On Sept. 22, 2019, the 71st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards will air on FOX. While viewers will tune in to see which of their favorite shows win big, the fashion is of equal (if not more) interest to many. In honor of another epic red carpet, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at what stars wore 30 years ago at the 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, which took place on Sept. 17, 1989… starting with Paula Abdul. Paula wore an ice skater-style white strapless embellished dress with nearly shoulder-length sleeves as she took home an Emmy for outstanding choreography for her work on "The Tracey Ullman Show."
Christina Applegate is nominated for an Emmy in 2019 for her performance on "Dead to Me." Thirty years ago in 1989, a 17-year-old Christina attended the same award show wearing a simple black dress with lace sleeves and accessorized with granny boots, hoop earrings and big hair.
Late "Brady Bunch" stars Robert Reed and Florence Henderson posed backstage at the Emmys in 1989. Robert's big bow tie and Florence's shoulder pads and hairstyle certainly screamed '80s, but her sparkly silver figure-accentuating gown could certainly have worked in future decades.
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In 1989, Dana Delany took home an Emmy for best lead actress in a drama series for her performance on "China Beach." Dana wore a black cocktail dress with sheer sleeves when she picked up the honor.
"China Beach" star Marg Helgenberger wore blue to the 1989 Emmys in the form of a strapless dress with heavy beading on top and a handkerchief-style hemline. The beauty of the dress was a bit shrouded by the sheer matching jacket she wore over it.
Debbie Allen was nominated in 1989 for best variety or music program directing for "The Debbie Allen Special." For her big night, Debbie wore a black gown with voluminous sleeves and a gold lamé accent. To complete the stunning look, she added a touch of color with statement earrings.
Candice Bergen took home top honors in acting for her starring performance on "Murphy Brown" in 1989. While her feet couldn't handle the long night, she certainly looked the part of a winner in a unique gown. The top of her strapless dress featured a leopard print while the bottom was metallic with large spots — weird, but it worked!
Faith Ford — a best supporting actress nominee for her work on "Murphy Brown" that year — attended the 1989 Emmys wearing a figure-hugging rich red-brown velvet gown that tastefully highlighted her décolletage.
Rhea Perlman (accompanied by then-husband Danny DeVito) took home an Emmy in 1989 for her work on "Cheers" and couldn't have looked happier about it! For her big night, Rhea wore a turquoise halter-style dress and a bright pink wrap along with minimal makeup and simple accessories.
"Anything But Love" co-stars Richard Lewis and Jamie Lee Curtis posed backstage at the 1989 Emmys in their award-show finest: A simple navy long-sleeved gown for her and a tuxedo jacket with a white-collared black shirt featuring gold threading for him.
Thirty years before Katherine Helmond passed away at 89 in 2019, she was nominated for an Emmy at the 1989 show for her work on "Who's The Boss?" She attended the ceremony with David Christian, her husband since 1962. Katherine arrived in a red gown with a plunging neckline accentuated with a jeweled pin near her décolletage.
Tux-clad star Fred Savage was a 13-year-old best lead actor nominee for his work on "The Wonder Years" at the 1989 Emmys.
Betty White and Ruta Lee dazzled at the 1989 Emmys. Betty, a nominee for "Golden Girls" that year, and Ruta both wore sparkly dresses — a black sheer gown with gold accents for Betty, and a short V-neck cocktail dress in light blue and green hues for Ruta.
When Holly Hunter took home an Emmy for best actress in a miniseries or special for her performance in "Roe vs. Wade," she wore a sheer black long-sleeved gown with an asymmetrical hem. Since it was 1989, Holly paired the dress with a pair of black pantyhose, naturally.
"L.A. Law" star Jimmy Smits — a best supporting actor nominee that year — wore a classic tuxedo while his partner, actress Wanda De Jesus, opted for a sparkling black gown accessorized with long gloves for the 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in Pasadena, California, on Sept. 17, 1989.
"L.A. Law" star Blair Underwood looked cool, sleek and timeless in his black tux with sunglasses at the 1989 Emmys. His date's dress epitomized the glitz and glam fashion that dominated much of the decade.
"Poltergeist" and "The Big Chill" actress JoBeth Williams wore black lace and velvet separates embellished with tassels and Chinese-inspired frog closures to support husband John Pasquin at the 1989 Emmys, where he was nominated for best director for his work helming "L.A. Law."
Marlo Thomas sparkled at the 1989 Emmys in a dazzling peplum-style strapless gown with minimal accessories and sleek hair.
Arsenio Hall kept his Emmys style simple in 1989. The comedian wore a blue blazer sans tie with a collared shirt, showing the timelessness of men's fashion.
Comedienne Tracey Ullman won big at the 1989 Emmys, taking home a best variety, music or comedy program statue for her eponymous show, and looked beyond thrilled backstage in an LBD with a unique headpiece and classic black pantyhose.
A strapless gold sequined cocktail dress covered up with a black tuxedo-inspired jacket looked good on Melanie Mayron at the 1989 Emmys, where she took home a best supporting actress Emmy for her work on the acclaimed drama series "Thirtysomething."
Patricia Wettig and Ken Olin attended the 1989 Emmy Awards with him in a classic tux and her in a boho-style baggy brown beaded gown that would likely be considered too casual for a modern Emmys telecast.
"Thirtysomething" star Polly Draper wore a flapper-inspired beaded cocktail dress to the 1989 Emmy Awards.
Robert Duvall chose what looked like a cross between a bow tie and bolo tie to wear with his brown suit for the 1989 Emmys, where he was accompanied by Sharon Brophy, whom he'd later marry (and divorce). The two clearly didn't coordinate outfits, with Robert evoking Southwestern vibes and Sharon feeling the 1920s with her flapper-style turquoise dress and knotted pearl necklace.
"M*A*S*H" star Loretta Swit arrived at the 41st Annual Primetime Emmy Awards in 1989 wearing a simple strapless red gown with black gloves.
Polly Bergen, who was nominated for her acting in "War and Remembrance" that year, evoked a beautifully wrapped present in her Emmys gown — a white long-sleeved number featuring a bow at the waist and a flower embellishment on the bodice.
Lisa Eilbacher, who starred in the TV movie "Manhunt: Search for the Night Stalker" in 1989, wore a popular silhouette to the Emmys that year: draped sleeves leading to an embellished, fitted waist. The white hue made her look youthful and the cut showed off her enviable figure.
Michele Greene, who was nominated for best supporting actress in a drama series at the 1989 Emmys for her work on "L.A. Law," sparkled on the red carpet. The actress stunned in a slinky, heavily beaded white gown with purple and pink accents.
At the 1989 show, Paula Kelly was nominated for best supporting actress in a miniseries or special for her work on "The Women of Brewster Place." On the red carpet, Paula radiated energy in a gold lame dress with black beaded embellishments. Along with her megawatt smile, she accessorized with matching gold earrings.
Barbara Steele, a British actress and producer, marched to the beat of her own drummer and wore a black hat and a glittering spider-shaped brooch with her menswear-inspired tuxedo jacket and gown at the 1989 Emmys, where she took home an award for her work producing "War and Remembrance."
Mary Page Keller added a bolero jacket to her Emmys look in 1989. The "Duet" star made her simple black jumpsuit look a bit more red-carpet ready with the flashy blue addition and statement earrings.
Mexican-American actress Ana Alicia sparkled on the 1989 Emmys red carpet. While 30 years later we could do without the long gloves or prom-inspired updo, this gold sequined dress would fit in on the red carpet today.