It’s hard to believe that anyone would miss one of Hollywood’s biggest and most glamorous nights of celebration: the Primetime Emmy Awards. Occasionally though, some of the most recognizable names from both the big and small screens don’t make it. At this year’s event, it happened with not one but three different nominees, including a Downtown Abbey star and one of music’s biggest icons.
Last night the two-time Academy Award winner and Downtown Abbey actress Maggie Smith earned a win in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category. In fact, it was the lone win for the series among Downtown’s four total nominations for its final season. While Smith’s iconic performance as Violet Crawley saw her deliver the literal last word in the long-running period drama, it also nabbed her the chance to deliver the series’ final thanks on the Emmy stage. Yet, the long-respected actress and five time Downtown Abbey nominee wasn’t present to accept the honor.
This isn’t the first time the actress has been absent and thus unable to accept her award, however. Smith is a known no-show, with the 2016 ceremony marking the fourth time since 2011 that the 83-year-old actress was unavailable to accept her award live.
Another celebrity staple that didn’t make an appearance? Queen of the Beyhive, Beyoncé herself. The chart topper was nominated in four separate categories for her jaw-dropping visual album Lemonade. The award losses were only the tip of the dissatisfying iceberg, as there had been whisperings earlier in the day that the singer was set to make a surprise performance during the show.
While her snubs were tough, her absence was perhaps the hardest to deal with, and not just for her fans. John Oliver, comedian and host of The Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, was also riding the wave of disappointment after the artist didn’t appear. The political satirist and HBO star, who took home the Creative Arts Emmy for Best Writing in a Variety Series earlier this week, also snagged the win for Best Variety Talk Series last night. During the evening he voiced his sadness with the night’s total lack of Bey.
“I thought Beyoncé was gonna be here. I saw a seating chart and I was supposed to be sitting two rows behind her and I was going to stare at her head and experience happiness in a way I haven’t felt before… so this evening is a bit disappointing.”
Outside of both Queen Smith and Queen Bey, Bloodline‘s Ben Mendelsohn also failed to make an appearance last night after winning the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in a Drama. This marked the second year the actor was up for the award, and Empire‘s Taraji P. Henson accepted on his behalf.
In an interview with the actor’s father, 774 ABC Melbourne said that his son was “delighted” and that the win was a “double thrill” as Mendelsohn believed the competition this year was particularly stiff.