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Emmys Had Welcome Surprises

For "Will And Grace" star Debra Messing, four was a charm. The auburn-haired actress took home her first Emmy last night. Tyne Daly, long overdo for her fine work in CBS's "Judging Amy", won a statue and "Everybody Loves Raymond" finally won best comedy series. "The West Wing", again, beat out HBO heavy-hitters 'Six Feet Under" and "The Sopranos" to win best dramatic series. Several comedians were tapped to "co-host" the event, most of whose routines ranged from bland to Wanda (obnoxious) Sykes. The always amusing Ellen Degeneres was a saving grace, but it was Martin Shot with his homage song, "Here's To The Losers", accompanied by Letterman's Paul Shaefer on piano, who was hilarious. Bill Cosby received the Bob Hope Award for his career/humanitarianism and, true to his selfless spirit, chose not to shine light on his own sizeable accomplishments over the past four decades, but to pay tribute to others, including his son Enis, who, at 27, was a victim of random murder in Los Angeles while trying to change a tire. Henry Winkler honored his friend, the late John Ritter, whom he hoped would be remembered for his versatility as an actor. While the montage of clips shown during the Emmy telecast only highlighted Ritter's comedic prowess, the actor also received critical acclaim for dramatic roles in the television film, "Unnatural Causes" and Billy Bob Thornton's "Slingblade". FAB president, Elayne Blythe, whose son was a childhood friend of John's, will pay tribute to him and the Ritter Family in the October issue of Film Advisory Board Monthly. - Michele Williams