Chandler was the surprise winner in the best drama actor category for the last season of Texas football drama "Friday Night Lights," blocking odds-on favorites among his fellow nominees.
"I knew for a fact I would not be standing here. I did not write anything and now I'm starting to worry," said Chandler, who beat out Jon Hamm of "Mad Men" and Steve Buscemi of "Boardwalk Empire."
It was a fitting victory for Chandler and "Friday Night Lights," which was critically acclaimed but struggled for an audience, and whose high school football team's motto was "clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose."
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports Chandler was raised in Loganville and attended George Walton Academy. His previous big TV role was starring in CBS' "Early Edition" in the late 1990s. He also had a memorable role on "Grey's Anatomy" where his character was literally blown to smithereens.