ⓘ Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

                                     

ⓘ Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series

The Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series is an award presented annually by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences. It is given in honor of an actor who has delivered an outstanding performance in a guest starring role on a television drama series for the primetime network season.

The award was first presented at the 27th Primetime Emmy Awards on May 19, 1975 to Patrick McGoohan for his performance on Columbo: By Dawns Early Light. It has undergone several name changes, originally honoring leading and supporting actors in single appearances on drama and comedy series through 1978. The award was reintroduced at the 38th Primetime Emmy Awards under the name Outstanding Guest Performer in a Drama Series, honoring actors and actresses in guest starring roles on television drama series. In 1989, the category was split into categories for each gender, resulting in the name change to its current title.

Since its inception, the award has been given to 35 actors. Bradley Whitford is the current recipient of the award for his role of Joseph Lawrence on The Handmaids Tale. Charles S. Dutton, John Lithgow and Patrick McGoohan have won the most awards in this category with two each. Michael J. Fox has been nominated for the award on seven occasions, the most within the category.