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The 73rd Emmy Awards

Source: CBS Photo Archive / Getty

The 2021 Emmy Awards had their share of highlights, and among the best of them was the poignant tribute to the late actor Michael K. Williams delivered by actress Kerry Washington.

The highly popular film and television star of ABC’s Scandal and Little Fires Everywhere was tasked to introduce him and the other nominees for the category of Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series for his role as Montrose Freeman in HBO’s Lovecraft Country.

“Michael was a brilliantly talented actor and a generous human being who has left us far too soon,” she said at the beginning of introducing the nominees, which included John Lithgow for Perry Mason, Tobias Menzies for The Crown, Giancarlo Esposito for The Mandalorian, and O-T Fabangele, Max Minghella and Bradley Whitford for The Handmaid’s Tale. “Michael, I know you’re here; you wouldn’t miss this. Your excellence and artistry will endure. We love you.” Although Williams was considered to be the frontrunner to win, the award would ultimately go to Menzies.

Williams, who died on September 6th, was known for his iconic performances in two HBO Network series, as Omar Little on The Wire and as Chalky White on Boardwalk Empire among many others. Williams had been previously nominated four times for an Emmy in past years for his roles in The Night Of, When They See Us, for Vice and Bessie. A posthumous win for Williams would’ve marked his first-ever Emmy win and the seventh overall of that type for the Emmys. His nephew Dominic Dupont, who was a part of the Vice documentary that garnered him one of his previous nominations in 2018, did attend the ceremony to accept the award had he won. Washington’s tribute was the latest of many honoring the late actor, with Lovecraft Country co-star Wunmi Mosaku recently paying homage through her Instagram account.