Emmy for LCF’s Vance

La Cañada Flintridge resident Courtney B. Vance exalted in his Emmy victory Sunday evening. Hoisting his statuette, he issued the most heartfelt of thanks to fellow actors and nominees, crew members and directors, his agent and assistant, his mother and children, and finally, his wife, Angela Bassett: “To the woman who rocks my chain, Angela Evelyn Bassett, this one is for you, girl!”
Vance won for Best Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his riveting portrayal of defense attorney Johnnie Cochran in FX’s “The People v. O.J. Simpson.” Co-stars Sterling K. Brown and Sarah Paulson also won Emmys for their roles as Christopher Darden and Marcia Clark.
Already a Tony Award winner for his performance as Hap Hairston, a tabloid editor in “Lucky Guy,” Vance was nominated for the Emmy along with co-star Cuba Gooding Jr., who played Simpson, as well as Benedict Cumberbatch of “Sherlock,” Bryan Cranston of “All the Way,” Idris Elba of “Luther” and Tom Hiddleston, of “The Night Manager.”
During a red-carpet pre-show interview with E!’s Giuliana Rancic, Bassett raved about her husband, saying she had “a new appreciation” for his talent and that she was “just very, very proud.”
Radiant in a yellow Christian Siriano gown, Bassett also spoke highly of the late Cochran: “We had an opportunity to spend a little bit of time in his company and to feel his energy, his spirit, his aura — he was bigger than life, full of passion and love. He was one of those people who looked into your eyes and made you feel that anything you said was valuable, and you [Vance] captured it.”
Vance said he learned a lot about the historic case while working on the series, especially because he was one of the seemingly few people anywhere in the United States who tuned it out while it was happening in 1995.
“I was a huge O.J. Simpson fan, so I was hurt that he was being, in my mind, assaulted. I purposely stayed away from it,” Vance told E!. “So everything was new for me to find out about it. And, you know, all I know is Johnnie, he was about rich people, poor people, he was about people and trying to help people find their way through the system.”
While making the rounds talking to reporters following his victory, Vance told ET’s Kevin Frazier that he hadn’t yet had a chance to call home and talk with his kids. Frazier offered his cellphone to Vance to make the celebratory call. With tears in his eyes, the actor — and the viewing audience — heard the excited cheers for Daddy.
“The larger lesson,” Vance said after disconnecting, “I said, ‘Win, lose or draw, if I come home with it, wonderful, and if I don’t, I’m still a winner.’”

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