Dual roles are par for the course on daytime dramas; numerous actors have won Daytime Emmys for portraying twins, doppelgangers or multiple personalities. But Eileen Davidson took that one step further in 2017. She’s pre-nominated for playing multiple roles — and on multiple shows. She appeared on both “Days of Our Lives” and “The Young and the Restless,” so she could make history by earning two nominations in one year.
Davidson has been soap-hopping for decades. She first played Ashley Abbott on “Y&R” from 1982 to 1988. Then she played Kelly Capwell on “Santa Barbara” from 1991 to the show’s cancellation in 1993. She jumped ship to “Days” in 1993 and spent five years playing multiple outlandish roles, including the devious Kristen Blake and her lookalike Susan Banks. These were the roles that finally earned her her first career Emmy nomination, for Best Actress in 1998.
In 1999 she bounced back to “Y&R” and stayed there for more than a decade. During that time she picked up another Best Actress nomination in 2003 and even exported the role for a time to “Y&R’s” sister soap “The Bold and the Beautiful.”
She made the move yet again in 2012, making a triumphant return to “Days” that was greeted with great fanfare and the first Emmy win of her career, Best Actress in 2014. That same year she went back to “Y&R” full-time, though she kept appearing on “Days” sporadically until 2015.
Then came yet more soap-swap whiplash in 2017. She spent most of the year on “Y&R” and has earned a Best Actress pre-nomination for her efforts, but she briefly reprised her “Days” roles as Susan and Kristen in November as a central player in the resurrection of Will Horton (Chandler Massey), who had been killed off the show two years earlier in a controversial serial killer storyline; Susan had brainwashed Will into thinking he was her son. That comeback performance earned Davidson a pre-nom for Best Supporting Actress, now giving her the opportunity to earn two bids for the price of one.
It’s not entirely unprecedented to earn multiple acting noms in one year. Mary Beth Evans actually won Best Actress for “Days” in 2016 the same year she claimed Best Actress in a Digital Drama for “The Bay.” But no one has earned dual acting bids in traditional drama series races. Given that Davidson has played more than a half-dozen roles across four different soap operas during her career it would only make sense for her to be the one to pull it off.
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