Daytime Emmys Flashback: David Canary

On April 23rd, 2010, daytime television said goodbye to one of its biggest stars as David Canary‘s final scenes as Adam Chandler aired on “All My Children.” The five-time Daytime Emmy champ chose to retire rather than relocate to Los Angeles from New York. Canary was accumulated an astonishing 16 Best Actor bids for his work as both the evil, conniving businessman Adam Chandler and his innocent, simple-minded twin brother Stuart. 

Shockingly, Canary was snubbed this year as the daytime community failed to vote him a pre-nomination. He was denied a chance to tie the record of six Emmys held by three other thespians — Erika Slezak (all Best Actress wins as Victoria Lord on “One Life to Live”), Anthony Geary (all Best Actor wins as the anti-hero Luke Spencer on “General Hospital”) and Justin Deas (Best Supporting Actor as Tom Hughes on “As The World Turns” in 1984; as Keith Timmons on “Santa Barbara” in 1988 and 1989; and as Frank “Buzz” Cooper on “Guiding Light” in 1994 as well as a Best Actor win for the latter in 1995.)

Canary leaves behind a undeniable legacy, dating back to his “AMC” debut in 1983. Among his many memorable storylines were Adam’s “War of the Roses” romance with Erica Kane (Susan Lucci), his tension-filled love affair with sensible magazine editor Brooke English (Julia Barr) and a decades-long bitter business rivalry with Palmer Cortland (the late James Mitchell). Perhaps the most significant was when Stuart fell in love with HIV-positive Cindy Parker (Ellen Wheeler). Both of them won Emmys for their moving performances.

Through his two characters, Canary showed us all sides of the human condition. Unlike other actors who play twins by simply throwing on a wig or adapting an accent, he fully inhabited both the conniving Adam and loving Stuart. Canary made them both full-fledged characters that captivated the audience and made critics rave. He set the bar for soap opera acting and is one of a kind.

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