At age 70, This Is Us’ Gerald McRaney landed his first Emmy nomination and first win for playing Dr. K, aka Dr. Nathan Katowski, on the NBC drama. The win left McRaney in disbelief, he said later backstage Sunday night.

“My first thought was, ‘Did I hear that right?’ and when Delta (his wife Delta Burke) started reacting, I thought, ‘Well I guess I must have.’ So I went up on stage and I’m glad I heard it right because it would have been awfully embarrassing if I went and picked up someone else’s trophy.”

In his acceptance speech McRaney thanked This Is Us creator “Dan Fogelman for writing such beautiful show, Ken Olin for directing the episode of which I was nominated,” and, “the entire cast of this show who in so many ways make me better, especially Milo [Ventimiglia] and Mandy [Moore] who are simultaneously my colleagues and my masters.”

This Is Us
NBC

As for a potential return in Season 2, McRaney said, “I have no idea. I hope Dr K makes another appearance, but if he doesn’t I’m fine with that, because it was such a joy to have been on this show and to have been a part of it. But I am not going to try and persuade Dan to write something for me. You don’t mess with perfection.”

One of the things that drives his This is Us character, McRaney said, was the loss of his wife. “All I had to do was imagine losing my wife,” he told press backstage tonight, “and when I did that, the only problem I had was regaining my composure when the tape was over.…if I imagine losing Delta I’m completely lost.”

McRaney and Burke married in 1989, having met when McRaney did a guest spot on CBS’ Designing Women. He credited his wife for his success, saying, “As a man I’ve had the love of the finest woman I can possibly imagine. As an actor, when she tells me something is good I accept that I’ve done OK, because she knows what she’s talking about. She’ll tell me when I suck too, she has no hesitation about that.”