"It's been such a long time since I've been standing in this place I don't know what to do," Carroll said onstage next to Kerry Washington.
"But the men are much more beautiful than when I was doing television. I don't know where you came from, but I'm very happy to see you. After all my leading man was Lloyd Nolan, and those of you who know what that means -- don't repeat to anyone."
Carroll starred alongside Nolan in the 1968 series, "Julia." Her role as a widowed nurse earned her the first-ever Emmy nomination for an African-American.
Now 78, Carroll acknowledged Washington -- the first black woman to lead a network TV drama since 1974 -- as one of her trailblazing successors.
"I must say congratulations to this woman that I feel is a gift to all of us, she's brilliantly talented, she's very lovely and tonight she better get this award. It's Miss Kerry Washington," Carroll finished.
Washington lost out on the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama award to "Homeland's" Claire Danes.
Nolan, for the record, looked like this:
Biologists detail four new deep-sea 'killer sponges'
Pistorius testifies he didn't consciously pull trigger when he shot girlfriend