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Holyoke’s Ann Dowd wins her first Emmy

Ann Dowd accepts the Emmy for supporting actress in a drama Sunday night in Los Angeles.Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Veteran character actress and Holyoke native Ann Dowd earned an Emmy for her supporting performance in Hulu’s acclaimed dystopian drama “The Handmaid’s Tale,” her first in a career that’s spanned more than three decades.

The actress, who attended College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, earned particular praise from critics for her intense and often unnerving portrayal of Aunt Lydia in the grim and provocative series, which explores a world in which women are subjugated into sexual service under a theocratic dictatorship.

Hulu’s first prestige drama, the series was nominated for a whopping 11 Emmys.

In an emotional acceptance speech, Dowd thanked her friends and family while also tipping her hat to fellow actors and to those who voted in the category.


“Well, I think this is a dream,” said Dowd, fighting back tears. “I know it’s an actor’s dream and I’m deeply grateful to you. I don’t have the words, so I thank you.”

Dowd was also nominated for best guest actress in a drama for her role as Patti Levin in the third and final season of HBO’s acclaimed drama “The Leftovers.”

In the best supporting actress in a drama category, she beat out another Massachusetts native — Medfield’s Uzo Aduba, up for “Orange Is the New Black” — in addition to Millie Bobby Brown (“Stranger Things”), Chrissy Metz (“This Is Us”), Thandie Newton (“Westworld”), and Samira Wiley (“The Handmaid’s Tale”).

Isaac Feldberg can be reached at, or on Twitter at @isaacfeldberg.