Zendaya makes Emmys history as youngest lead-actress drama winner

Tribune Content Agency

“Euphoria” star Zendaya made Emmy Awards history on Sunday as the youngest actress to win the prize for lead actress in a drama — breaking a record that was set just last year by “Killing Eve” star Jodie Comer during a show that rarely honors its youngest nominees.

At 24, Zendaya pulled off a major upset, besting Comer, her “Killing Eve” costar Sandra Oh as well as fellow nominees Jennifer Aniston (“The Morning Show”), Olivia Colman (“The Crown”) and Laura Linney (“Ozark”).

The former Disney star and first-time Emmy nominee delivered a haunting, unsettling performance as high-schooler Rue Bennett struggling with substance abuse in HBO’s dark drama. Zendaya has been praised for carrying the uneven series with style and sensitivity.

Last year, at age 26, Comer set the category’s age record as the youngest woman to ever win the drama-actress prize. And a 25-year-old Julia Garner (“Ozark”) was the youngest winner in the supporting actress in a drama category since “Family” star Kristy McNichol last won as a teenager in 1979.

At 21, “When They See Us” star Jharrel Jerome was the youngest actor to win the award for lead actor in a limited series last year too.

The youngest performer to win a Primetime Emmy Award winner is still Roxana Zal, who won the prize in 1984 for her title role in the TV film “Something About Amelia.” She was 14 at the time.


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