- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 24, 2002

LOS ANGELES
Jennifer Aniston said it was bittersweet Sunday to see "Friends" win its first Emmy for best comedy. The long-running series is in its ninth and likely final season.
Asked if the cast might reconsider and continue its run, she just shrugged.
"Oh, who knows?" said Miss Aniston, who won her own Emmy for best actress in a comedy.
Co-star Matt LeBlanc said he wasn't surprised that "Friends" took the top honor this year. "This is our ninth year now," he said. "The stuff the last year was really strong, but in my opinion, it's always been really strong."
John Spencer of "The West Wing," who won his first Emmy for best supporting actor in a drama after being nominated three years in a row, said acting saved his life.
"It's one more step in the journey,"Mr. Spencer, 55, said backstage.
"I'm a very lucky man. Anything in the last 13 years, since I've become sober, I consider extra innings. These are innings I was not going to play."
Mr. Spencer, who plays the chief of staff in the show, then learned that co-star Stockard Channing, who plays the first lady, had won the Emmy for best supporting actress after being nominated seven times previously and never winning.
"Stockard won?" he shouted. "Whoa."
"The Shield" has drawn praise and criticism for its violent content, but winning a best-actor Emmy made it all worthwhile for star Michael Chiklis.
"It vindicates us tremendously," said the actor, who plays a Los Angeles police officer on the FX series.
"It speaks to a lot of major issues that are going on in law enforcement today," he said. "We're just dealing with it in a very honest, brutal manner."
Oprah Winfrey, who has battled her weight for years, said she slimmed down through weight training in time for the Emmys.
"It didn't come easy getting into this dress," Miss Winfrey said backstage, referring to her pale yellow gown by Bradley Bayou.
The 48-year-old talk-show host and former marathon runner urged other women to start pumping iron. "I've been doing a lot of weights," she said. "I don't do as much aerobics as I used to."
Miss Winfrey received the inaugural Bob Hope Humanitarian Award during the show.
Brad Garrett's immediate response when he won the Emmy for best supporting actor in a comedy was disbelief. "There's been a grave mistake," he joked backstage.
It was the first Emmy for Mr. Garrett, who plays Ray Romano's goofy police officer brother on "Everybody Loves Raymond."
"Everybody in my category makes me laugh," said Mr. Garrett, 42. "I watch them, and I'm just so happy to be on the bus. This is incredible."


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