The 2024 Emmy Awards were full of exciting reunions and inspiring speeches. But no other moment was as poignant as actress Christina Applegate's appearance on stage. The Married… With Children star had mostly withdrawn from the public eye since she announced she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021. So when she took the stage, the audience—including many of her peers and former colleagues—received her with a standing ovation.
Applegate walked on stage donning a dark red Christian Siriano gown and holding a cane, arm in arm with Emmys host Anthony Anderson. The actress looked visibly moved by the audience's gesture. “Thank you so much! Oh my God! You’re totally shaming me [and my] disability by standing up,” Applegate joked as she fought back tears.
The actress then remembered some of the legendary roles that made her a TV star, like Kelly Bundy from Married… With Children, Samantha from Samantha Who?, and Jen Harding from Dead To Me. “But very few of you probably know me from that debut—I’m going to cry more than I’ve been crying—Baby Burt Grizzell, Days of Our Lives, it was really a breakout role.” Applegate said, referring to her first-ever TV credit from 1972.
“Anyway, it's been an honor to play funny, flawed, complex characters,” she continued, before presenting the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series, which went to Ayo Edebiri. Applegate herself was nominated for her performance in Dead to Me in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category, which went to Abbott Elementary‘s star Quinta Brunson.
Applegate has openly discussed how her illness has upended her life, describing the filming of the final season of Dead To Me as the hardest thing she's ever done—and it may be her final onscreen credit. “Right now, I couldn’t imagine getting up at 5 a.m. and spending 12 to 14 hours on a set,” Applegate told the LA Times. “I don’t have that in me at this moment.” Even so, her career is far from over as she hopes to produce, develop and do “a sh*t ton of voiceovers to make some cash to make sure that my daughter’s fed and we’re homed.”
Actress Christina Applegate got a standing ovation at the 2024, where she presented the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series.