Jean Smart Wins Back-to-Back Emmys for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series

Jean Smart
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The actress also took home the trophy for the category last year.

Jean Smart is adding another feather to her cap. For the second consecutive year, the 70-year-old actress took home Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series for her performance on Hacks

Smart beat out Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel), Kaley Cuoco (The Flight Attendant), Elle Fanning (The Great), Issa Rae (Insecure) and Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary).

"Thank you for a second time honoring this show," the now five-time winner said while accepting her award onstage at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles during the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards. Smart won last year's Lead Actress Emmy for her performance on the HBO Max series

"As we all know season two of a show is kind of a litmus test," Smart continued on Monday night, adding that the cast and crew had passed with flying colors. "The crew went above, above, above and beyond," she said.

Smart's win last year came in the wake of the death of her late husband, Richard Gilliland. "He'd be very happy for me," she told ET on the Emmys' Winners Walk at the time. The couple, who met as co-stars on Designing Women, married in 1987. Gilliland died in 2021 at age 71.

After debuting to critical acclaim last year, Hacks returned for season 2 on May 12. ET spoke with Smart ahead of the season premiere, which explored how Deborah Vance (Smart) and writer Ava (Hannah Einbinder) continue to work together as they take the legendary comedian’s standup act on a national tour across the country.

"I think it's going to be every bit as good as season one if not better, because second seasons are always scary," Smart told ET of the new episodes. "Especially if you're a big hit the first season, everybody's going, 'OK, just show me.'"

"It's at least as funny as the first season," she later promised. "I'm thrilled. Second seasons are notoriously dicey because everyone’s kind of expecting you to prove yourself if the first season was a hit, but boy, did they come up with the goods, the writers. It's really great."

In addition to Smart and Einbinder, the returning cast included fellow Emmy acting nominees Carl Clemons-Hopkins as Deborah's COO, Marcus, and Jane Adams as Ava's mother, Nina.

The rest of the ensemble included Downs as Deborah and Ava's manager, Jimmy, Christopher McDonald as casino owner Marty Ghilain, Kaitlin Olson as Deborah's daughter, DJ, Poppy Liu as Kiki, Rose Abdoo as Josefina, Mark Indelicato as Damien, Meg Stalter as Kayla, Angela E. Gibbs as Marcus' mother, Robin, Johnny Sibilly as Wilson, and Lorenza Izzo as Ruby.

"I just cannot wait for everyone to see the second season," Indelicato said, referring to the "amazing" season 2 guest stars, including Laurie Metcalf, who is finally seen as the road manager in the trailer, Martha Kelly, Ming-Na Wen, Margaret Cho and Devon Sawa. "It's absolutely wild."

Even Smart couldn't stop gushing about the added star power. "Oh my god. Wait 'til you see [them]," she said, adding it was "so much fun" having them on set.

The 74th Primetime Emmy Awards hosted by Kenan Thompson were broadcast live on NBC and Peacock. In the meantime, check out the full winners list and stay tuned to for complete Emmys coverage.