This morning, Kerry Washington became the first African American woman to earn a best actress Emmy nomination in 18 years.

Nominees for the 65th annual Primetime Emmy Awards were announced Thursday morning at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences in North Hollywood.

Washington made the cut for Lead Actress in a Drama for her role as DC fixer Olivia Pope in the ABC series “Scandal.” Cicely Tyson appeared in the same category in 1995 for her NBC legal drama “Sweet Justice,” but she eventually lost to “Picket Fences” star Kathy Baker.

A black actress has never won this category in the Emmy Awards’ 65 year history. Washington will face competition from fellow nominees Connie Britton of “Nashville,” Claire Danes of “Homeland,” “Downton Abbey” star Michelle Dockery, Vera Farmiga of “Bates Motel” and Robin Wright in the Netflix series “House of Cards.”

Don Cheadle, star of Showtime’s “House of Lies,” earned his second consecutive Lead Actor in a Comedy nomination and 6th Emmy nod overall. He’ll battle Alec Baldwin of “30 Rock,” Jason Bateman of “Arrested Development,” “Louie” star Louis C.K., Matt LeBlanc of “Episodes” and Jim Parsons of “The Big Bang Theory.”

Alfre Woodard of the Lifetime Original Movie “Steel Magnolias” is a nominee for Best Supporting Actress in a Miniseries or Movie, while Paris Barclay nabbed a directing nomination for “Glee’s” 13th episode of season four, titled “Diva.”

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