There were several grab-a-tissue moments at Sunday night's Emmy Awards, but one of the most special parts of the show was the surprise appearance of Tracy Morgan. The former 30 Rock star, who suffered a traumatic brain injury in a car accident that killed one of his friends last year, presented the last award of the evening and got a standing ovation from the audience.
Tracy, who was in a coma for eight days and was confined to a wheelchair for months after a June 2014 crash on the New Jersey Turnpike, walked out onto the stage unassisted. "Thanks to the amazing doctors and the support of my family and beautiful wife, I'm here. Standing on my own two feet," he told the crowd, which included former co-stars and friends such as Tina Fey and Jane Krakowski.
The Saturday Night Live alum, 46, attended the prime-time television awards in Los Angeles with his new wife, Megan Wollover, and their daughter, Maven, 2, who looked adorable in a black dress with a feathered skirt and matching cat shoes and bag.
"God bless all of you for your love, prayers and thoughts for the past 15 months," Tracy told the audience. "I'm honored to be at the Emmys. It's been a long road back. I suffered a traumatic brain injury that put me in a coma for eight days, and I finally regained consciousness. I was ecstatic to learn that I wasn't the one that messed up!"
Showing that he hadn't lost his characteristic sense of humor, Tracy, who'd clowned around with his family on the red carpet and displayed his belly for photographers, also said that he'd only recently begun to feel like himself again, which he joked meant "a whole lot of women are gonna get pregnant at the afterparty!"
Tracy, who married Megan last month in an emotional ceremony in New Jersey, is set to host Saturday Night Live on October 17. He posted a photo with Emmy winner Jon Hamm on Twitter after the award show, writing, "Man it feels good to be back!!! Love you all!"
— Tracy Morgan (@RealTracyMorgan) September 21, 2015
He wasn't the only one to make a triumphant return to the spotlight. Sandra Lee, who has been battling breast cancer, walked the red carpet in a pale pink gown with a plunging neckline on Sunday night.
The TV chef, who was diagnosed earlier this year and underwent a double mastectomy in May, had follow-up surgery last month for complications. She posted an update on her condition on Facebook on Sunday, writing that she was excited to be back.
The Food Network star explained that she needed a little time to herself in the past few weeks because, "The last infection threw me a bit and I decided to focus and redirect all my energies internally. I physically and emotionally just needed to be silent and still while I healed. This has been an unreal chain of events in my life. I am still stunned, still digesting and still processing everything that has taken place this past year."
Sharing a photo with her longtime partner, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, Sandra also revealed that she will be sitting down for an interview with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America next week.