Daytime Emmys Spotlight: Susan Flannery

This year’s Best Actress race at the Daytime Emmys features a bevy of talented hopefuls, many of whom are past champs or nominees in this competivie category. This is the first entry in a series profiling those women with the best chance at this year’s derby. I will highlight their past achievements as well as the work they’ve done this year, and will discuss the pros and cons facing each of them as they strive for the ultimate prize.    

First up for consideration is “The Bold and the Beautiful” matriarch Susan Flannery. Her legendary career on soap operas started in 1966 with her star-making role as Dr. Laura Horton on “Days of Our Lives.” Flannery was the focus of the series for her entire decade-long run winning the Best Actress prize shortly before leaving the show in 1975. She won a Golden Globe Award for “Most Promising Newcomer” for “The Towering Inferno” that same year but her film career never took off.

Flannery returned to daytime drama in 1987, creating the iconic character of Stephanie Forrester on the “The Bold and the Beautiful.” She has featured in the show since day one, with three wins out of six Best Actress nominations (2000, 2002, 2003). She last contended in 2009 and could well be in the running again this year.

Her character, the usually confident businesswoman Stephanie Forrester has dealt with a life-changing stage four lung cancer diagnosis. Stephanie has made the brave decision to forgo medical treatment and faces a certain death. She intends to live out her days completing items on her bucket list. This has created uplifting moments like Stephanie visiting homeless shelters in Los Angeles and riding a roller coaster on the Santa Monica pier.

Flannery delivers a heartbreakingly accurate portrayal of a woman terrified of what lies ahead. For long-time viewers of the show, one of the biggest treats to this storyline is seeing a new side of Stephanie who is most often seen as the aggressive bully to long-time enemy Brooke Logan. She is always in control of a situation but is now vulnerable and humbled.

Submitting scenes which show Stephanie’s softer side could propel the actress to the winner’s circle for the fifth time. In the past, her tapes have included too many-over-the-top scenes of her strong-willed character at her worst. Now, with this dramatic change of personaiity, the judging panel will see Stephanie (and Flannery) at her best. 

Photo: Susan Flannery on “The Bold and the Beautiful” (CBS)

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