Best Supporting Actor at the Daytime Emmys was a close race according to our predictors: four of the five candidates had strong support. But Bradford Anderson (“General Hospital“) had the best odds to prevail, with eventual winner Eric Martsolf (“Days of Our Lives“) tied for third. Did Martsolf pull off his upset by choosing drugs over baby drama?
It’s ironic, since “The Young and the Restless” won Best Drama Series for depicting the death of a child, that Martsolf might have won for avoiding child drama in his Emmy reel. But he did just that, and in fact he was the only Supporting Actor nominee who submitted an episode that wasn’t about fatherhood.
In Anderson’s “GH” reel, his character, Damien Spinelli, learned that his girlfriend lied about the paternity of a child that was really his. His “GH” co-star Dominic Zamprogna submitted the tail end of the same storyline, having just lost the child to Spinelli in a custody battle.
“Y&R” star Steve Burton found out that he wasn’t really the biological father of his son, while “The Bold and the Beautiful‘s” Scott Clifton – last year’s winner – mourned the loss of his child due to a miscarriage.
Martsolf, meanwhile, entered an episode in which he battles drug addiction and lashes out at his friends and family as they try to stage an intervention. In an awards race, it often helps to be the apple in the bag of oranges, and Martsolf was undoubtedly unique among this year’s crop of submissions.
It was a savvy choice for another reason: addiction stories are often awards magnets. From Oscar-winners like Ray Milland (“The Lost Weekend”), Nicolas Cage (“Leaving Las Vegas”) and Jeff Bridges (“Crazy Heart”), to Emmy-winners like Helen Mirren (“Prime Suspect”) and Judy Davis (“Me and My Shadows”), substance abuse is a recurring theme among award-winning roles.
Even the Grammys have gotten in on the action, awarding Record of the Year to Amy Winehouse‘s “Rehab” in February 2008, three years before she succumbed to her addiction at age 27. And Audra McDonald just set a new Tony Awards record for playing alcoholic Billie Holliday in “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill.”
Martsolf follows other actors who have won Daytime Emmys for episodes dealing with addiction, including Kristoff St. John (“Y&R”), Anthony Geary (“GH”), Jordan Clarke (“Guiding Light”), and Maura West (“As the World Turns”), to name a few.
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