"Nurse Jackie" star Merritt Wever charmed millions of people around the world when she gave what was instantly hailed as the best Emmys acceptance speech ever.
A huge underdog, Wever stunned — and delighted — pundits by winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series over favorites Julie Bowen ("Modern Family"), Sofia Vergara ("Modern Family"), Jane Krakowski ("30 Rock"), and Mayim Bialik ("Big Bang Theory").
Nervous and flustered, Wever stammered, "Thank you so very much. Um, I gotta go. Bye." Then, she fled the stage, to hearty applause.
While her win was a surprise, it was a pleasant surprise. Wever is a veteran working actress with credits in both TV and film, and she gives a lovable, heartwarming performance on "Nurse Jackie."
See Wever on "Nurse Jackie":
Still, the Emmys audience can be forgiven if Wever's win made them wonder, "Who's that?" After all, "Nurse Jackie" is on Showtime, not on network TV, and averages only around 3 million viewers. So, we've got a handy little guide to this year's Emmys darling:
1. She Was Raised by Her Mom
Wever — whose real first name is Siobhán — was conceived with a sperm donor!
2. You've Probably Seen Her Before
While Wever isn't a household name (yet), she's been around the acting block. Recently, she's romanced Schmidt on Fox's "New Girl." And before that, she was Matthew Perry's assistant on NBC's "Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip." She's also had small roles in Lena Dunham's "Tiny Furniture," "Greenberg," "Michael Clayton," and "Signs."
Check out Wever in "New Girl":
3. She Started Training in Junior High School
Wever was always a drama kid at heart, and attended New York's LaGuardia High School — which boasts such famous alums as Robert De Niro, Jennifer Aniston, and Sarah Michelle Gellar. Her first acting credit came at the age of 15 in the TV movie "Blue River."
4. Fellow Actors Love Her
"Nurse Jackie" star Edie Falco gushed, "She is such a unique talent … She embodies everything that I love and that makes me proud to be working in this industry." Wever's "New Girl" love interest Max Greenfield declared, "She's easily one of the best actresses we've had on the show and that I've ever worked with." And Dunham called her a "genius/heroine."
5. She's Shy
Wever is notoriously averse to media attention. As she told the Daily Beast, getting nominated for an Emmy was "intimidating and scary."
"It's just a different world," she said. "I don't really know how to function in it."