Phoebe Waller-Bridge earns surprise win for best actress in a comedy

Waller-Bridge also picks up writing win

By Sandra Gonzalez, CNN
Frederic J Brown/AFP/Getty Image via CNN

Phoebe Waller-Bridge accepts the award onstage for Outstanding Writing For A Comedy Series during the 71st Emmy Awards at the Microsoft Theatre in Los Angeles on September 22, 2019.

LOS ANGELES (CNN) - Julia Louis-Dreyfus won't make Emmy history this year.

The odds had been in the legendary actress' favor to pick up the Emmy award for best comedy actress, but "Fleabag" star Phoebe Waller-Bridge ended up besting her in a surprise win.

Waller-Bridge's success in the acting category came just a few awards after she picked up a statue for outstanding comedy series writing.

"I'd like to say, honestly, from the bottom of my heart, that the reason I do it, is this," Waller-Bridge joked as she gestured toward her award during her first acceptance speech.

If she had won, Louis-Dreyfus would have become the performer with the most acting Emmys in the award show's history.

Louis-Dreyfus remains tied with Cloris Leachman for the record, with eight acting awards for her roles in "Veep," "The New Adventures of Old Christine" and "Seinfeld."

Louis-Dreyfus has an additional three statues for her work as an executive producer on "Veep."

In 2017, Louis-Dreyfus made history becoming the first actress to take home the best actress in a comedy award six times in a row for the same role, breaking a record set by Candice Bergen during her "Murphy Brown" years.

Amazon's "Fleabag" entered the night with 11 nominations.

In addition to Waller-Bridge's awards, "Fleabag" won the awards for best comedy series, best single-camera picture editing for a comedy series, best directing for a comedy series and best casting for a comedy series.

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