The Emmys ceremony traditionally takes place in Los Angeles, but that doesn't necessarily give Hollywood-native TV stars a home court advantage. In fact, there have been quite a few small-screen winners over the years who hail from across the pond. West London-born Phoebe Waller-Bridge, for example, took home three Emmys — for outstanding writing for a comedy series, outstanding lead actress in a comedy series and outstanding comedy series — for her work on "Fleabag" during the 2019 Emmy Awards. Keep reading to see which other British celebs have reigned supreme on TV's biggest night…
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"Killing Eve" star Jodie Comer, who was born in Liverpool, England, earned her first Emmy nomination — for outstanding lead actress in a drama series — in 2019. She then took home the prize at the 71st Annual Emmy Awards on Sept. 22 that year.
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John Oliver is definitely in the running for Brit with the most Emmys! He won three awards for outstanding writing on the late night variety news hit "The Daily Show" while Jon Stewart was still hosting. He scored another eight, including two at the 2019 Emmys, after getting in front of the camera for "Last Week Tonight with John Oliver." He seems quite settled in America these days living in New York City with his wife, Kate Norley, who was a medic in the U.S. Army.
English actor Ben Whishaw claimed the best supporting actor in a limited series or movie Emmy — for his performance in "A Very English Scandal" — during the 71st Annual Emmy Awards in 2019. It was his first Emmy nomination too!
English actress Kate Winslet won for outstanding lead actress for her work on the miniseries "Mildred Pierce" back in 2011.
At the 2013 Emmys , Damian Lewis won for outstanding lead actor for his work on the drama series "Homeland." Funnily enough, the English actor earned his golden award for playing a U.S. Marine Corps Sergeant on the thrilling American spy show. Damian, wife Helen McCrory — also a British actress — and their two children currently reside in London.
English actress Helen Mirren was appointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her immense contributions to the arts, so it's not much of a surprise that she's also been honored for her TV work in America. Dame Helen has received four Emmys for outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie throughout her career. She most recently won in 2007 for her work as one of the first female detective chief inspectors in London's Metropolitan Police Service in the drama "Prime Suspect." Interestingly enough, Helen is married to a California boy, Taylor Hackford, who happens to be the former president of the Directors Guild of America.
Welsh actor Matthew Rhys had three Primetime Emmy Award nominations under his belt before he picked up his first statue in 2018. He took home some hardware for outstanding lead actor in a drama series for his work on "The Americans."
At the 2017 Emmys, English actor Riz Ahmed made history as the first man of Asian descent to win an acting award (outstanding lead actor on the limited series "The Night Of"). While he definitely wasn't the first Brit to take home TV gold at the ceremony, he was still happy to represent for his country either way. "In terms of U.S. and the U.K., I'm really proud to be a Londoner. I'm really proud to be from the U.K.," he said in the press room after receiving the award. "I'm also really aware that actors of color often have more opportunity in the U.S., but I think ultimately now we see that TV in particular is a global medium." With strong ties to England, it makes total sense that his winning eight-part HBO miniseries was based on a 2008 British crime show called "Criminal Justice."
Claire Foy earned her first Primetime Emmy in 2018 for playing a legendary Brit — the queen! The actress won the outstanding lead actress in a drama series prize for her incredible portrayal of a young Queen Elizabeth II on "The Crown." She'd scored a nomination for the same award a year earlier.
Emma Thompson, also a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire, has been nominated for five Emmys since winning for outstanding guest actress in the comedy series "Ellen" back in 1998. The English actress still resides across the pond despite having worked on dozens of American projects and has had not one but two British husbands, both of whom are actors: Kenneth Branagh and her current hubby, Greg Wise.
He has a storied movie career, but Anthony Hopkins has also been nominated for Emmys five times since 1976. He won his first Emmy that year for outstanding lead actor in a drama or comedy special for his work in "The Lindbergh Kidnapping Case." He won again in 1981 for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or a special for his performance in "The Bunker." Anthony's most recent nomination came in 2017 for his performance in HBO's "Westworld."
Playing Maeve Millay on HBO's "Westworld" earned Thandie Newton her first Primetime Emmy! The talented London-born beauty nabbed the outstanding supporting actress in a drama series honor in 2018.
Benedict Cumberbatch is nominated for the sixth time at the 2018 Emmys for his work on the miniseries "Patrick Melrose," but he's already won once. In 2014, he took home the award for outstanding lead actor in the British miniseries "Sherlock: The Last Vow," a modern take on the classic detective tale. American presenters Woody Harrelson and Matthew McConaughey ended up accepting on the Brit's behalf since he was unable to make it to the ceremony that year.
Scottish actress Kelly MacDonald won the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie for her work in TV film "The Girl in the Cafe" in 2006. She was nominated again — but didn't win — for the HBO prohibition drama "Boardwalk Empire" in 2011. We hope that's not why she decided to move back to Glasgow a few years later. Kelly had been living in New York City with her then-husband, Travis rocker Dougie Payne, and their two children.
Maggie Smith's work has been so widely celebrated in England that Queen Elizabeth II appointed the native a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire and Order of the Companions of Honour. It seems pretty impossible to outshine recognition from the queen herself, but Maggie has won four Emmys in America. Most recently, she collected a trophy for outstanding supporting actress in the drama series "Downton Abbey" at the 2016 Emmys. With royalty on her side, we can't blame Maggie for never actually being present to accept any of her awards here.
English funnyman Ricky Gervais has scored two Emmys over the years — his first for outstanding comedy series with "The Office" and second for outstanding lead actor in the comedy series "Extras." With so much recognition for his comedic chops in America, it makes sense that he and his British author partner, Jane Fallon, bounce between their two homes in London and New York City.
Jane Seymour officially became an American citizen in 2005, but she was still 100 percent British when she won an Emmy in 1988. Making matters even more international, she earned the coveted award for outstanding supporting actress in a miniseries or movie by playing a Greek opera singer in the TV biopic "Onassis: The Richest Man in the World."
In 1996, Alan Rickman took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actor in a limited series or movie for his performance in HBO's "Rasputin: Dark Servant of Destiny." The English actor was again nominated for an Emmy in 2004 for his work in "Something the Lord Made" but didn't win. Despite two Emmy nods, the late star was perhaps was much more famous for his movie roles in films such as "Love Actually," the "Harry Potter" flicks and "Die Hard."
Like Maggie Smith, Julie Andrews was also anointed a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire for her acting contributions, but she was able to attend the ceremony for at least one of her two Emmy wins. In 1973, she accepted in person when "The Julie Andrews Hour" won for outstanding variety musical series. In 2005, "Broadway: The American Musical" earned the Englishwoman another award for outstanding nonfiction series.
British beauty Vanessa Redgrave has been nominated a whopping six times for Emmy Awards and has taken home a trophy twice twice. The first time was in 1981 when she won outstanding lead actress in a miniseries or movie for her performance in "Playing For Time." Following losses in 1986 and 1991, she took home the same prize for her work in "If These Walls Could Talk 2."
Kiefer Sutherland is technically a Canadian because that's where both of his actor parents are from, but he was actually born in London while they lived overseas. Either way, the non-American TV star won for outstanding lead actor in the drama series "24" at the 2006 Emmys. Regardless of which nationality Kiefer identifies with, he does seem to have a thing for American women. He's been linked to Georgia-born Julia Roberts, California-native Bo Derek and, most recently, Texan model Cindy Vela.