Greg Rikaart is no stranger to the Daytime Emmys. He earned five Best Supporting Actor nominations for his role as Kevin Fisher on “The Young and the Restless” (2005-2008, 2018), winning on his very first try. He also earned a nomination for Best New Approaches–Daytime Entertainment as part of the cast of the online series “Imaginary Bitches.” But Rikaart could make history if he wins for his new role on “Days of Our Lives.” He would be the first to win Best Supporting Actor for a gay role. And he would be the first openly gay actor to win for a gay role in any category.
Soaps operas were slow to embrace LGBT characters and storylines, so only a handful of actors have ever won for queer characters in any category. Eden Riegel was the first when she won Best Younger Actress in 2005 for playing Erica Kane’s daughter Bianca on “All My Children”; she famously came out of the closet during a groundbreaking storyline in 2000. Then Chandler Massey (“Days”) became the first male actor to win for a gay role when he prevailed as Will Horton three times in a row (2012-2014), followed immediately by Freddie Smith (2015) as his on-screen love interest Sonny Kiriakis.
Next Lexi Ainsworth (“GH”) won in 2017 for playing Kristina Corinthos Davis for a storyline in which she came out as queer to her parents as it was revealed that she was in a relationship with her female college professor. And most recently Camryn Grimes (“Y&R”) won Best Supporting Actress in 2018 for playing Mariah Copeland while she was coping with her own same-sex attraction; she was the first to win in the supporting category for an LGBT character.
Rikaart left “Y&R” in 2017 after 14 years as Kevin Fisher. But not long thereafter he showed up on “Days” as Leo Stark, who was hired to seduce Sonny in order to infiltrate his company, Titan. That scheme ultimately led to a confrontation that left Leo dead, though he was later revealed to be alive — as has been known to happen on soaps from time to time. Now Rikaart is pre-nominated for Best Supporting Actor, and he’s a strong contender to win according to the combined predictions of Gold Derby users.
As of this writing Rikaart ranks second in our forecasts with odds of 4/1. He trails Max Gail (“GH”), who had a high profile Alzheimer’s disease storyline in 2018, but Rikaart still has support from 4 of our Top 24 Users, who got the highest scores predicting last year’s Daytime Emmy nominations, as well as 3 of our All-Star Top 24 who got the highest scores when you combine the last two years’ predictions. Are they right that he’ll achieve a historic victory?
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