One of the biggest moments of Emmy night happened during the award for directing a variety special.
Glenn Weiss, who won for directing the Oscars telecast, began his acceptance speech by mentioning that he had lost his mother two weeks earlier and that she was his biggest fan.
He also took a moment to thank his girlfriend, Jan Svendsen, for being the “sunshine” of his life. The couple met in 2001 while working on the Tony Awards.
“You wonder why I don’t want to call you my girlfriend?” he said. “Because I want to call you my wife.”
The words were barely out of his mouth before the audience erupted in applause. As the audience stood and cheered, Svendsen got out of her seat and nodded yes and made her way toward the stage.
“I didn’t even ask yet,” Weiss joked.
Svendsen then joined Weiss onstage as he pulled out a ring.
“This is the ring that my dad put on my mom’s finger 67 years ago,” he said. “Jan, I want to put this ring, that my mom wore, on your finger in front of all these people and in front of my mom and your parents watching from above. Will you marry me?”
He then dropped to a knee. Svendsen nodded her head, and the two of them embraced to more applause.
“Thank you to the Academy,” Weiss said with his new fiancee beside him. “Thank you, everybody.”
Later, Svendsen told reporters backstage that she had no idea what Weiss was up to.
“It was a regular day for us because we’ve done a lot of awards shows, because he produces and directs so many and has been nominated,” she said. “So today just felt like a normal day in many ways, so I never expected this. I was shocked.”
Weiss said the only person he confided in about the proposal was his dad. Asked what he would have done had he not won, “Waited till next year? No, I suppose the ball or In and Out burger, which is our staple after awards shows.”
He added, “The timing just lined up very nicely. It was a really magical moment.”