Damian Lewis has won the Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actor In A Drama Series for his role in Showtime's "Homeland," in which he plays an American POW and Iraq War hero who was brainwashed during his captivity to become an Islamic terrorist.
This marks the first Emmy win and nomination for the 41-year-old British actor. He beat nominees Michael C. Hall of Showtime's "Dexter," Steve Buscemi of HBO's "Boardwalk Empire," Hugh Bonneville of PBS' "Downton Abbey," Jon Hamm of AMC's "Mad Men," and Bryan Cranston of AMC's Breaking Bad," who won the award in 2010.
"Homeland" debuted in 2011 and its second season is set to premiere on September 30. The show received nine Emmy nods. Earlier this year, the show won the Golden Globe for Best Television Series - Drama.
Lewis was born and raised in the posh St. John's Wood area of London, home to the famous Abbey Road crosswalk, made famous worldwide by the Beatles album of the same name.
"Hello everybody, I'm Damian Lewis. I'm one of those pesky Brits," he joked during his Emmy acceptance speech at Sunday's ceremony.
He thanked his wife, actress Helen McCrory, and two children. McCrory has appeared in films such as "Hugo" and also stars in the new James Bond movie, "Skyfall."
Claire Danes later won Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series for her role as CIA officer Carrie Mathison, who suspects Lewis' character, Nicholas Brody, is plotting a terrorist attack in the United States. The two also become involved romantically, even though the character is married with children.
Lewis began his on-screen acting career in the early 1990s and is also known for his role as Major Richard D. Winters in the 2001 mini-series "Band of Brothers."
Lewis has also appeared in films such as the 2011 R-rated fantasy-themed comedy movie "Your Highness," which stars James Franco, Natalie portman, Danny McBride, Justin Theroux and Zooey Deschanel.
Lewis recently played Lord Capulet in a new film adaptation of "Romeo and Juliet," which also stars Hailee Steinfeld of the 2010 remake of "True Grit" and "Gossip Girl" actor Ed Westwick.
Danes, who is expecting her first child with husband Hugh Dancy, earned her first Emmy nomination in 1995, given for her lead role in the short-lived series "My So-Called Life," which launched the actress' career. She won her first Emmy in 2010, for the television film "Temple Grandin."
The 2012 Emmy Awards ceremony was held at L.A. Live's Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday, September 23 and aired on ABC. The event was hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, who also hosts the network's hit late-night talk show "Jimmy Kimmel Live!."