Entertainment & Arts

Lewis and Dame Maggie win Emmys

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Media captionHomeland picked up three other awards as well as best actor for Damian Lewis

British actor Damian Lewis has won an Emmy for best actor in a drama for his performance in the Homeland series.

Lewis plays an American soldier who returns home after spending years in captivity in Iraq, and who is suspected of becoming an al-Qaeda agent.

"I'm one of those pesky Brits, I apologise," said Lewis, who plays an American.

Fellow Brit Dame Maggie Smith won best supporting actress in a drama series for her role in Downton Abbey.

Downton also picked up two other awards at the Emmy craft awards last week.

Homeland, Game Change, HBO's story of Sarah Palin's entry into the 2008 US vice presidential race, and US comedy Modern Family each won the most awards, with four each.

All of the nominees for best drama were broadcast on cable TV channels rather than any of the main US networks.

Image caption Dame Maggie Smith won for her portrayal of Violet Crawley, the Dowager Countess of Grantham

Homeland also won outstanding drama, meaning that Mad Men failed to set a record by winning its fifth best drama award.

Lewis said: "I don't really believe in judging art, but I thought I'd show up just in case."

The show's prizes included best actress for Claire Danes and outstanding drama series.

Julian Fellowes's Downton Abbey had been up for 16 nominations, which was the most a British drama has received at the Emmys.

BBC's Sherlock stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman also missed out in their categories of outstanding lead actor, and outstanding supporting actor in a mini-series or a movie, respectively.

Their series itself did not manage to top its nominated category of outstanding mini-series or movie - that prize went to Game Change.

Game Change won four awards - including outstanding lead actress in a mini-series or movie for Julianne Moore and best director for a mini-series or movie going to Jay Roach.

"Wow, I feel so validated because Sarah Palin gave me a big thumbs down!" Moore said while accepting her first Emmy.

Image caption Julianne Moore won her first Emmy

Homeland's writing team of Alex Gansa, Howard Gordon, Gideon Raff won best writing in a drama series.

Meanwhile, Modern Family had a successful night, with awards including one for best comedy series.

Cast members Eric Stonestreet and Julie Bowen won best supporting actor and actress, while the show's director Steven Levitan won an award for best director of a comedy series.

And Jon Cryer won best actor in a comedy series for his role in the show Two and a Half Men.

"Don't panic, people. Something has clearly gone terribly wrong. I'm stunned," said Cryer.

It is the first series of Two and a Half Man since Charlie Sheen was sacked.

Kevin Costner was named best actor for the history-based miniseries Hatfields & McCoys.

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