Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris

Emmy host Neil Patrick Harris

Gay themes, characters and actors scored big at this Sunday’s 65th Primetime Emmy Awards, known as the ‘Oscars for television’, in Los Angeles on Sunday.

This year’s awards ceremony was emceed by openly gay actor Neil Patrick Harris, who previously hosted the event four years ago.

Modern Family, which prominently features a same-sex family, was named outstanding comedy for the fourth consecutive year.

The show’s creator, Steve Levitan, gave his thanks to “the bullies, to the popular kids, to the gym teachers who taunted us, who rejected us and who made fun of the way we ran. Without you we never would have gone into comedy!”

Michael Douglas, who played the late gay pianist Liberace in Behind the Candelabra (which in the US was shown on television and not in cinemas) took home the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actor, Miniseries or Movie.

In his tongue in cheek acceptance speech he thanked Matt Damon, who played the pianist’s lover, Scott Thorson, in the film. “This was a two hander – and you’re only as good as your other hand,” Douglas told a laughing Damon.

He went on: “You really deserve half of this. So do you want the bottom or the top?”

Behind the Candelabra also won in the categories of Outstanding Movie or Miniseries and Outstanding Directing for Steven Soderbergh.

Elton John performed the song Home Again, dedicated to the flamboyant Liberace. He seemed hesitant while reading a speech from the teleprompter in which he said: “What I was not aware of until years later was [Liberace’s] lifestyle…”

John stopped and added, “Yeah right… Oh well!” He went on to say: “Liberace left us 25 years ago, and what a difference those years have made to people like me…”

Openly gay actor Jim Parsons, who plays Sheldon Cooper in The Big Bang Theory, won his third Emmy Award for his work on the show. He thanked his boyfriend Todd Spiewak, who he described as his “favourite person on the planet”.

The Emmy Awards will be broadcast tonight (Monday 23 September) on M-Net at 8.30pm. Behind the Candelabra screens in South African cinemas from Friday 27 September.

Blow is the full list of 2013 Emmy winners:

Best Drama: Breaking Bad
Best Comedy: Modern Family
Best Miniseries or Movie: Behind the Candelabra
Best Reality-Competition Program: The Voice
Best Variety Series: The Colbert Report
Lead Actress, Drama: Claire Danes, Homeland
Lead Actor, Drama: Jeff Daniels, The Newsroom
Supporting Actor, Drama: Bobby Cannavale, Boardwalk Empire
Supporting Actress, Drama: Anna Gunn, Breaking Bad
Lead Actor, Comedy: Jim Parsons, The Big Bang Theory
Lead Actress, Comedy: Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep
Supporting Actor, Comedy: Tony Hale, Veep
Supporting Actress, Comedy: Merritt Wever, Nurse Jackie
Directing, Comedy: Gail Mancuso, Modern Family
Directing, Drama: David Fincher, House of Cards
Directing, Variety Series: Don Roy King, Saturday Night Live
Director, Miniseries or Movie: Steven Soderbergh, Behind the Candelabra
Choreography: Derek Hough, Dancing With the Stars
Lead Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Laura Linney, The Big C: Hereafter
Lead Actor, Miniseries or Movie: Michael Douglas, Behind the Candelabra
Supporting Actress, Miniseries or Movie: Ellen Burstyn, Political Animals
Supporting Actor, Miniseries or Movie: James Cromwell, American Horror Story: Asylum
Writing, Comedy: Tina Fey and Tracey Wigfield, 30 Rock
Writing, Drama: Henry Bromell, Homeland
Writing, Variety Series: The Colbert Report
Writing, Miniseries or Movie: Abi Morgan, The Hour

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