Now that we know who is contending for a pre-nomination slot at the Daytime Emmy Awards, it’s time to take a closer look at each of the acting categories. The key to winning a Daytime Emmy is episode selection. To stand out amongst this group of industry legends, an actor will need to submit a tape that displays enough range and impact to make voters take notice. Good submissions are usually self-contained episodes showing a clear beginning, middle and end to a character’s emotional arc.
Best Actor has the potential to be a very competitive race as every show has to decide between multiple veteran performers. The frontrunners among these contenders are discussed below.
“All My Children“
David Canary (Ex-Adam Chandler)
Ricky Paull Goldin (Dr. Jake Martin)
Vincent Irizarry (Dr. David Hayward)
Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin)
Michael Nouri (Caleb Cooney)
Walt Willey (Jackson Montgomery)
Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard)
“All My Children” has two actors with excellent chances of being nominated. David Canary has racked up five wins out of 16 nominations and is among the most celebrated performers in the industry. His retirement in early 2010 came as a shock. He had worked on the series since 1983, playing dual roles of ruthless businessman Adam Chandler and his mentally-challenged brother, Stuart and setting the gold standard of soap acting. It would be a fitting tribute to honor him one last time. His exit from the series was pure class as Adam left town with long-time lover Brooke English, played by long-time soap veteran Julia Rose Barr. Fans were delighted that producers did not kill off these characters but let them walk off into the sun together.
Vincent Irrizarry won Best Supporting Actor in 2009 and has given new meaning to the word “evil” with his portrayal of Dr. David Hayward. He unwittingly caused the death of fan favorite Zach Slater in a plane crash. David kept a big secret: Greenlee Smythe was alive and he was nursing her back to health but not telling her the whole truth. Other highlights included a custody battle, a surprise marriage and faking his death. Irrizarry has worked in daytime drama since 1983, first as Lujack on “Guiding Light” from 1983-1986 and then from 1991 to 1996 as well as “Santa Barbara” (1987-1989) and “The Young & the Restless” (2006-2008). He had two nominations before his win in 2009. In 1986 he lost his Best Younger Leading Actor bid to future “AMC” co-star Michael E. Knight (Tad Martin) and in 2002 he lost the Best Actor race to future “Y&R” co-star Peter Bergman. In 2009, he tied with Guiding Light’s Jeff Branson, a previous co-star on “All My Children”.
“As the World Turns“
Jon Lindstrom (Craig Montgomery)
Michael Park (Jack Snyder)
Michael Park won his first Emmy last year for his work as good cop Jack Snyder on the now-canceled series. Park has a plethora of episodes to pick from, but would be wise to select from the show’s last week on the air, when Jack finally married longtime love Carly Tenney Snyder. The wedding went off but not without a few hitches, including former lover Janet “Juicy” Ciccone giving birth to his child and his step-son announcing he was skipping college to become a cop. Park would be a worthy winner and it would be a great way to pay tribute to the show. However, since he just won, voters may not feel the need to reward him again so soon. Even last year’s win was not that overdue as he only had three prior nominations (2001, 2005, 2007).
Jon Lindstrom had the unenviable task of taking over the role of Craig Montgomery, previously played by two popular actors — Hunt Block and Scott Bryce. After winning over fans with his own take on the villainous character, Lindstrom earned a nomination last year, and is sure to repeat this year as Craig fell further into evilness.
“The Bold & the Beautiful“
Jack Wagner (Nick Marone)
Don Diamont (Bill Spencer Jr.)
“Days of our Lives“
Peter Reckell (Bo Brady)
John Aniston (Victor Kiriakis)
Galen Gerring (Rafe Hernandez)
James Scott (EJ Wells)
Maurice Bernard (Sonny Corinthos)
Steve Burton (Jason Morgan)
Steve Burton (Jason Morgan) had the sort of demanding role of which actors dream. Jason came to realize the ramifications of his mob life as his surrogate son Michael was sent to prison for murder. Jason made the ultimate sacrifice and got himself sent to prison to protect the boy he believed to be his own. Burton is an actor that does a lot with a little bit of dialogue. Known for playing Jason as cold and steely, we finally saw him get material that allowed him to emote.
“One Life to Live“
Jerry Ver Dorn (Clint Buchanan)
Robert S. Woods (Bo Buchanan)
“The Young & the Restless“
Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott)
Eric Breaden (Victor Newman)
Christian J. Leblanc (Michael Baldwin)
Tristan Rogers (Collin)
With nine nominations and a single victory in 1998, Eric Braeden is overdue and could well win again if he submits the showiest episode he’s had in years: a December installment done in a style similar to “A Christmas Carol” in which Victor Newman is confronted by several spirits from beyond urging him to become a better man and showing him his fate otherwise. Braeden was an absolute revelation in this tape as Victor went from stubborn and self-centered to truly remorseful and humbled. A similarly-styled episode worked just last year for “Y&R” co-star Billy J. Miller in the Supporting Actor category. And both Antony Geary (“General Hospital”) and Christian J. Le Blanc (“The Young &The Restless”) won Best Actor in 2004 and 2008 respectively with such themed submissions.