Baltimore native Julie Bowen, of ABC’s "Modern Family," grabbed the first headline of the night at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards Sunday – winning the trophy for best supporting actress in a comedy, It was the first Emmy announced on the Fox telecast.
"Oh my god. Oh my god. Are you kidding me? I don't know what I'm going to talk about in therapy next week. I actually won something," Bowen said as she accepted the award onstage.
She offered special thanks to her "two husbands -- Ty Burrell, my TV husband, and my real husband, Scott Phillips. Happy anniversary, honey."
Burrell won the next award for outstanding supporting actor in a comedy, helping Bowen launch a big night for “Modern Family,” which ultimately went on to win the award for best comedy. (See my live blog of the evening here.)
The 41-year-old Bowen was up last year for the same award, but did not win. This is her first Emmy after almost two decades in television – and some very impressive work in such TV series as "Ed" and "Boston Legal."
Onscreen, Bowen plays a TV mom in "Modern Family" who strives for perfection. She has three TV children, and a husband played by Burrell who could easily be considered a fourth. Think dad as man-child fogged out in his arrested adolescence.
Off-screen, Bowen is also a mother of three. Between the series and the children, she is one the most sleep deprived actresses in Hollywood, at least in her telling.
"It's very glamorous, lack of sleep," Bowen said in a recent Sun magazine profile when asked about her life in Hollywood these days as the Emmy-nominated co-star of a hit TV series.
Bowen, who grew up in Ruxton and attended the Calvert School and Garrison Forest, is one of three daughters. She graduated from Brown University. Her parents, Jack and Susie Luetkemeyer, and most of her family still live in Baltimore.
Bowen was the darling of the Web Sunday night after winning the first Emmy handed out. There was a story she told about one of her small children throwing up on her earlier in the day. There was an analysis of her "perfect bun" od a hair-do.
There was also a story she told about her difficulties in finding a dress to wear to the awards.
“I’m built like a 14-year-old boy. I have no waist, so anything I wear has to have a lot of trickeration going on,” she told People. “I don’t fit into girl dresses. I can’t just slip it on.”
The gown she settled on -- a black and gray, v-neck, Oscar de la Renta number -- won rave reviews.
“For the red carpet I feel like the dress is the star and I should keep the jewelry really classic and attractive but not too mom-ular,” she told People prior to the awards show. “I don’t want to look like I’m constantly just driving back and forth to soccer practice.”
Backstage Sunday night, she and Burrell talked about their satisfaction in being involved in a series that has not only found a large audience and critical acclaim, but is seen by some as helping change attitudes toward same sex couples. Included in the extended TV family that she and Burrell are at the center of in “Modern Family” is a gay couple with an adopted child.
"To me, it's absurd that it is an issue,” she told TheWrap. “But in that it is an issue, I'm glad that we're helping to change minds."
As for winning the Emmy, in her typically self-deprecating way, Bowen said she would have voted for Betty White, of “Hot in Cleveland,” one of the more favored nominees as best supporting actress.
"If I didn't have a dog in this fight," she said. "I would have voted for Betty White."