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2013 Emmys: Diahann Carroll and Kerry Washington

  • Written by Breeanna Hare/CNN

Emmys-500The 2013 Emmys had a few memorable pairs – Tina Fey and Amy Poehler; comedy winners Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tony Hale – but Diahann Carroll and Kerry Washington were history in the making.

The two trailblazers walked out hand-in-hand to present the Emmy for outstanding supporting actress in a drama series, and both endearingly honored the work each has done.

At 78, Carroll is a legend – not just for having talent and charm to spare but for bursting through TV's barriers. In 1968, the actress became the first African-American woman to lead her own TV show. Washington, 36, has accomplished another first with ABC's "Scandal," as she's the first African-American woman to lead a network TV drama since 1974. (Yes, 1974. Let that sink in for a minute.)

But beyond their pioneering work in TV, both women gave viewers a candid moment that was as inspiring as it was authentic: see both Carroll's quip about how much more attractive TV's lead actors have become, and her frank proclamation that Washington "better win" the lead actress in a drama Emmy.

"Diahann Carroll for president," tweeted The Atlantic's Richard Lawson. "For those frantically Googling, the woman you want to be when you grow up is named Diahann Carroll," added Gawker.

But as it turned out, despite Carroll's insistence, the outstanding lead actress in a drama Emmy ended up going to Claire Danes for "Homeland."

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