Simon Baker
Simon Baker AAP

Local favourite pipped at Emmys

HE may have missed out on an Emmy, but the sheer presence of Simon Baker on the red carpet for the 61st Emmy Awards in Los Angeles yesterday won the hearts of Ballina fans.

Mr Baker was nominated for Most Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series for his work in The Mentalist, but the Emmy went to Bryan Cranston for Breaking Bad.

Tasmanian-born Baker, formerly known as Simon Denny, grew up in Lennox Head and attended Ballina High School. He had many of his 1987 graduating class rooting for him yesterday.

Baker cut a fine figure alongside his wife, fellow Australian Rebecca Rigg on the red carpet, teaming a tuxedo with a pair of dark sunnies.

The heartthrob faced stiff opposition in his category from Hugh Laurie ( House), Jon Hamm ( Mad Men), Gabriel Byrne ( In Treatment), Michael C Hall ( Dexter) and Bryan Cranston ( Breaking Bad) also nominated in the best actor in a drama category.

However, it wasn't a complete loss for LA's so-called 'Gumnut Mafia'.

Australia's Toni Collette won the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series category for the TV series United States of Tara.

Collette, who plays a housewife with a psychological disorder in United States of Tara, will add her first Emmy to her trophy cabinet.

“Wow, this is insanely confronting,” said the Muriel's Wedding star.

“I'm so humble to be here in this room, let along up on this stage.”

Collette's victory deprived hot favourite Tina Fey of 30 Rock of winning a second consecutive award in the category.

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