Young plus skinny = hot? Think again, say Emmy voters

Thu Jul 14, 2011 3:25pm EDT
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Who says you have to be skinny, young and glamorous to make it in Hollywood?

Not the voters at the Television Academy of Arts and Sciences who spread the love in their Primetime Emmy Award nominations on Thursday to a slew of actors who smash the stereotype of wafer-thin blondes and tall, dark handsome men.

Few nominees were more surprised than plus-sized actress Melissa McCarthy, who scored her first Emmy nod for her lead role in "Mike & Molly" -- a romantic comedy about two people who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group.

"Yikes", gulped McCarthy, 40, who was announcing the nominees live on U.S. television when her own name came up. "Ok. Keep it together! Wow!" she added.

The Emmy nod is icing on the Hollywood cake for McCarthy, whose show was initially criticized for making fun of fat people but went on to become one of the most popular new comedies on U.S. television. McCarthy, who has labored for years in bit parts, is also a scene-stealer in the raunchy summer hit movie "Bridesmaids".

But McCarthy was in good company on Thursday. Veteran Betty White, 89, who is enjoying a late career renaissance, and Cloris Leachman, 85, got their 17th and 22nd Emmy nominations respectively for playing characters that revel in their advancing years.

"I'm going to be 90 in January. Don't you think it's a little bit amazing to be lucky?" White told The Hollywood Reporter of her nomination for "Hot in Cleveland".

With the exception of Chris Colfer (Kurt), the youthful stars of musical comedy "Glee" were overlooked, while Dot-Marie Jones, 47, -- a former world arm wrestling champion -- was nominated in the guest actress category for her turn as never-been-kissed football coach Shannon Beiste on the show.   Continued...