The 31-year-old actor took home the Emmy Award on Sunday for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his portrayal of real-life serial killer Andrew Cunanan in Ryan Murphy’s The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story.
Also nominated in the category were Antonio Banderas, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jeff Daniels, Jesse Plemons and John Legend. This is Criss' first Emmy win, he had previously been nominated for an Emmy in 2015 for writing the song "This Time" for the Glee finale.
"You guys are witnessing the most extraordinary moment of my life thus far. This is pretty cool," Criss said onstage, who was visibly overwhelmed by be in the same room as those who "inspire the living crap out of me."
"I am so profoundlgy indebted to my friend Ryan Murphy for entrusting me with this opportunity in a lifetime and for believing in me," he added, thanking his family, including fiancee Mia Swier. "You roll down the windows down and pump the music up in my life. I'm so thankful for you and I'm so lucky to have you."
"I have been, ever since we started, very proud and very excited with what we were working on, so to have that be matched by other people is incredibly validating," he expressed. "And I already feel like we've won, like, the greatest award we could possibly get, which is to be working on stuff that not only matters, that has artistic value and integrity.”
American Crime Story is also nominated for Best Limited Series, a slew of Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress nominations, and more.
The 70th Primetime Emmy Awards, co-hosted by Colin Jost and Michael Che, were handed out live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Monday, Sept. 17, on NBC. Check out the full list of winners and ET’s ongoing Emmy coverage here.