If you missed the Emmys on Sunday, the ceremony got off to a powerful and emotional start when host Anthony Anderson invited the first presenter of the night, Christina Applegate, to the stage. Anderson briefly left the stage to walk Applegate to the mic, and as he did so, the entire audience rose to its feet to give her a standing ovation.
Applegate, who stars in Netflix’s Dead to Me, has been open about her struggles finishing her work on the show after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021. Even with her illness, she gave a powerful performance in Dead to Me‘s third season—and was nominated for Lead Actress in a Comedy Series on Sunday.
When she reached the microphone, she was visibly emotional at the audience’s display of support.
“Thank you so much. Oh my god, you’re totally shaming me [and my] disability by standing up,” she joked through tears. “It’s fine. OK. Body not by Ozempic. OK, let’s go.”
Before presenting the first award, Applegate gave a brief speech, highlighting some of her own best-known TV roles throughout her career.
“We don’t have to applaud every time I do something,” she joked as she brought up her work on Married… with Children, Samantha Who? and Dead to Me. She also gave a special shout-out to her debut role, which she landed when she was just a year old.
“I’m gonna cry more than I’ve been crying,” she said as she spoke fondly about her “breakout” role playing a baby on Days of Our Lives. She then transitioned into announcing the nominees for the category she was presenting, saying, “It’s been an honor to play funny, flawed, [and] complex characters like the women nominated for Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.”
The winner was The Bear‘s Ayo Edebiri, who gave Applegate a long hug when she arrived onstage to accept her award.
Applegate didn’t end up winning the Emmy in her category, but it was clear she was still a winner that night.