With a 50-year career on Broadway, in film and on television, you might assume that legendary actor Sheryl Lee Ralph has been nominated for an Emmy before.
But you'd be wrong.
The actor nabbed her very first nomination today for her performance in the ABC sitcom Abbott Elementary—and her reaction is absolutely the most contagiously joyful thing you'll see this week.
Ralph has been nominated in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her role as the elder stateswoman among the teachers at the fictional Philadelphia school at the center of the runaway hit comedy series.
And the video of her reaction to the news, posted to Twitter by her son Etienne, has the internet cheering and applauding.
See Ralph's big moment below.
Ralph's son tweeted:
"with over 50 years of being in this thing we call showbusiness, today my mother became an Emmy nominated actress."
"i’m so proud of @thesherylralph. I’m so glad I could be here in Jamaica with you for this moment."
Seeing Ralph reduced to speechlessness is certainly a contrast to her character Barbara Howard on Abbott Elementary, a wise, been-there-done-that veteran teacher who's seen it all and always knows the right thing to say.
Her mystification isn't what you'd expect if you've followed her career either. Though she began in films in the 1970s, Ralph is best known for her barnstorming performance as Deena Jones in the original Broadway production of Dreamgirls in 1981.
But she's been a mainstay on stage, television and movie screens ever since, appearing in TV shows like Showtime's Ray Donovan, beloved films like Sister Act 2: Back in the Habit and Broadway hits like Wicked.
Her role on Abbott Elementary has introduced her to an entire new generation and they are absolutely in love with her and her castmates.
The show, which features an ensemble cast of mostly Black performers, was an immediate sleeper hit since practically the moment it premiered and has become a critical and ratings success—a rare trifecta in today's TV landscape and a boundary-breaking one for network television, a historically White-led medium.
Speaking with People magazine after learning of her nomination, Ralph somehow found the words that eluded her in the video of her getting the call about the honor.
She told the magazine:
"I am so deeply honored and completely overwhelmed with an abundance of gratitude that comes with this recognition."
"Thank you to the Television Academy for the delicious honor of being nominated in the Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series category, alongside the most talented and hilarious actors of today."
On Twitter, Ralph's awestruck joy and her son's contagious glee left people smiling ear to ear.
Ralph isn't the only Abbott Elementary cast member who might find her name engraved on a statue in September. She joins costars Tyler James Williams and breakout sensation Janelle James in the Supporting Actor and Actress categories.
And series creator Quinta Brunson has made Emmys history with her nominations—with acting and writing nods and an Outstanding Comedy Series nomination for the show itself.
Brunson is the first Black woman to be nominated for three Emmy awards in the comedy category in the same year.