Emmy episode analysis: Phylicia Rashad (‘This is Us’) is hoping to win her first trophy for ‘Our Little Island Girl’

Television, film and Broadway star Phylicia Rashad has been a celebrated actress in Hollywood for more than 40 years following her screen debut as Ventita Ray in the 1976 TV series “Delvecchio.” Now, at age 71, the iconic actress could win her first Emmy after being nominated for Best Drama Guest Actress for NBC’s “This is Us.”

See 2019 Emmy nominations complete list: All the nominees for the 71st Emmy Awards

In the episode “Our Little Island Girl,” Rashad plays Carol Clark, the strict, no-nonsense mother of Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson). When Beth travels home to take care of her ailing mother, flashbacks to her childhood and her heartbreaking family story begin to unravel and explain the woman she has become today. The episode begins by showing Carol continuing her career as a tough-as-nails high school principal who masks her ailing hip injury behind a tough persona that demands the respect of all her students.

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