09/18/2016 19:55 EDT | Updated 09/19/2017 01:12 EDT

Emmys 2016: Canadian Tatiana Maslany takes home best actress in a drama

Canadian Tatiana Maslany took home the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series for her multiple roles on the cult-hit clone series Orphan Black on Sunday night.

Maslany appeared shocked as she accepted the award at the ceremony in Los Angeles and thanked the show's creators for "this incredible dream job."

She also said she felt "so lucky to be on a show that puts women at the centre."​

Maslany, often regarded as one of the hardest-working women in TV, plays multiple clones with varying personalities and accents in Orphan Black.

It was her second Emmy nomination for her work on the show, which airs on Space and BBC America and is shot in Toronto. The sci-fi thriller recently aired its fourth season, with the next season to be its final one.

Rami Malek captured his first Emmy for his lead role as the socially awkward computer hacker Elliott in USA Network's Mr. Robot.

"I think there's a little Elliott in all of us," Malek said as he accepted his award for outstanding lead actor.

Game of Thrones claims best drama

HBO's mega-hit fantasy series Game of Thrones won the coveted best drama Emmy for the second year in a row. 

The drama went into Sunday's show with a leading 23 nominations and won a total of 12 Emmys, including for directing and writing.

Thrones will miss next year's Emmy deadline because of the decision to air its seventh season in the summer of 2017, so racking up as many as possible this year is an even bigger deal.

The show beat out The Americans, Better Call Saul, Downton Abbey, Homeland, House of Cards and Mr. Robot.

Australian Ben Mendelsohn won dramatic supporting actor award for playing the black sheep of a Floridian family in Netflix's Bloodline, a show whose cancellation was announced last week.

Maggie Smith was honoured as best supporting actress in a drama, her third win portraying her Downton Abbey character. Per her custom, she didn't attend the ceremony.

The People v. O.J. Simpson sweeps the show

The FX true crime drama The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story cleaned up in the limited series category at the 68th edition of the show, with wins for best limited series, lead actor, lead actress and supporting actor.

Courtney B. Vance was honoured with the best actor award, limited series, for his role as charismatic defence lawyer Johnnie Cochran, who helped acquit NFL legend O.J. Simpson of double murder under the glaring spotlight of the so-called "Trial of the Century."

Sarah Paulson won the Emmy Award for best actress in a limited for her portrayal of prosecutor Marcia Clark, who endured widespread criticism for failing to win a conviction.

Paulson brought Clark as her guest to the ceremony at Microsoft Theater, and apologized to her for having a two-dimensional view of the prosecutor before signing on to play her onscreen.

"The more I learned about the real Marcia Clark ... the more I had to recognize that I along with the rest of the world had been superficial and careless in my judgment," she said.

Paulson's co-star Sterling K. Brown, who played prosecutor Christopher Darden in the series, won the best supporting actor award.

The drama had 22 nominations on the wave of a true crime trend in television coupled with a contemporary backdrop of racial tension.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep tops again

Veep star Julia Louis-Dreyfus won her fifth straight Emmy on Sunday for her role in the satirical White House comedy on a night when politics played large in the midst of an extraordinary 2016 U.S. election campaign.

For the second straight year, Veep was named outstanding comedy. The competition included previous winner Modern Family, returning nominees Transparent, Silicon Valley and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and first-time nominees Black-ish and Master of None.

Veteran Jeffrey Tambor won best comedy actor for a second time for his role as a father who transitions to a woman in Amazon's groundbreaking Transparent. 

Louis-Dreyfus, who plays the vainglorious U.S. president Selina Meyer on HBO's Veep, apologized for what she called "the current political climate."

"I think that Veep has torn down the wall between comedy and politics. Our show started out as a political satire but it now feels like a sobering documentary," she said while accepting her award.

Jeffrey Tambor calls for diverse casting

Turning serious a moment later, she fought back tears as she dedicated the award to her father, who died Friday.

Louis-Dreyfus has been an Emmy favourite for years, winning comedy acting awards for Seinfeld and The New Adventures of Old Christine before dominating the category with her work on Veep.

Tambor used his speech to call for more roles for transgender people.

"I would not be unhappy if I were the last cisgender male to play a female transgender on television," he said.

This is the second year in a row Tambor has won the best comedy actor Emmy.

Supporting acting awards in comedy went to first-time winners: Louie Anderson for Baskets, and Kate McKinnon for her work on Saturday Night Live.