Director and producer Glenn Weiss has walked across Emmy Awards stage 11 times in his career. But number 12 will undoubtedly be the most memorable. After winning Outstanding Directing for a Variety Special for the Oscars, Weiss turned his own acceptance speech into a marriage proposal.
“You wonder why I don’t like to call you my girlfriend?” Weiss said, looking at his teary-eyed girlfriend Jan Svendsen. “Because I want to call you my wife.” The crowd erupted in applause. Everyone from Benedict Cumberbatch to Leslie Jones was caught on camera wide-eyed and smiling with surprise.
“I didn’t ask yet!” Weiss quipped, giving Svendsen time to join him onstage. “This is the ring my dad put on my mom’s finger 67 years ago – and to my sisters and brothers, I didn’t swipe it, Dad knows I have it, okay? – 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.” Weiss knelt onstage. “Will you marry me?”
Svendson nodded and they kissed and embraced to a standing ovation.
Weiss’s surprise proposal underpins his knack for live and televised event programming. He’s earned 24 Emmy Award nominations for directing and producing awards shows and reality shows including the Tony Awards (16 times), the Academy Awards (three times) and the Kennedy Center Honors.