Emmy nominee profile: Anna Torv (‘The Last of Us’) makes the ultimate sacrifice in standout episode

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This year’s Best Drama Guest Actress category at the Emmys is a tightly-knit affair with only two shows — “Succession” and “The Last of Us,” both HBO projects — reaping nominations. “Succession” landed three bids for Harriet Walter, Hiam Abbass, and Cherry Jones, while “The Last of Us” produced nominations for Melanie Lynskey, Storm Reid, and Anna Torv.

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Torv, like her co-star Reid and “Succession” contender Abbass, is a first-time Emmy nominee after working in the industry for years. She features in three episodes of “The Last of Us” as

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Their journey gets off to a tricky start as their preferred path is swarmed with the infected and they have to take a treacherous detour through an abandoned history museum. Eventually, they make it to the state house in the hopes of finding allies, but everyone is dead. Here, Tess turns up the tension, revealing she was bitten. Tess makes the ultimate sacrifice and convinces Joel and Ellie to go on without her. Tess stays behind to blow up the building, killing the infected horde. Before she blows it up, however, an infected gives her a kiss (trying to pass on the infection) in one of the show’s grossest and most memorable moments.

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HBO (including HBO Max) is the most nominated platform this year with a whopping 127 nominations; 27 of those went to “Succession” while “The Last of Us” garnered 24 to become the second most nominated show of the year. While this is a substantial amount, it’s actually not the most Emmy nominations for a drama in its first season — instead, that record is held by “NYPD Blue,” which earned 27 bids for its debut season in 1994. Among its citations, “The Last of Us” garnered nine acting bids, but the record for most acting nominations in a year goes to “Succession,” which landed 14 in 2022 and again in 2023.

Torv is looking to become the 12th actress to win this award on their first-ever Emmy nomination. The others are Valerie Mahaffey in 1992 for “Northern Exposure,” Faye Dunaway in 1994 for “Columbo,” Dianne Wiest in 1997 for “Road to Avonlea,” Debra Monk in 1999 for “NYPD Blue,” Patricia Clarkson in 2002 for “Six Feet Under,” Sharon Stone in 2004 for “The Practice,” Leslie Caron in 2007 for “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,” Loretta Devine in 2011 for “Grey’s Anatomy,” Carrie Preston in 2013 for “The Good Wife,” Alexis Bledel in 2017 for “The Handmaid’s Tale” and Lee You-mi in 2022 for “Squid Game.” Reid and Abbass could also achieve that feat, but they all face a formidable foe in the form of Jones, who has the second most nominations in this category with four bids (behind only Cicely Tyson with five) and is tied for the most wins in this category with two.

This article is a part of Gold Derby’s “Emmy nominee profile” series spotlighting the 2023 acting contenders.

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