Channing’s Emmy wait over

Actress nabs trophies for 'West Wing,' 'Shepard Story'

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Stockard Channing broke her careerlong Emmy Award drought with more than one sip of recognition Sunday night.

The actress, who first made a name for herself in Mike Nichols’ “The Fortune” (1975) and in her role as Rizzo in 1978’s “Grease,” had never won an Emmy Award. Then she was honored with two in one night, for supporting actress in a drama series for “The West Wing” and supporting actress in a mini/movie for NBC’s “The Matthew Shepard Story.”

“I didn’t think I would win, I honestly didn’t,” Channing said backstage. “I just assumed I’d smile and be gracious and would be perfectly happy and used to doing that. I’ve done that before and was getting pretty good at it.”

Channing said waiting for the win didn’t make the honor any sweeter.

“It’s just nerve-racking,” she said. “The moment is sweet on its own.”

But she was certainly surprised.

“It’s very evanescent — you can’t hear your name, don’t remember what you said,” the actress said. “It feels heavy.”

For an actress whose career has spanned more than three decades, clutching her two first Emmy trophies on one night was clearly a highlight.

When asked about her favorite career moment from “Grease’s” Pink Lady Rizzo to “West Wing’s” Abigail, Channing said: “Right now.”

Still, she remembered her roots, adding, “I’m still a Pink Lady.”

“I can quote John Spencer, who said we’re actors and this is what we do,” she said, offering credit to the writers of “West Wing” and “Shepard.” “This is what I started out to do. I started out to be an actor, not a celeb or a politician.”

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