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage, who played Tyrion Lannister.
Find a full list of the evening’s winners here.
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