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Best Actress Drama Series

Jan 19, 2004  •  Post A Comment

First-year drama series have won Golden Globes for their lead actresses in four of the past five contests. Only last year, when Edie Falco won for her work in “The Sopranos” (HBO), was the streak broken. But because no original “Sopranos” episodes ran in 2003, Ms. Falco is ineligible this year under Globe rules, which provides an opening for freshmen Joely Richardson of FX’s “Nip/Tuck” and Amber Tamblyn of CBS’s “Joan of Arcadia.”
British native Ms. Richardson, the daughter of Vanessa Redgrave and Tony Richardson, offers the Globe voters just the type of risk-taking performance they tend to prefer. “Joely’s role is very difficult and she nails it every single time,” series creator and executive producer Ryan Murphy said. “During the pilot episode, she executed a very emotional fight scene flawlessly, all the while sobbing, with a flawless American accent.”
Ms. Tamblyn, who said she is still in shock over her nomination, offers the foreign press a completely different type of character-one who comes face to face with various visions of God on the program. “Joan embodies a whole range of realistic human emotions,” Ms. Tamblyn said.
Ms. Richardson and Ms. Tamblyn face stiff competition from actresses in three highly acclaimed shows. Allison Janney has received four Globe nominations in a row for her work on “The West Wing,” but while she has taken home three Emmys, she has never won a Globe. This lack of success with Globe voters could play either way toward the end result. Some members may believe Ms. Janney’s time has arrived, while others will be looking to reward someone new.
Jennifer Garner won the Globe in her first year on “Alias.” While she lost to Ms. Falco in her sophomore season, the past year allowed her to show an emotional side to her Sydney Bristow character beyond the physical prowess highlighted in the show’s first two seasons. “Syd was forced to grow up this year,” Ms. Garner said. “She’s the most fun combination of strength and vulnerability, and it’s been really cool to add a bit more maturity to the mix.” In between kicks and turns, Ms. Garner’s textured approach to Sydney’s emotional growth may have distinguished her performance just enough to convince the foreign press she deserves another statue.
The category’s final nominee hails from “Six Feet Under,” but it’s not Rachel Griffiths, who was nominated each of the past two years. This season Frances Conroy gets the nod. Ms. Conroy has received two Emmy nominations, but this is the first time Globes voters have nominated her for the series. If they honor her with the award, it will be because Ms. Conroy has risen to a new level in deftly embodying the contradictions that make up her character, the enigmatic widowed mother Ruth Fisher.