Jennifer Coolidge thanked her “amazing parents” for supporting her acting career in an emotional speech as she accepted her Screen Actors Guild Award.

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The 61-year-old White Lotus actress, who played Tanya in the popular HBO series, received Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series on Sunday. The actress sobbed as she delivered her winning speech and thanked her parents for allowing her to miss school so she could attend a Charlie Chaplin film festival.

Coolidge made history in both her acting career and Hollywood after winning the first-ever Screen Actors Guild award. In her opening remarks following her wins at the 2022 Emmys and 2023 Golden Globes, the actress reflected on how exceptional and overwhelming the previous year had been.

“It’s been a very special year and you know, overwhelming,” she said. “And White Lotus and Mike White writing me this great part that went on for two seasons, and just HBO giving me the thumbs up to let me to it. I just want to say,” she continued. “I want you all to know that I’m just so grateful. So grateful, because this could be it.”

The Legally Blonde actress claimed that her father took her out of school when she was in first grade by pretending to be ill in order to take her to a festival. This decision, in some ways, altered the path of her life. “I had these amazing parents,” she said. “And they had this incredible gift. It was impossible for them to lie.”

“My father was sitting there [in her school] and saying ‘Yeah, Jenny, we have to go. And the principal said, ‘Jennifer, get well’ and I didn’t know what that meant.” The star continued: “I swear to God, seeing Charlie Chaplin for the first time, and having that experience – it’s my love of film, it’s my love of actors, all of that came from my first grade.”

Mike White, who created the television program, was also honoured by the actress: “Mike White, you can give money to friends… and people like money. The best gift you can give to someone is change their perspective. And that’s what Mike White did for me.”

Published by HOLR Magazine.