Daytime Emmys experts’ smackdown: Best Actor (Part 2)

Two of our Daytime Emmys Experts — Nelson Branco (Soap Opera Uncensored) and Dan J. Kroll (Soap Central) — have weighed in with their thoughts on the Best Actor race. They agreed about the winner, with both predicting a record seventh win for Anthony Geary (“General Hospital“). 

Now, Michael Fairman (MichaelFairmanSoaps) joins in the debate; he is also backing the bid by Geary. Below, his insightful explanation for his prediction. 

The Best Actor category looks to be a two-horse race, but we hope it will turn out to actually be a three!  With that being said, “General Hospital”’s six-time Daytime Emmy winner, Anthony Geary submitted another one of his “killer” reels. No, he did not submit the episode where he realizes he killed little Jake, but instead he chose a reel of such depth, with a beginning, middle, and end, and which highlights all of his acting strengths that he uses in Luke Spencer’s arsenal; the vulnerability, the inner-conflict, and the self-loathing.

And in scenes with fellow Emmy nominee, Jonathan Jackson, as his son Lucky, Geary’s Luke tells the young man, he never wanted to be a father and that killing little Jake moved him from beyond redemption. And by the way, these scenes are being played out at the bordello Luke grew up in to make this all the more riveting!  Perhaps, one of the best and saddest lines of the reel was when Luke was talking about what love means to him stating, that growing up around johns and seeing his sister turn tricks had taught him that love was commerce. This was Geary at his best!  It’s hard to argue that there is anyone more original than this magnificent performer in the daytime field.   

It’s arguably Geary’s best work to date — and that’s saying a lot.

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But Geary may not be lock if you talk to voters or hear from fellow actors who saw many of the nominated reels, whether they voted on the blue ribbon panels, or not. It is Darnell Williams of “All My Children” that people have been buzzing about. And with good reason! This was the performance that had me also grabbing for the hankies. As Jesse Hubbard, he helps deliver his wife Angie’s baby, only Angie who is blind and did everything against medical recommendations and decided to carrying her baby, even risking her own life, passes out during the labor. Jesse delivers the baby, only it’s not breathing, it’s dead! He is grieving and heartsick. How can this happen? How can he tell his wife? He then hears a baby crying when Officer Monroe finds Jesse and Angie, but brings an abandoned baby with him to the scene. This was just a terrific performance! And it just could bring Williams the gold.

The actor that many would love to see delivering an acceptance speech on Emmy night is one of the most understated and brilliant actors to ever grace the soaps. I am talking about Robert S. Woods (Bo) of “One Life to Live.” Bo was the heart and soul of Llanview, the good guy that when his heart breaks, or when his family is put in danger, and he has to make difficult decisions, we feel it right along with him. That my friends … is a testament to Woods. In his Emmy reel, Woods went for a shorter length and chose scenes with Erika Slezak, where Bo is trying to rationalize the decision he has to make of whether to take his son off life-support and give his heart to his dying brother, Clint, who needs heart transplant surgery urgently. It comes down to, how do you make this kind of life-altering decision between your son and your brother? Heavy material! Problem was, who ever cut this reel together, it played too choppy! And I hope, it won’t hurt Woods chances, but I feel it just may.

Maurice Benard of “General Hospital” is that balls-to-the-wall emotional actor who is one of the greatest daytime has ever seen. In his Emmy submission he chose scenes where Brenda and Sonny have their final break-up. Sonny later breakdown and cries, and then realizes Brenda probably would have never accepted his life as a mobster, try as she might.  He ultimately ends up alone, once again. I don’t think this is Benard’s year.   

As for John McCook of “The Bold and the Beautiful,” it’s wonderful to see that after 25 years he is getting another shot at a Daytime Emmy!  In his very adult scenes between him and Susan Flannery (Stephanie), the issue of intimacy is the subject of the day with each of the characters coming at it from different points of view. She doesn’t want sex anymore because of her battle with cancer, and he wants to be close to his wife again. Nice material, but I don’t think it can resonate above the other gentlemen’s performance in this category.

WHO WILL WIN: Anthony Geary
SPOILER: Darnell Williams


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