An emotional Christina Applegate receives a standing ovation at the Emmys

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Christina Applegate at the 75th Emmy Awards.

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Christina Applegate at the 75th Emmy Awards.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Actor Christina Applegate has stayed mostly out of the public eye since she announced she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2021. But she came out at Monday night’s Emmys to present the first award, and was greeted with a standing ovation.

Who is she?

Applegate is best known as Kelly Bundy from the long-running sitcom Married…with Children — and came to the stage on Monday night to the show’s theme song — though she’s had a pretty wide and varied career since. She memorably played Veronica Corningstone in Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, won an Emmy for her guest stint on an episode of Friends, and most recently starred in the Netflix series Dead to Me as a real estate agent whose husband has been killed by a hit-and-run driver (for which she was nominated for an Emmy on Monday).

What’s the big deal?

Multiple sclerosis, also known as MS, is an autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks the central nervous system, which includes the brain and spinal cord, disrupting communication between the brain and the body. Its symptoms include weakness, fatigue, chronic pain and difficulty walking. There is currently no cure, but there are treatments that can slow its progression. Symptoms can vary widely.

Applegate hasn’t made many appearances since she went public with her diagnosis. But at the Emmys, she showed her sense of humor hasn’t gone anywhere. As she came up on stage to present the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, she became visibly emotional before jokingly telling the cheering crowd: “You’re totally shaming me, with disability, by standing up.”

Christina Applegate presents the award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series at the 75th Emmy Awards.

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What are people saying?

The audience response to Applegate was one of the highlights of Monday’s show, with people’s appreciation for her continuing into Tuesday. The Atlantic called her appearance: “The most truthful moment of the Emmys.” Applegate has previously talked about taking time off from filming the final season of Dead to Me after getting her diagnosis. “I needed to process my loss of my life, my loss of that part of me,” she told The New York Times in 2022. “Although it’s not like I came on the other side of it, like, ‘Woohoo, I’m totally fine.'”

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