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Ultimate tough Emmy quiz: Who was Judy Splinters?

May 23, 2011 |  5:00 pm

Only true Emmy experts know who Judy Splinters was. Do you? Hint: she appears in the photo below. To see the answer, click on the "Continue Reading" link below.

Judy splinters

ANSWER: Judy Splinters was the puppet of ventriloquist Shirley Dinsdale, who won the first Emmy Award. It was presented on Jan. 25, 1949, at the Hollywood Athletic Club. Dinsdale won outstanding television personality over Rita LeRoy, Patricia Morrison, Mike Stokey and Bill Welsh.

Back in 1949, all TV was local. AT&T had not yet linked up coast-to-coast television coverage, so the first Emmys were Los Angeles-only honors. Dinsdale had a 15-minute-long show on KTLA five days per week. When she was declared the winner, the applause at the ceremony "indicated sincere and hearty approval of the results of the secret ballot," reported the Los Angeles Herald Express.

After Dinsdale's TV career waned in the 1950s, she became a cardiopulmonary therapist. She died of cancer at age 72 in 1999.

-- Tom O'Neil

Photo: Academy of Television Arts & Sciences

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