The Touching Soap Opera Nod You Missed In Christina Applegate's Moving 2024 Emmys Speech

The 75th Annual Emmy Awards ceremony — delayed until January 2024 because of the writers' strike — had many emotional moments, but perhaps none more so than the appearance of Christina Applegate. The veteran actress was an unexpected presenter for the Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series award early in the show. 

The audience leaped to its feet to applaud Applegate, who has multiple sclerosis and used a cane to walk across the stage. She was visibly moved by the ovation but managed to keep the moment light. Joking the audience was "shaming me and [my] disability by standing up," per People, Applegate added, "Body not by Ozempic."

Still tearful, Applegate went on to list her most famous TV roles. "Some of you may know me as Kelly Bundy from 'Married With Children,' or Samantha from 'Samantha Who' or probably my last job as Jen Harding from 'Dead to Me,'" she said (via USA Today). "But very few of you know me from that debut baby Burt Grizzell on 'Days of Our Lives.'" Sure enough, a photo of the infant Applegate flashed on the screen. 

Christina Applegate appeared on Days five decades ago

Appearing on a talk show some years ago (via YouTube), Christina Applegate's mother Nancy Priddy explained her agent sent her to a casting call for "Days of Our Lives," which was looking for a mother and baby to appear on the show. Applegate was just three months old at the time. After filming for a day, "the same agent called and said, 'Is this Christina Applegate's mother?'" Priddy recalled. "I should have seen the handwriting on the wall. And so they wanted her back for another appearance on 'Days of Our Lives,' but they didn't want her mother."

Alas, Applegate's one episode on "Days" didn't lead to a recurring role. However, it did help launch a five-decade-long career ranging from Kmart ads to movies ("Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy," "Bad Moms") to her best-known role as Kelly Bundy on "Married ... With Children."  She recently told the Los Angeles Times she probably will not return to on-screen acting because of the limitations of her condition. Before announcing the Emmy category winner, Applegate took the opportunity to express her gratitude for the opportunities she's had (per USA Today): "It's been an honor to play funny, flawed complex characters."