Jeffrey Tambor won the Emmy for Best Actor in a Comedy Series for his role as Maura Pfefferman — the embattled transgender head of household — on Amazon’s breakout hit Transparent. This win is the latest development in a year that’s seen increased visibility for transgender characters on small-screen hits like Orange Is The New Black and Sense8.
This is Jeffrey Tambor’s first Primetime Emmy Award win. The actor was previously nominated for his work as George Bluth on Arrested Development and talk show sidekick Hank Kingsley on HBO’s The Larry Sanders Show. And while the Amazon series is being categorized as a Comedy, Tambor delivered a nuanced dramatic performance in Transparent which finally brought the actor this well-deserved accolade.
In winning the award, Tambor delivered a heartfelt speech in which he referenced the lesson from an old acting teacher, but instead of acting like his life depends on it, here he had “the opportunity to act because people’s lives depend on it.” Tambor went on to thank not only series creator Jill Solloway for changing his life, but also the transgender community “for their patience, their courage, their story, their inspiration and for letting them be a part of the change.”