Glee alumnus Darren Criss won the Best Actor Emmy at the 70th Television Academy Awards, marking the first time an actor of Filipino-American heritage has been recognized with the major award.
Criss won the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Limited Series Or Movie for his portrayal of Andrew Cunanan in the FX Networks series The Assassination Of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (ACS:Versace).
The Filipino-American actor first received widespread attention on television for popularizing his role as Blaine Anderson in the hit television musical, Glee.
In his acceptance speech at the Primetime Emmys the Fil-Am actor thanked his parents – his mother Cerina from Cebu and father Charles William – for raising him in a family environment opposite that of the person whose portrayal gave him an acting award.
“Unlike the character I played, I was lucky enough to be raised in a home that was very loving and emphasized the value of hard work, compassion and not taking yourself too seriously,” said Criss on the Emmys stage.
The Emmys Best Actor winner has acknowledged his parental heritage in many media interviews and on social media, saying he was thankful for being half-Filipino. Criss is also supportive of the advocacy for Asian-American representation in Hollywood.
The ACS:Versace series which aired 9 episodes had Criss working with Filipino actor Jonjon Briones who is best known for his works in musical theatre and Miss Saigon.
Criss and Briones joined the main cast on stage as the ACS:Versace won the Emmy for Outstanding Limited Series.
Darren Criss continues to hone his performance skills on various stages and is scheduled to continue his American and European tour of the Lea Michelle and Darren Criss (LMDC Tour) concerts.
Watch Darren Criss accept his Emmy at 12:40 here