Lena Dunham, Zooey Deschanel, Maggie Smith... The actresses nominated for the 2012 Emmy Awards include a whole lot of our favorite women in entertainment.

Besides further validating our love for "Girls" and "Downton Abbey," the nominations highlight how many incredible women there are on television these days. From big name actresses like Maggie Smith and Ashley Judd, to newer stars like Lena Dunham, Michelle Dockery and Archie Punjabi, the spread of talent in this year's list of nominees is pretty stunning.

Of course this year's list of nominees isn't perfect. One of our favorite funny ladies, Mindy Kaling, is noticeably absent. Here's hoping her new show gets her a nod next year (along with all of the other women from our Queen of Fall TV bracket). And the women nominated are overwhelmingly white -- Jezebel's Dodai Stewart pointed out that Archie Punjabi and Sofia Vergara were the only women of color nominated in any of the major categories.

Omissions aside, Sunday night we'll cheering all of the women who were nominated. It's great to see so many of them being recognized for their excellence.

LOOK: Our Favorite Emmy-Nominated Actresses

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  • Zooey Deschanel

    She's absolutely "adorkable" -- and a hilarious comic to boot. Deschanel also is the co-founder of <a href="http://hellogiggles.com/" target="_hplink">HelloGiggles</a>, a women's website that we absolutely adore. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series ("New Girl")

  • Lena Dunham

    We've never hidden our adoration for <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/15/lena-dunham-interview-quotes_n_1601073.html" target="_hplink">Dunham</a> or her television series. Here at HuffPost Women we're unabashed <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/emma-gray/girls-lena-dunham-hbo-episode-10-finale-gchat_b_1602281.html" target="_hplink">"Girls" fans</a> and it's awesome to see her project -- and talent -- recognized. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series, Outstanding Comedy Series ("Girls")

  • Tina Fey

    Who doesn't love Tina Fey? She turned the character of Liz Lemon into a household name, is responsible for "Mean Girls" existing and wrote a hilarious must-read memoir "Bossypants." Yeah, she's pretty great. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series ("30 Rock")

  • Julia Louis-Dreyfus

    Oh Julia, you'll always be Elaine to us -- even when you're playing a hilarious Vice Prez. And we love you for it. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series ("Veep")

  • Melissa McCarthy

    Just because the buzz around "Bridesmaids" has died down doesn't mean that Melissa McCarthy isn't still lighting up the small screen. We think she's pretty fabulous in any context. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series ("Mike and Molly")

  • Amy Poehler

    Amy's a lot like her friend and former "SNL" co-star Tina Fey -- she's pretty hard not to adore. Whether she's playing politically-minded Leslie Knope or impersonating Hillary Clinton, she never fails to make us smile. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Comedy Series ("Parks and Recreation")

  • Mayim Bialik

    Mayim Bialik has singlehandedly shown us that being a "nerdy" girl is pretty awesome. Her character on "The Big Bang Theory" may be socially awkward, but she's also smart, witty and funny. (Plus ... "Blossom.") Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series ("The Big Bang Theory")

  • Sofia Vergara

    Sofia Vergara manages to shine in "Modern Family," which is an impressive feat considering how great the rest of the cast is. No wonder she's TV's highest paid actress. Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series ("Modern Family")

  • Kristen Wiig

    Kristen Wiig's <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/20/kristen-wiig-last-snl-episode_n_1530728.html" target="_hplink">SNL send-off</a> managed to make viewers (ourselves included) weep like babies. It's only fitting that Wiig got nominated for her last season on the show. We hope that we'll see a lot more from Wiig in the coming years. (Anything resembling "Bridesmaids" would be great.) Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Comedy Series ("SNL")

  • Julianna Marguiles

    Julianna Marguiles' character on "The Good Wife" is one of the most interesting female characters on television. Plus, we love seeing a 40-something woman get a lead role that portrays her as sexy, powerful and realistically flawed. (And have you seen Marguiles' <a href="http://www.celebitchy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/wenn3103530.jpg" target="_hplink">husband</a>? All we have to say is, good job.) Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series ("The Good Wife")

  • Michelle Dockery

    We're still a little freaked out every time we see Dockery out of her early 20th-century clothing, but that's only because she's so great as Lady Mary Crawley. Who didn't swoon at least a little bit while watching her relationship with cousin Matthew develop over the last two seasons? Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series ("Downton Abbey")

  • Elisabeth Moss

    Elisabeth Moss' Peggy Olson captivated audiences from Episode 1 of "Mad Men." This season she finally left Don Draper's employ, but we're crossing our fingers that she'll still be around a lot. We'd miss her too much to let her go. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series ("Mad Men")

  • Kathy Bates

    Kathy Bates is somewhat of Jill of all trades. She's pretty fantastic in anything she does on the small-screen -- or the big one. (Anyone else a huge fan of her performance in "Titanic"?) Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series ("Harry's Law")

  • Claire Danes

    She was Angela Chase in "My So-Called Life." Enough said. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series ("Homeland")

  • Glenn Close

    Glenn Close is one of those actresses that truly has aged gracefully. Somehow she manages to be someone we admire -- even when she's playing a villain, like in "101 Dalmations." There's a reason she's been nominated for six Oscars. The small screen is lucky to have her. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series ("Damages")

  • Archie Panjabi

    Any woman who can seamlessly transition from playing a ditzy boy-obsessed sister in "Bend It Like Beckham" to a bat-wielding badass in "The Good Wife" is more than fine by us. Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series ("The Good Wife")

  • Maggie Smith

    Dame Maggie Smith is the only person who could make being a Dowager Countess look effortlessly elegant, while spouting out <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/17/maggie-smith-downton-abbey-dowager-countess-quotes_n_1432950.html" target="_hplink">lines like</a> "We can't have him assassinated... I suppose." Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series ("Downton Abbey")

  • Christina Hendricks

    Everyone's favorite ginger got another nod for her portrayal of Joan on "Mad Men." And really, who's surprised? Her performances are consistently nuanced -- just watch any scene between Hendricks and her on-screen husband -- and they manage to both entertain us and break our hearts. Nomination: Outstanding Supporting Actress In A Drama Series ("Mad Men")

  • Christine Baranski

    Christine Baranski is 60 years young and still manages to steal the spotlight every time she's on-screen. Besides bringing the formidable character of Diane Lockhart to life on "The Good Wife," Baranski has appeared in a number of TV shows, movies and plays. (If you're a fan of the film "Chicago," you'll remember <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddPn8xwRo-M" target="_hplink">Baranski's impressive singing</a> voice.)

  • Ashley Judd

    Ashley Judd is obviously a talented actress, but she's also a pretty awesome activist and advocate for women. In April she hit back at media outlets who had <a href="http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/09/ashley-judd-slaps-media-in-the-face-for-speculation-over-her-puffy-appearance.html" target="_hplink">attacked her "puffy face"</a> and started a serious dialogue about the way women's appearances are discussed. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie ("Missing")

  • Connie Britton

    We fell in love with Britton back when she was on "Spin City," and all over again when she played Tami Taylor on "Friday Night Lights." She again played the formidable head of a household in last year's "American Horror Story." We're just super excited to see her singing skills when "Nashville" premieres this fall. Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie ("American Horror Story")

  • Emma Thompson

    Emma Thompson is always a pleasure to watch. Regardless of whether she's playing a Jane Austen character, or one created by J.K. Rowling, she manages to charm the audience. In "The Song Of Lunch" Thompson gets to act opposite Alan Rickman, a frequent co-star of hers. Nomination: Nomination: Outstanding Lead Actress In A Miniseries Or Movie ("The Song Of Lunch")