Along with the HBO movie The Life and Death of Peter Sellers, Raymond was the night's big winner, with three Emmys. Doris Roberts and Brad Garrett of Raymond also won, for their supporting roles.
"I have to dedicate this to Britney and our baby," Garrett joked. "This is amazing."
Huffman – who plays Lynette, the harried mother of four on Housewives – said to the other women of her show, "I love you," but saved her most ardent sentiment for last.
"I'd like to thank the incredible William H. Macy for taking a chunky 22-year-old ... and making me his wife," Huffman said.
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Tony Shalhoub won his second Emmy as best actor in a comedy series, for Monk, and James Spader won his second consecutive Emmy as dramatic series actor, for Boston Legal. (He previously won for the same character on The Practice.)
In his speech, Shalhoub joked: "I just want to say to the other actors, there's always next year – except Ray Romano." Romano's Everybody Loves Raymond ended its nine-year run this year. From the audience, Romano good-naturedly rolled his eyes.
While Housewives went into the evening tied with Will & Grace for most nominations, 15, its other main award was for its direction, by Charles MacDougall. ABC's satiric suburban series lost the comedy writing Emmy to FOX's ratings challenged Arrested Development – whose writers acknowledged that no one watches their show.
Besides its top drama series victory, ABC's Lost, about crash survivors stranded on a mysterious island, won an Emmy for its director, J.J. Abrams.
For the third year running, The Amazing Race beat out such heavy contenders as The Apprentice and Survivor to win best reality-competition program.
Mark J. Terrill / AP
Geoffrey Rush, who won outstanding TV-movie actor for The Life and Death of Peter Sellers (for which he also won the Golden Globe last January), cited such classic American TV shows as The Real McCoys, The Red Skelton Show and Sugarfoot as inspiring him to become an actor when he watched them as a child in his native Australia.
The HBO movie about the late Pink Panther star also won an Emmy for its director, Stephen Hopkins, as well as another for its writers, Roger Lewis and Christopher Markus.
Even so, the Emmy for best TV movie went not to Sellers but to HBO's Warm Springs, about Franklin D. Roosevelt's struggle against polio. Jane Alexander won the Emmy for supporting actress in a TV movie for her role as FDR's imperious mother, Sarah Roosevelt.
Best actress in a TV movie went to S. Epatha Merkerson, for HBO's Lakawanna Blues, who complained to an appreciative audience that her acceptance-speech notes had slipped down her cleavage.
The Lost Prince, a Masterpiece Theater production about Britain's real-life Prince John, the youngest child of George V and Queen Mary (and an epileptic who was kept from public view), was named best miniseries.
When the entire cast of Everybody Loves Raymond gathered onstage – likely for the last time – to present an award, star Ray Romano asked his TV mom Doris Roberts why she couldn't stop laughing. "Oh, honey," she told him, "I've been drunk since the wrap party."
Roberts and costar Brad Garrett were early winners, while supporting dramatic honors went to Blythe Danner, for Huff, and to Boston Legal's William Shatner – who over the course of the three-hour ceremony also delivered a campy vocal rendition of the Star Trek theme with opera star Frederica von Stade.
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The evening also recognized the contributions of Johnny Carson, the king of late night who died in January, and late ABC anchor Peter Jennings, who was remembered by his colleagues, Tom Brokaw and Dan Rather.
Here's a rundown of the major winners:
Comedy Series:Everybody Loves Raymond
Miniseries: The Lost Prince
Made-for-TV Movie: Warm Springs
Reality-Competition Program: The Amazing Race
Lead Actor, Drama: James Spader, Boston Legal
Lead Actress, Drama: Patricia Arquette, Medium
Lead Actor, Comedy:Tony Shalhoub, Monk
Lead Actress, Comedy: Felicity Huffman, Desperate Housewives