I just noticed that the brilliant Christopher Lloyd won an Emmy for Lead Drama Actor back in 1992. I was surprised to discover that it was for Road to Avonlea, a show which Lloyd appeared on only one episode!
How is this possible? I checked, and apparently there was no award given out for Guest Actor in a Drama Series.
A lot of people competed like this that year. There were no awards given for Guest Actors that year, they competed as regulars. According to reports the nominations were not (obviously) met with the best of support. Much less the wins. I think Valerie Mahaffey at least was in several episodes of Northern Exposure.
Here are the others:
Lead Actor Drama: Christopher Lloyd won. Harrison Page and Kirk Douglas were also nominated that year like this. To make matters worse, Page competed against Scott Bakula, the actual lead.
In Drama Actress I see Shirley Knight and Kate Nelligan.
Sup. Actress Drama: Valerie Mahaffey (who was on Glee last night as Emma’s mom, if you watch Glee) won for Northern Exposure. Conchatta Ferrell for L.A Law. I don’t think Barbara Barrie was a regular for Law and Order.
Sup. Actor Drama. I don’t think there’s a guest there.
Lead Actor Comedy: Kelsey Grammer (as Frasier Crane) competed for Lead Actor for Wings. Thanks to this, Grammer has been nominated for the same role for 3 different shows.
Lead Actress Comedy: Tyne Daly for Wings.
Sup. Actor Comedy: Harvey Fierstein for Cheers. I believe Jay Thomas was a guest that season two as he won two other Emmys for Guest for Murphy Brown.
Sup. Actress Comedy: Frances Sternhagen for Cheers. I don’t know if Alice Ghostley was guest on Designing Women by then.
Haha! I love Road to Avonlea. However, that episode Christopher Lloyd won for was one of the worst in the series.
That is my contribution to this subject…
TV Guide soap columnist Michael Logan reported and attributed what went on in 1992 with controversy related to Peggy McCay (Days of Our Lives). McCay, who won the 1991 guest-actress Emmy in drama for CBS’ The Trials of Rosie O’Neill, spoke out with an ad depicting how deprived she was from the Emmys not presenting the guest-acting races in live ceremony in 1991. It was, apparently, the catalyst for the Emmys to merge guest acting with regular-series acting categories for the 1992 Emmys. And with that, we saw one acting prize fall way to what was really a guest role: Christopher Lloyd, winning lead actor in a drama series, for Disney Channel’s Avonlea.
1993 saw the return to distinction. And, fortunately, it continues this way. But just think of the 1978 winner for lead actress in a comedy series: Ruth Gordon, for ABC’s Taxi (“Sugar Mama”). And consider the 1979 winner for lead actress in a drama series: Mariette Hartley, for CBS’ The Incredible Hulk (“Married”). Prior to those end-of-the-’70s wins, the Academy distinguished between lead and supporting roles for guest players in comedy and drama. Abundance of awards, eventually trimmed down, with new format of “Guest” actors were implemented in 1986. (In that year, as well as 1987 and 1988, no separations of the genders.)
I’m pleased with the current system of how to award guest performances.
Interesting bit about Peggy McKay. But saying a guest lead is same as continuing lead because they all just submit one submission was not the way to go. That and they didn’t want to make the ceremony longer with airing the guest awards.