‘Abbott Elementary’ co-star Williams savors Ralph’s Emmy win

Abbott Elementary star Sheryl Lee Ralph’s acceptance speech during Monday’s 74th Primetime Emmy Awards was one of the highlights of the 2022 ceremony, and her co-star Tyler James Williams was honored to be a small part of her long-overdue celebration .

The 29-year-old actor – who plays Gregory Eddie on the Emmy-nominated ABC comedy, who has been ousted from office and become a substitute teacher – escorted the supporting actress winner onto the stage after she was overcome with emotion when she gave her name heard.

Ralph, 65, appeared frozen in her seat until her co-star and husband, Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent J. Hughes, invited her to take the stage. Then she delivered the most memorable speech of the night: a song-turned-dedication, showcasing the artist’s Broadway pedigree.

“No matter how old or how mature we get, NEVER forget those who paved the road where you have the privilege of today,” Williams wrote on Instagram Tuesday, sharing a photo of him escorting Ralph to the stage.

“And when the time comes, and you happen to have the honor, accompany her the same way to her flowers. This moment is one of the greatest honors of my career and I will forever shed a tear every time I encounter it. Love to the Queen Mother @thesherylleeralph #emmys2022.”

Williams, of “Dear White People” and “Everybody Hates Chris” fame, was also nominated for a Supporting Actor in a Comedy and was the first at the “Abbott” table to stand up to celebrate Ralph’s win.

A woman in a long black dress sings on a stage and holds a golden trophy

Sheryl Lee Ralph accepts her Emmy Award at Monday’s ceremony.

(Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times)

Emmy-winning “Abbott” creator Quinta Brunson and co-star Janelle James (nominated in the same category as Ralph) also helped Ralph. The crowd at the Microsoft Theater in downtown Los Angeles also gave the veteran star a standing ovation.

On stage, Ralph pulled together to make her statement, belting out lyrics from Dianne Reeves’ Endangered Species and dedicating her victory to the dreamers.

Backstage, she told reporters that she has been singing Reeves’ song for years: “I’m a woman. I’m an artist and I know where my voice belongs. There are so many young actors, artists, even kids who think they know what they’re going to do in life,” she said. “Find your voice and put it where it belongs.”

Williams told Variety that his visceral reaction to Ralph’s victory was “a throaty scream that came from my soul.” And for his part, the former child actor also got some flowers on social media for his deference and chivalry.

Williams’ “Dear White People” co-star Ashley Blaine slipped into his comments section with half a dozen heart-eyed emojis, and actress and author Lena Waithe wrote “All Hail the Queen.” And Brunson commented with a simple “mother.”

“MY FAVORITE MOMENT!!!!” added Modern Family alum Sarah Hyland.

“Incredible words, Tyler! Congratulations to you too. This is also the first of many nominations for her,” wrote Academy Award-winning Hair Love filmmaker Matthew A. Cherry.

“So much love to you both,” added the official Hulu account.

“That was really the moment of the night. Too special,” commented actor/singer Jadagrace.

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2022-09-13/tyler-james-williams-sheryl-lee-ralph-emmys-escort-tribute ‘Abbott Elementary’ co-star Williams savors Ralph’s Emmy win

Sarah Ridley

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