Since the supporting actress comedy category was established at the Emmy Awards in 1979, just 19 women have taken home this award. Funny ladies Rhea Pearlman ("Cheers," 1984-86, 1989) and Doris Roberts ("Everybody Loves Raymond," 2001-03, 2005) each won four awards for their classic sitcoms while Laurie Metcalf ("Roseanne," 1992-94) managed a three-peat. Double winners include Loretta Swit, "MASH" (1980, 1982); Bebe Neuwirth, "Cheers" (1990, 1991); Kristen Johnson, "Third Rock From the Sun" (1997, 1999); and Megan Mullally, "Will & Grace" (2000, 2006).
Among this year's nominees, only Holland Taylor is an Emmy champ with her 1999 supporting win for the drama series "The Practice." She is a four-time also-ran in this race for "Two and a Half Men." This is the second nomination in a row for both Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock") and Kristen Wiig ("Saturday Night Live") and the first Emmy bids for "Glee" featured player Jane Lynch and "Modern Family" co-stars Julie Bowen and Sofia Vergara.
The first winner of this Emmy race was Sally Struthers ("All in the Family"), who had tied for the more-expansive prize in 1972 with Valerie Harper ("The Mary Tyler Moore Show"). Back in the 1970s, single appearances in comedy series as well as performances in limited series and specials were eligible in this race. Last year's champ — Kristen Chenoweth ("Pushing Daisies") — contends this year in the guest actress race for "Glee."
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Photo: Holland Taylor and Charlie Sheen on "Two and a Half Men." Credit: CBS.