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Emmys 2021 as it happened: Emmy Awards winners, major moments and more

We're blogging the big wins, buzzy speeches and memorable moments from the awards show.
Illustration of photos from: Ted Lasso, Lovecraft Country, The Crown, Pose and Saturday Night Live
Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

"The Crown," "Ted Lasso" and "The Queen's Gambit" were the big winners at the 73rd Primetime Emmy Awards, which stretched across more than four hours of live television and largely shied away from the political barbs and ripped-from-the-headlines one-liners that have defined award shows in recent years. The night was also notable for the lack of any performers of color among the winners in the 12 acting categories.

Catch up on the night's most memorable moments below.

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The last award of the night goes to 'The Queen's Gambit'

"The Queen's Gambit," Netflix's critically acclaimed portrait of chess and obsession, won the Emmy for best limited or anthology series.

The miniseries was a word-of-mouth sensation in the early months of the Covid pandemic.

In Memoriam segment honors Larry King, Michael K. Williams

The annual In Memoriam segment paid tribute to a wide range of entertainment industry luminaries who died in the last year, including talk-show host Larry King, "Jeopardy!" host Alex Trebek, actor Hal Holbrook, "Saved by the Bell" star Dustin Diamond, "Peaky Blinders" actor Helen McCrory, comedian Jackie Mason, "Arrested Development" matriarch Jessica Walter, actor Ed Asner and Hollywood legend Cicely Tyson.

The last two faces in the tribute video: those of Norm Macdonald, who died Tuesday, and Michael K. Williams, who was found dead 13 days ago.

'Ted Lasso' triumphs

"Ted Lasso," the feel-good sensation of this strange chapter in American life, won the Emmy for best comedy series.

Bill Lawrence, one of the creators of the popular Apple TV+ show, accepted the award.

Hamilton wins outstanding pre-recorded variety special

Hamilton, the Broadway musical that premiered in 2015, won for outstanding pre-recorded variety special.

The win confused some viewers, who wondered what place it even had at the Emmys.

Conan O'Brien loses Emmy, gains most screen time at awards

Even after he lost the award for outstanding variety talk series, Conan O'Brien got more face time at the Emmy Awards than most of the winners.

As John Oliver accepted the statuette for outstanding variety talk series, he sheepishly admitted that he "was kind of rooting for Conan, so this was kind of bittersweet.”

O'Brien, whose 11-season run on TBS's "Conan" ended this year, was just getting started.

He egged on the crowd into a standing ovation (and a resulting fit of giggles) for Television Academy President Frank Scherma as Scherma was trying to get through an introduction for the Governor's Award.

O'Brien later took the stage with the winners of the variety special live Emmy, "Stephen Colbert's Election Night 2020," which didn't escape the notice of his onetime late-night rival.

"Most of the people behind me deserve this Emmy," Colbert while accepting the award.

Stephen Colbert wins first Emmy since 2014

“Stephen Colbert’s Election Night 2020: Democracy’s Last Stand Building Back America Great Again Better 2020” won the Emmy for outstanding variety special (live). 

It was Colbert's first Emmy win since 2014 for his work on “The Colbert Report.”

“I want to thank 'Ted Lasso' and 'Last Week Tonight' for not being in this category,” he joked. 

Not a single nonwhite performer among acting award winners

The winners in all 12 major acting categories presented during the prime-time ceremony are white.

The shutout of nonwhite performers is especially notable given the scrutiny of diversity and representation at entertainment industry award shows in recent years.

Celebrities react to Michaela Coel's win

Celebrities are showering Emmy winner Michaela Coel with support. 

Coel, who stars in "I May Destroy You," won the Emmy for outstanding writing for a limited or anthology series or movie. 

Shonda Rhimes was one of the first to show her love, tweeting, "Yes!!!! @MichaelaCoel won! More than well-deserved!!!!!

Kerry Washington also tweeted, "Michaela Coel!!!!!!!!!!! Congrats queen. #Emmys"

Josh O'Connor — Charles on 'The Crown' — wins drama actor prize

Josh O'Connor, who played Prince Charles on the fourth season of "The Crown," won the lead drama actor award.

He thanked his co-stars, including Emma Corrin, who played Diana Spencer.

The award was presented by Catherine Zeta-Jones.

Olivia Colman wins best lead actress in a drama for "The Crown"

Olivia Colman won best lead actress in a drama for her role in "The Crown." Colman played Queen Elizabeth II in the Netflix drama. 

It was Colman's fourth nomination and her first Emmy win. During her acceptance speech, Colman brought up her father, who died during Covid. "I lost my daddy during Covid, and he would have loved all of this," she said.