Taraji P. Henson feels she is "touching lives" with 'Empire'.
The 44-year-old actress was delighted to pick up the Best Actress in a Drama Series prize at last night's (31.05.15) Critics' Choice TV Awards for her portrayal of Cookie Lyon and thanked producers Fox in taking a "risk" with the hip hop drama.
She told the assembled audience at the Beverly Hilton Hotel: "Thank you Fox you're bold, you took a shot, you take a risk...
"Some people say I'm new to the game, that means I could be 20 again...
"This means I'm touching lives, that's why i got into acting."
And Taraji also paid tribute to co-star Terrence Howard, who plays her ex-husband, music mogul Lucious Lyon, joking she deserved part of his pay cheque.
She said: "We created such an incredible family on 'Empire', there's no Cookie without Lucious.
"I fought for you, you owe me five percent of your money."
While Taraji triumphed at the ceremony, 'Empire' failed to pick up the Best Drama Series prize, which went to FX show 'The Americans'.
Meanwhile, 'Better Call Saul' saw two wins for lead actor Bob Odenkirk and his co-star Jonathan Banks, with them taking Best Actor in a Drama Series and Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series respectively, while miniseries 'Olive Ketteridge' picked up three awards, including Best Limited Series.
In addition, Frances McDormand took home Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series and Bill Murray won Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series.
Other winners included the ceremony's host, Cat Deeley, who was named Best Reality TV Host for 'So You Think You Can Dance', while 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart' won Best Talk Show.
'Silicon Valley' was a shock winner of Best Comedy Series, an accolade widely expected to be given to 'Transparent'.
However, the show still received some recognition, with Jeffrey Tambor named Best Actor in a Comedy Series and Bradley Whitford triumphing in the Guest Performer in a Comedy Series category.
Critics' Choice TV Awards 2015 full list of winners:
Best Supporting Actress in a Movie or Limited Series: Sarah Paulson, 'AHS Freak Show'
Best Animated Series: 'Archer'
Best Talk Show: 'The Daily Show with Jon Stewart'
Best Supporting Actor in a Drama Series: Jonathan Banks, 'Better Call Saul'
Best Supporting Actress in a Drama Series: Lorraine Tussaint, 'Orange is the New Black'
Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series: T.J. Miller, 'Silicon Valley'
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series: Allison Janney, 'Mom'
Guest Performer in a Comedy Series: Bradley Whitford, 'Transparent'
Guest Performer in a Drama Series: Sam Elliot, 'Justified'
Best Reality Series: 'Shark Tank'
Best Reality Competition Series: 'Face Off'
Best Reality TV Host: Cat Deeley, 'So You Think You Can Dance'
Best Actress in a Movie or Limited Series: Frances McDormand, 'Olive Kitteridge'
Best Supporting Actor in a Movie or Limited Series: Bill Murray, 'Olive Kitteridge'
Best Actor in a Movie or Limited Series: David Oyelowo, 'Nightingale'
Best Movie Made for Television: 'Bessie'
Best Limited Series: 'Olive Kitteridge'
Best Actress in a Comedy Series: Amy Schumer, 'Inside Amy Schumer'
Best Actor in a Comedy Series: Jeffrey Tambor, 'Transparent'
Most Bingeworthy Show: 'The Walking Dead'
Best Actor in a Drama Series: Bob Odenkirk, 'Better Call Saul'
Best Actress in a Drama Series: Taraji P. Henson, 'Empire'
Best Comedy Series: 'Silicon Valley'
Best Drama Series: 'The Americans'