LOS ANGELES – Congratulations, Darren Criss! The 31-year-old former song-and-dance star of ‘Glee,’ is the first Filipino-American to win an Emmy as Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for his role as serial killer Andrew Cunanan, who murdered Italian fashion designer Gianni Versace, founder of the international house of fashion ‘Versace.’
The miniseries ‘The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story (FX)’ won Best Limited Series, with Ryan Murphy winning for Best Directing, at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards held on September 17, at the Microsoft Theater here.
Born and raised in San Francisco, California, Darren is the younger son of Cerina (from Cebu) and Charles William Criss, a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, of English, German and Irish descent. He has an older brother, Charles ‘Chuck’ Criss.
Another FilAm, Jon Jon Briones, joined Darren on stage when the miniseries Versace won. Jon Jon played the role of Darren’s doting but abusive father, Modesto ‘Pete’ Cunanan. Jon Jon garnered lots of attention for his performance as the killer’s intense father whose pursuit for the American Dream led to his downfall.
“It was Briones’ past role as the Engineer in the London revival of Miss Saigon,” offered designer Oliver Tolentino, “where he received a Lawrence Olivier nomination that led to his casting in the Versace miniseries.”
Born Ernesto Briones, Jr. in Quezon City, 53-year old actor/singer Jon Jon left the Philippines at age 23 and joined the original cast of Miss Saigon in London. He’s married to actress/singer Megan Johnson Briones and they have two children, Isa and Teo.
Oliver dressed Marin Hinkle and Jon Jon Briones for their walk up on stage when their shows won Emmys. Jon Jon was in an Oliver Tolentino ‘midnight blue tuxedo, featuring dark blue satin peak lapels,’ while Marin Hinkle ‘stunned in a beautiful deep purple hand-draped silk chiffon gown accented with a deep neck and flowing panels attached at the shoulder to create two trains. The look recalled the elegance of old Hollywood.’
“Actress Marin Hinkle joined her cast on stage when The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel won Best Comedy Series,” said Oliver. “Hinkle and Tony Shalhoub play the parents of Midge, the character for which Rachel Brosnahan won Best Comedy Actress. Alex Borstein won Best Supporting Comedy Actress for her role as the manager. Hinkle is probably best known for playing Judith Harper, ex-wife of Jon Cryer’s character, in Two and a Half Men.”