A banner year for Melissa McCarthy

Melissa McCarthy holds the Emmy for best lead actress in a comedy series backstage at the 63rd Primetime Emmy Awards, Sept. 18, 2011, in Los Angeles.

(CBS) In an Emmy upset, Melissa McCarthy of "Mike & Molly" took the statuette for best actress in a comedy, beating out such awards darlings as Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Laura Linney, Edie Falco and Martha Plimpton.

It was the 41-year-old McCarthy's first nomination and the first season for the CBS sitcom about a teacher who finds love with a Chicago cop she met at a group for overeaters.

Pictures: Melissa McCarthy
Pictures: The Emmy red carpet
Special Section: The 2011 Emmys

McCarthy previously had supporting roles on such series as "Gilmore Girls" and "Samantha Who?"

Earlier this year, McCarthy wowed critics and audiences for her strident turn in the summer smash "Bridesmaids."

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