Chandler Massey made a comeback to “Days of Our Lives” in 2017 after three years away from the show, and now he could make a Daytime Emmys comeback too. But this time he’ll be in a different category. He previously won Best Younger Actor three years in a row (2012-2014), but the age limit for that category is 25. Now Massey is 27, so he’s pre-nominated for the first time in the race for Best Supporting Actor. Can he continue his historic winning streak in a brand new field?
Massey’s three consecutive Younger Actor victories were unprecedented. He was the second to win that category three times, following Jonathan Jackson (“General Hospital”), but he was the first male actor in any category to go back-to-back-to-back. And his role itself was historic: Massey played Will Horton, who was coming to terms with being gay.
It was still rare at that time for daytime soaps to include LGBT characters, especially legacy characters with long histories and deep ties to their show’s core families — the Hortons go back all the way to the premiere of “Days” in 1965. Before Will the most prominent example was Erica Kane’s lesbian daughter Bianca Montgomery on “All My Children”; she was played by Eden Riegel, who won Best Younger Actress in 2005.
When Massey left the show in 2014 the role was recast with Guy Wilson, but Wilson stayed with the show for less than two years before “Days” killed off the character in a violent murder in 2015. That storyline sparked outrage from soap journalists and even actress Alison Sweeney who played Will’s mother. Sweeney said she felt “betrayed and hurt” by the plot twist, but death is seldom permanent in the world of soaps so he was resurrected in 2017, once again played by Massey.
But will it be harder for Massey to win against a field of older rivals in the Supporting Actor race? Perhaps in theory, but there are just as many pre-nominees for Best Supporting Actor as there are for Best Younger Actor (10), so now that he’s made the initial cut the playing field isn’t much different for Massey going into the blue-ribbon round. Judging panels will review performance submissions starting on February 22, and we know judging panels are fond of Massey given his three Emmy wins.
And it’s not uncommon for Younger Actor winners to graduate to higher categories. To date five men have done so: Michael E. Knight (Younger Actor for “AMC” in 1986-1987, Supporting Actor in 2001), Rick Hearst (Younger Actor for “Guiding Light” in 1991, Supporting Actor for “GH” in 2004, 2007), Kristoff St. John (Younger Actor for “Young and the Restless” in 1992, Supporting Actor in 2008), the aforementioned Jonathan Jackson (Younger Actor for “GH” in 1995, 1998-1999, Supporting Actor in 2011-2012) and Scott Clifton (Younger Actor for “Bold and the Beautiful” in 2011, Supporting Actor in 2013, Lead Actor in 2017).
As of this writing Massey is among our predicted nominees for Best Supporting Actor, ranked fourth with 10/3 odds based on the combined predictions of users who have made their picks at Gold Derby thus far. I’m currently the only Gold Derby Editor predicting a win for Massey but he also has support from 3 of our Top 24 Users who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Daytime Emmy nominations and 3 of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ Daytime Emmy predictions.
Do you agree Massey will earn a bid for his “Days” resurrection? And could he just keep on winning?
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