The Last of Us star, 10, makes Emmy history as youngest ever nominee in guest acting category

The Last of Us star Keivonn Montreal Woodard has made Emmy history as the youngest actor to be nominated for the Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series category.

The 10-year-old newcomer was honoured for his guest starring role on HBO’s hit drama, an adaptation of the popular PlayStation video game.

Woodard – who is deaf – made his acting debut as young apocalypse survivor Sam on the series, which follows survivors Joel (Pedro Pascal) and Ellie (Bella Ramsey) in the aftermath of a viral outbreak that decimates the world.

Other actors nominated in the category included Succession’s Arian Moayed and James Cromwell, as well as Woodard’s The Last of Us co-stars Nick Offerman, Murray Bartlett and Lamar Johnson, the latter of whom played Sam’s older brother Henry.

The four acting nods added to the show’s total Emmy nominations – a whopping 24.

On an earlier episode of HBO’s The Last of Us podcast, showrunner Craig Mazin praised Woodard, saying that the child star was “a joy to have around, and a total dream”.

“I have never been in a circumstance where a kid, who has never really acted on film before, shows up and is so naturally good at it,” he admitted.

Keivonn Montreal Woodard in ‘The Last of Us’ (Liane Hentscher/HBO)
Keivonn Montreal Woodard in ‘The Last of Us’ (Liane Hentscher/HBO)

This year’s Primetime TV nominees were announced on Wednesday (12 July) on a livestream by Community star Yvette Nicole Brown and Television Academy chair Frank Scherma.

Following the nominations, Wednesday star Jenna Ortega was also celebrated by fans for her record-breaking Emmy nod. The former Disney star became the youngest Latina actor to be nominated for an acting Emmy.

Ortega will go head-to-head against Christina Applegate (Dead to Me), Rachel Brosnahan (The Marvelous Mrs Maisel), Quinta Brunson (Abbott Elementary) and Natasha Lyonne (Poker Face) for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series.

The host of the 75th Emmy Awards – premiering live on Fox on Monday 18 September, beginning at 8pm EST/5pm PST – has yet to be announced.

Find the full list of Emmy 2023 nominations here, and the biggest talking points from the nominee announcements here.