Zendaya Just Made Television History

Zendaya has made history by becoming the youngest two-time winner for Outstanding Lead Actress at the Emmys.

By Charlene Badasie | Published

Zendaya has made Emmy Award history once again. With her second win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for Euphoria at the 2022 ceremony, the 26-year-old became the youngest two-time winner for acting, and the first Black woman to win in the leading acting categories twice. “This means so much. Thank you so much,” she said after receiving the trophy. “To all the incredible actors in this category, I’m so honored to be beside you.” She also thanked the incredible cast for creating a safe space to make the very “difficult” show.

Wearing a Valentino gown and Bulgari jewels, Zendaya also thanked viewers for sharing their stories about how Rue helped them heal. Created and principally written by Sam Levinson for HBO, Euphoria tells the story of Rue Bennett – a recovering teenage drug addict who struggles to find her place in the world. The Marvel alum’s portrayal of the protagonist is the main reason the show has resonated with so many people. While the show has a heightened nature at times, the evolving coming-of-age story is all about healing from our inner demons, addictions, and trauma.

Based on the Israeli miniseries of the same name by Ron Leshem and Daphna Levin, Euphoria premiered in June 2019. Following its debut, the show received positive reviews for its cinematography, score, and approach to its mature subject matter. Critics also praised the performances of the cast, particularly Zendaya as Rue Bennett, Sydney Sweeney as Cassie Howard, and Hunter Schafer as Jules Vaughn. It was renewed for a second season a month later.


But Euphoria has also been considered controversial for its nudity and sexual content. Some folks found it to be a little excessive due to the story’s teenage setting. Despite the minor backlash, two one-hour specials were broadcast in December 2020 and January 2021. The second season premiered earlier this year and was picked up for a third outing. Along with Zendaya’s Emmy wins, the series was nominated for the Outstanding Drama Series Award. The actress also won the Satellite Award for Best Actress in a Drama Series.

Meanwhile, Zendaya has been one of Hollywood’s most sought-after young stars in recent years. After making her television debut as Rocky Blue on the 2010 Disney Channel sitcom Shake It Up, she went on to star in blockbusters like Jon Watts’ Spider-Man trilogy, Dune, and The Greatest Showman. In addition to her acting career, the Emmy winner has ventured into music. In 2011, she released the single “Swag It Out” and collaborated with Bella Thorne on “Watch Me.” Her biggest music success came with “Rewrite the Stars” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack in 2018.

Zendaya’s upcoming projects include the second installment in the Dune series of films which will hit theaters on November 17, 2023. Directed by Denis Villeneuve from a screenplay he co-wrote with Jon Spaihts and Eric Roth, the movie will serve as a direct sequel to the 2021 film. The 26-year-old will also appear in Challengers. Billed as a romantic sports comedy, the project is directed by Luca Guadagnino from a screenplay by Justin Kuritzkes. It is scheduled for release on August 11, 2023.