Jean Smart, the actress from the Hacks television series, won an award at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards held on Sunday, September 19, and paid a moving tribute to her late husband in her acceptance speech.
Smart won the Lead Actress in a Comedy Series gong for her role as Deborah Vance in the comedy drama. The 70-year-old received a standing ovation as she accepted the award, thanking her husband for all his support, the late American actor Richard Gilliland.
Gilliland recently passed away while the series was in production. He was included in the memoriam segment of Hacks.
See below Smart’s full acceptance speech thanking her husband and others.
Jean Smart’s Full Acceptance Speech
“First of all, I want to congratulate my friends on Mare [of Easttown]. Before I say anything else, I have to acknowledge my late husband Richard Gilliland, who passed away six months yesterday. I would not be here without him, without him putting his career on the back burner so that I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I’ve had and my two incredible unselfish children, Connor and Forest. They’re both courageous individuals in their own right and they put up with Mommy commuting to Philadelphia and back.
“But Hacks has been such a thrill. I had to tell, oh my God. Jennifer [Statsky] and Paul [W. Downs] and Lucia [Aniello]. First of all congratulations and congratulations on your wedding, I couldn’t be there, I’m so sorry. But I read this [the Hacks script] and said I have to do this, it checked off every box I was hoping for.
“And [I thank] Casey Bloys and everybody at HBO for your support. Oh my God, I’m gonna forget everybody’s name, so sorry. And my incredible team…Scott Henderson at WME [William Morris Endeavor], he’s been my agent forever, he’s the best agent in the world. And Jason Weinberg and everybody at Untitled [Entertainment], especially Dannielle Thomas. And my publicist extraordinaire, Ame Van Iden.
“And an unbelievable cast led by Hannah ‘Mindbender’ Einbinder—that’s her actual name, no, I’m kidding. But I could not have asked for [a better] person to bounce everything off of everyday. I mean she’s a natural, she’s a precious human being, she’s incredible and every day we got to work is a joy and the words we get to say are a joy.
“We have [to thank the] production designers, my hair and make-up people, Keith and Jen. Oh my God Kathleen Felix-Hager who did my clothes, she turned me into a Vegas icon, so that took some doing.
“They’re playing the music and I have to stop, so sorry. Thank you all for working through a pandemic, you’re all so creative and brave and wonderful and I love you all and I thank you all very much. Thank you.”