(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles…)
Before the Emmys telecast began Sunday night, Jon Cryer assured a reporter on the red carpet he would definitely not win the statuette for lead actor in a comedy.
Then the 47-year-old actor went inside the Nokia Theatre and proved himself wrong.
The "Two and a Half Men" star took the prize for the first time in his career — and the first time he was eligible for his CBS sitcom — after previously being nominated for the supporting actor prize six times and winning it once (2009). Cryer's Malibu chiropractor Alan Harper saw a beefed up role on "Men" this last season with the firing of costar Charlie Sheen before the season began.
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The win was considered an upset by awards pundits, many of whom thought Jim Parsons ("The Big Bang Theory") would land the prize for the third consecutive year. He also beat out Larry David of "Curb Your Enthusiasm," Don Cheadle of "House of Lies," Louis C.K. of "Louie" and Alec Baldwin of "30 Rock."
On stage, Cryer seemed genuinely stunned by the win as he thanked "Charlie" (his son, not Sheen), while backstage he told reporters he too thought Parsons would win.
"That this has happened is ridiculous," Cryer said.
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"Men" is set to debut its 10th season this week, with Cryer acknowledging in interviews that he and recently hired costar Ashton Kutcher are still refining their comedic rapport.
When nominations were announced, Cryer told The Times he decided to make a bid for lead actor after a publicist encouraged him.
"It just seemed silly [not to]" he said. "They were hanging so much on the Alan character."