Alison Sweeney left “Days of Our Lives” in 2014 after more than two decades playing Sami Brady, but despite her long tenure in the role, she has never been nominated for a Daytime Emmy, so it’s now or never for voters to finally embrace her. In fact, she’s the only Best Actress pre-nominee this year who has never earned a bid.
“Days” won Best Actress last year for Eileen Davidson, who, like Sweeney, had been awaiting her first victory after decades in daytime. But Davidson isn’t among this year’s pre-nominees. Instead, Sweeney is joined on the longlist by her co-star Peggy McCay, who last earned a Best Actress nomination in 2013. McCay has three total nods for the NBC soap, but her only previous Emmy win was in primetime: Best Drama Guest Actress for “The Trials of Rosie O’Neill” in 1991.
As in Best Actor, the show with the most citations in this category is “The Young and the Restless,” which dominated the pre-nominations with 22. The top-rated CBS soap boasts four of the 10 contenders, though none of them have won or even been nominated in this category before.
Gina Tognoni joined “Y&R” in 2014 as Phyllis Newman. The role was previously played by Michelle Stafford, who earned 10 nominations and two wins between 1996 and 2013. Tognoni is new to the series, but she won a pair of Supporting Actress Emmys for “Guiding Light” in 2006 and 2008.
Tognoni has never been nominated in the lead-actress race, and neither have her pre-nominated co-stars. “Y&R” veteran Tracey E. Bregman won Best Younger Actress in 1985 and earned three more nominations in younger and supporting categories. Jessica Collins is a relative newcomer, joining “Y&R” in 2011, but she earned a Supporting Actress bid in 2013. Melissa Claire Egan Is also aiming for a promotion, after five Supporting Actress nominations in the last six years between “Y&R” and “All My Children.”
“The Bold and the Beautiful” is tied with “Days” with two pre-nominations. Heather Tom has won Best Actress twice and Best Supporting Actress once for her role as Katie Logan, which brings her career total to five wins out of 16 nominations. She’s one shy of the record held by Erika Slezak, who is daytime’s most awarded actress with six victories.
Tom’s on-screen sister Katherine Kelly Lang hasn’t been quite so lucky. She has starred on “B&B” since the show’s debut in 1987, but she didn’t earn her first Emmy nomination until 2013. She was also nominated for Best Actress in 2014; Lang and Tom are the only nominees from last year who carry over into this contest.
Lastly, “General Hospital” has two pre-nominees, both of whom are past Best Actress winners. Laura Wright earned two previous bids and one win (2011). Maura West has yet to be nominated for her role on “GH”; she joined the series in 2013, but she earned seven Emmy nods and a pair of Best Actress trophies for her prior role on “As the World Turns.”
Who do you think will win? Will Sweeney finally be nominated and prevail, or will Tom tie Slezak’s record? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions. Click here to enter your picks in eight other drama categories.