Primetime Emmy Winners: Drama Series Actor

Note: The names of award categories have changed dramatically through the years. Where the difference is significant, the actual title is cited in parentheses below. If the series also won another major program award — like Outstanding New Series, back in the days when there was such a category — it’s also noted. Missing years indicate that the award categories were dropped.

1956 Robert Young, Father Knows Best

1957 Robert Young, Father Knows Best (Best Actor, Comedy or Drama Series)

1958-59 Raymond Burr, Perry Mason

1959-60 Robert Stack, The Untouchables (Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series)

1960-61 Raymond Burr, Perry Mason (Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series)

1961-62 E.G. Marshall, The Defenders (Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series)

1962-63 E.G. Marshall, The Defenders (Outstanding Performance by an Actor in a Series)

1963-64 Jack Klugman, The Defenders (Outstanding Actor in a Leading Role)

1965-66 Bill Cosby, I Spy

1966-67 Bill Cosby, I Spy

1967-68 Bill Cosby, I Spy

1968-69 Carl Betz, Judd for the Defense

1969-70 Robert Young, Marcus Welby, M.D.

1970-71 Hal Holbrook, The Senator, The Bold Ones

1971-72 Peter Falk, Columbo

1972-73 Richard Thomas, The Waltons

1973-74 Telly Savalas, Kojak

1974-75 Robert Blake, Baretta

1975-76 Peter Falk, Columbo

1976-77 James Garner, The Rockford Files

1977-78 Edward Asner, Lou Grant

1978-79 Ron Leibman, Kaz

1979-80 Edward Asner, Lou Grant

1980-81 Daniel J. Travanti, Hill Street Blues

1981-82 Daniel J. Travanti, Hill Street Blues

1982-83 Ed Flanders, St. Elsewhere

1983-84 Tom Selleck, Magnum, P.I.

1984-85 William Daniels, St. Elsewhere

1985-86 William Daniels, St. Elsewhere

1986-87 Bruce Willis, Moonlighting

1987-88 Richard Kiley, A Year in the Life

1988-89 Carroll O’Connor, In the Heat of the Night

1989-90 Peter Falk, Columbo

1990-91 James Earl Jones, Gabriel’s Fire

1991-92 Christopher Lloyd, Avonlea

1992-93 Tom Skerritt, Picket Fences

1993-94 Dennis Franz, NYPD Blue

1994-95 Mandy Patinkin, Chicago Hope

1995-96 Dennis Franz, NYPD Blue

1996-97 Dennis Franz, NYPD Blue

1997-98 Andre Braugher, Homicide: Life on the Streets

1998-99 Dennis Franz, NYPD Blue

1999-00 ???????

More TV

  • Kamala Harris

    Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Face Rematch in Next Democratic Debate

    Former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris will have the opportunity to square off again in the second debate among Democratic hopefuls vying for their party’s nomination in the 2020 presidential election CNN, which will broadcast the next round of debates on July 30 and 31, televised a draw Thursday night that decided [...]

  • Jon Wax

    Jon Wax Joins Amazon Studios as Head of Genre Programming

    YouTube’s head of scripted programming Jon Wax is joining Amazon Studios as its head of genre programming, Variety has learned. Wax will take up the position recently vacated by Sharon Tal Yguado. He had joined YouTube in August 2017, heading up drama, unscripted and current programming for YouTube’s premium channel. Prior to that, he had [...]

  • South Park Donald Trump

    TV News Roundup: Comedy Central Sets 'South Park' Season 23 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV News roundup, Comedy Central announces the premiere date of “South Park” Season 23 and Netflix sets the premiere date and offers a first look at “Unbelievable.”  DATES Comedy Central announced that Season 23 of “South Park” will premiere Wednesday, Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. Because the episodes are written and animated so [...]

  • US actor Kevin Spacey (C) is

    Kevin Spacey Shouldn't Be Exonerated in Hollywood Even as Criminal Case Ends (Column)

    The news that criminal charges against Kevin Spacey in the Nantucket groping case have been dropped raises an inevitable question: does this mean he can claw his way back into Hollywood’s good graces? Or maybe more importantly: should it?  Spacey’s rapid descent was startling, even as it quickly followed that of the once untouchable producing [...]

  • Game of Thrones

    HBO's Return to Emmy Nomination Dominance May Be Short-Lived (Column)

    As Hollywood braces for the coming streaming wars, HBO’s huge Emmy nomination haul this week sent a new salvo Netflix’s way: The streamer may have the volume, but HBO still has the goods. At least this year. HBO’s record-breaking 137 nominations came on the strength of just 23 programs — led, of course, by “Game [...]

  • Lionsgate CEO Jon Feltheimer

    Starz Nears Realignment: Why Lionsgate Won't Hire a CEO to Replace Chris Albrecht

    Nearly six months after Starz CEO Chris Albrecht exited in February, Lionsgate brass is moving closer to a revamp of the premium TV network’s executive structure. According to insiders, at least one thing is clear: Albrecht is not expected to be replaced as CEO. Instead, Lionsgate chief executive Jon Feltheimer is taking a more active [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content