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Ellen Burstyn Bemused by 14-Second Emmy Nomination

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Nov 06, 2006 | 8:19am EST

Veteran actress Ellen Burstyn was baffled by her nomination for a Best Supporting Actress Emmy award this year, because she appeared on screen for a mere 14 seconds.

The Requiem for a Dream actress scored an Emmy nod for her cameo role in HBO drama Mrs. Harris, which told the story of Dr. Herman Tarnower, the man who invented the Scarsdale diet, and Jean Harris, the woman who murdered him.

Burstyn lost the award to her costar Cloris Leachman, but her nomination for such a brief role drew ridicule from the media, with the New York Post writing her performance "required her to do nothing more than sit in a chair and speak three sentences of dialogue in a vaguely foreign accent."

Speaking publicly for the first time about her controversial nomination, Burstyn jokes, "When they told me I was nominated for that I went, 'What, are you kidding?'

"I thought it was fabulous. My next ambition is to get nominated for seven seconds, and, ultimately, I want to be nominated for a picture in which I don't even appear."

However, the 73-year-old admits she was shocked by the criticism her nomination attracted, saying, "The brouhaha around it, you know, they tried to reach me for a statement.

"I said, 'This doesn't have anything to do with me. I don't even want to know about this. You people work it out yourself.'"

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