Emmy winner Jean Smart pays tribute to late husband Richard Gilliland in speech

“Before I say anything else, I have to acknowledge my late husband who passed away six months ago yesterday,” Smart said Sunday night. “I would not be here without him, and without his kind of putting his career on the back burner so I could take advantage of all the wonderful opportunities that I have had.”

Smart won for her portrayal of comedian Deborah Vance in the HBO series. Smart’s husband of 30 years, actor Richard Gilliland, died while the show was in production.

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The 70-year-old actor also thanked her two children, who she said, “put up with Mommy commuting from Philadelphia and back,” as well as her “Mare of Easttown” co-stars. Smart was also up for a supporting award for the HBO limited series.

Richard Gilliland and Jean Smart during the arrivals for the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020.

Richard Gilliland and Jean Smart during the arrivals for the 25th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020. (David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)

The audience at the ceremony was quick to give her a standing ovation, and her emotional speech had her co-star Hannah Einbinder in tears. Much to the dismay of many on social media, the show still played Smart off the stage for running over her alotted time.

“They’re playing the music, so I have to stop,” Smart said. “I love you all and I thank you all very much.”

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