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Melissa McCarthy's Magic Moment Steals The 63rd Emmy Awards

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Sep. 19 2011, Updated 9:30 a.m. ET

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By Adam S. Levy - Radar Staff Writer

Mike & Molly star Melissa McCarthy perhaps provided the most memorable moment of the night at Sunday's 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, delivering a heartfelt and emotional speech as she claimed the honors for best lead actress in a comedy.

Her surprising win came with plenty of pageantry -- literally -- as when presenters Rob Lowe and Sofia Vergara began announcing the nominees, Amy Poehler walked onto the stage, spurring the other nominees (Tina Fey, Martha Plimpton, Edie Falco, Laura Linney) to follow her lead.

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With the nominees standing alongside one another a la Miss America, Lowe said, "I just wanna say girls, everyone is a winner and I know you're gonna serve this body with distinction.

"And the Emmy goes to ... Melissa McCarthy!”

The crowd erupted as the 41-year-old Bridesmaids star, a decided underdog in the category, emerged from the pack to claim the honor for the first time, while the other nominees gave her the full pageant princess treatment, including a bouquet of roses and a tiara top.

“Holy smokes! Wow, it’s my first and best pageant ever," said McCarthy, who's also been seen in The Gilmore Girls, Samantha Who? and Curb Your Enthusiasm.

A teary McCarthy thanked her husband Ben, her parents and Mike & Molly creator Chuck Lorre, who she said “fought  for me.”

Watch the video on RadarOnline.com

“I’m from Plainfield, Illinois,” McCarthy said, “and I’m standing here and it’s kind of amazing.”

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