Christina Applegate made a rare public appearance at the 75th Primetime Emmy Awards on Sunday night, marking her first event since revealing her multiple sclerosis (MS) diagnosis in 2021. The actress received a lengthy standing ovation as she took the stage, getting visibly emotional from the outpouring of support.
Applegate Presents Award Alongside Co-Presenters
Applegate appeared alongside her “Dead to Me” co-stars Linda Cardellini and James Marsden to present the award for Outstanding Comedy Series.
As Applegate slowly walked out with a mobility cane, the audience immediately rose to their feet to cheer and applaud the actress. Applegate became teary-eyed, bowing her head and placing her hand over her heart in gratitude. Marsden and Cardellini then flanked either side of Applegate in a touching show of solidarity.
“I have a disease. Did you not notice? I’m not wearing shoes,” Applegate remarked wryly. “You’re supposed to laugh at that!”
“You’re supposed to laugh with me, not at me,” she quipped, lightening the mood. The trio went on to praise the works of art that comedies have the power to be.
Applegate Diagnosed With MS in 2021, Future Acting Uncertain
Applegate revealed her MS diagnosis publicly in August 2021, though she had been privately battling symptoms for some time. The autoimmune disease impacts the central nervous system, with symptoms varying greatly but potentially including vision loss, pain, fatigue and impaired coordination.
The actress has been open about how the disease has impacted her mobility, also alluding to it affecting her memory. She has required a mobility cane since last year.
It remains unclear if Applegate will continue her acting career going forward due to her health struggles. “Dead to Me” show creator Liz Feldman has confirmed that the upcoming third season of the Netflix dramedy will be its last.
Filming had already commenced in 2021 when Applegate’s symptoms began progressing, forcing a months-long production hiatus. Several scenes were re-written to accommodate the actress. The final season does not currently have a release date but is expected later this year.
Applegate’s Daughter and Stylist Accompany Her to Ceremony
Applegate attended Sunday’s award show alongside her daughter Sadie, 12. The mother-daughter duo stopped briefly for photos on the carpet, where fans were quick to note the strong resemblance between the two.
In an image posted ahead of the event on social media, Applegate is seen towering over her daughter – indicating Sadie has inherited her mother’s 5’5″ stature.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Applegate’s trusted stylist Alison Levinson also accompanied her to the ceremony. Levinson has reportedly been dressing Applegate for events throughout awards seasons in her own home.
For the Emmys, Applegate wore a flowing velvet gown in a rich wine hue designed by Christian Siriano. She paired the look with a diamond choker necklace but went without shoes due to comfort. Her hair was worn in soft waves around her shoulders.
Fellow Stars and Advocates Praise Applegate’s Bravery
In addition to the reaction inside the event venue, praise for Applegate’s appearance poured in from celebrities, journalists and MS advocates across social media.
Her courage and vulnerability during such a challenging time for her health resonated deeply. Many called her an inspiration not only to the MS community, but for anyone dealing with life-altering illness.
Applegate’s close friend and former “Married… with Children” co-star Katey Sagal wrote: “Watching you be honored for your tremendous acting on & off screen…You have weathered the storm with grace. @1capplegate we are mighty.” Fellow actor Leslie Grossman called her “insanely brave, strong, powerful, badass.”
The nonprofit advocacy collective MS Society tweeted: “Incredibly moving to see Christina Applegate receiving a standing ovation…for millions around the world living with MS she embodies strength in the face of uncertainty.”
|“You are so loved…So brave. I admire you” – Actor Debra Messing
|“Continuing to take my cues from Christina Applegate, patron saint of taking each day as it comes.” – Journalist Louis Peitzman
|“So much love for @1capplegate � what a shining example of resilience she is for people living with chronic illness.” – Salty Spoon Apparel
Applegate later took a moment on Twitter to express her gratitude, writing: “I have shed many tears today. But they were happy heart felt tears. I thank you. I’ve missed you all so much. It was wonderful to be back. With my tribe.”
What’s Next: Applegate’s Career, Health and Potential Emmy Success
It remains to be seen whether Christina Applegate will decide to act again after “Dead to Me” or if she will continue advocacy work in the MS space instead. She may also choose to keep a lower profile to focus on her health and time with family. Applegate married musician Martyn LeNoble in 2013, who along with daughter Sadie will likely remain stalwart supports regardless.
There is a possibility Applegate may see awards success herself with “Dead to Me”‘s upcoming third season, especially given renewed interest and goodwill stemming from this week’s appearance. Co-star Linda Cardellini has previously been Emmy-nominated for the show.
As for her MS, Applegate has noted the importance of resting when her body demands it. While pursuing enjoyable passion projects here and there, her main priority will understandably be listening to her symptoms and limitations. Overall though, Applegate’s resilience thus far has shown the world what is possible in the face of life’s unexpected challenges.
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