Christina Applegate receives emotional standing ovation for rare appearance after MS diagnosis

Christina Applegate received an emotional welcome when she graced the stage at the Emmy Awards on Monday night (15 January).

The Married… With Children and Dead to Me star was one of the evening’s many trophy presenters at the event, which was held at the Peacock Theatre in Los Angeles.

After a four-month delay, the ceremony was filled with historic wins and plenty of emotional acceptance speeches, and you can find the full list of winners here.

One of the evening’s highlights came early on when Applegate, 52, was escorted to the stage by the ceremony’s main host, Anthony Anderson to present the category of Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy.

Applegate has largely stayed out of the spotlight after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis, a condition that affects the brain and nerves, in 2021 and often walks with a cane for support.

As she approached the stage, audience members rose to their feet as they applauded her.

The actor was visibly emotional by her reception, but soon had the crowd laughing after poking fun at them. “Thank you so much,” she told the applauding audience, adding: “Oh my God, you’re totally shaming me with disability by standing up. It’s fine.”

As the audience continued to applaud, Applegate jokingly chided them by quipping: “We don’t have to applaud every time I do something.”

The sitcom star then said: “OK, let’s go. Some of you may know me as Kelly Bundy from Married… With Children or Samantha from Samantha Who? or Jen Harding from Dead to Me. Very few of you probably know me from that debut – I’m going to cry, more than I’ve been crying – Baby Burt Grizzell on Days of Our Lives. It was my breakout role.”

She went on to note that it had been “an honour to play funny, flawed, complex characters like the women nominated for supporting actress in a comedy series”.

Christina Applegate at the 2024 Emmys (Getty Images)
Christina Applegate at the 2024 Emmys (Getty Images)

The Bear’s Ayo Edebiri eventually won the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, beating fellow nominees including Ted Lasso star Hannah Waddingham and Abbott Elementary’s Janelle James and Sheryl Lee Ralph.

One of Applegate’s most recent public appearances before the Emmys arrived in November 2022, when she received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Ahead of the ceremony, which reunited her with her Married... With Children on-screen mother Katey Segal and her Dead to Me co-star Linda Cardellini, Applegate shared some insight into her preparation for the event

“I have a very important ceremony coming up,” she wrote on X/Twitter at the time, along with an image of her five “fancy” cane options. “This will be my first time out since diagnosed with MS. Walking sticks are now part of my new normal.”