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Flashback 1999: Susan Lucci Finally Wins

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  • DS0816
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    We are obviously in the year 2019. It was 20 years ago, the year 1999, in which Susan Lucci finally won the Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for playing Erica Kane on ABC’s All My Children.

    Since GoldDerby did not launch until 2001, no one was here to discuss it.

    For those who were following the daytime dramas, and the Daytime Emmys, what was your reaction when that happened?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgWEDVIFGN0

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    linecelts
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    I know the award show lit up after her name was FINALLY called.

    My reaction: IT’S ABOUT TIME after 19 nominations

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    Berlin2002
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    People still mistakenly celebrate Lucci’s win as a charitable ” thanks for being such a good sport all these years ” reward. I call B.S. Lucci earned that award hands down because she gave the best performance by a lead actress that year.She submitted two powerhouse tapes that showcased her strengths.Explosive,impossible to deal w/ bitch diva in heels one moment and then mother courage the next. The writing was exceptional but Lucci’s work took it to another level.Every emotion was nailed w/o grandstanding. Her fellow nominees didn’t stand a chance. Bianca’s intervention was Lucci’s magnum opus as an actress. Bravura.

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    Sean Phillips
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    Bedlam. It was absolute bedlam.

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    eastwest
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    Didn’t know where to post this, but this YouTube channel has a collection of the female winners and their submission reels. Very cool.

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    DS0816
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    People still mistakenly celebrate Lucci’s win as a charitable ” thanks for being such a good sport all these years ” reward. I call B.S. Lucci earned that award hands down because she gave the best performance by a lead actress that year.She submitted two powerhouse tapes that showcased her strengths.Explosive,impossible to deal w/ bitch diva in heels one moment and then mother courage the next. The writing was exceptional but Lucci’s work took it to another level.Every emotion was nailed w/o grandstanding. Her fellow nominees didn’t stand a chance. Bianca’s intervention was Lucci’s magnum opus as an actress. Bravura.

    I had a period of not following the daytime dramas with the 1998–99 season due to some personal matters which required more of my time.

    Prior to the 1999 Daytime Emmys, the 26th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, I read from Soap Opera Weekly that the best reel came from Susan Lucci.

    This is to keep in mind that nominations were: Jeanne Cooper (Katherine) in The Young and the Restless (CBS); Elizabeth Hubbard (Lucinda) in As the World Turns (CBS); Susan Lucci (Erica) in All My Children (ABC); Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki) in The Young and the Restless (CBS); and Kim Zimmer (Reva) in Guiding Light (CBS).

    I was not going to try to predict.

    I had, by then, become cynical. I figured Lucci had not won not because of better reels from others who did prevail. (No—not with every single time. Not really.) I figured it was because Lucci’s nominations count had built up to a point that her not winning was actually good business for the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Meaning, it was good for continuing to draw in viewers, year after year, for the live ceremonies. (The Daytime Emmys actually hit No. 1 in the early-1990s.) And to finally prize Lucci could become the death knell for NATAS.

    I was glad it finally happened.

    This is art.

    The overall work from those 40-plus years of Lucci—who may have been given the greatest creation of a character to play in the history (thus far) of the U.S.’s daytime dramas—was too original, unique, and great to not end up winning at least once.

    By the way: The lead-actress Emmy was first given in 1974. From 1974 to 1996, there was only one person from CBS who won that category. That was Kim Zimmer. Three of her four Emmys (1985, 1987, and 1990). Starting in 1997, CBS dominated the category until 2004. The only non-CBS winner was Susan Lucci (1999).

    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  DS0816.
    • This reply was modified 4 months, 1 week ago by  DS0816.
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    BTN
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    I wonder what it would it have been like if Moore just said Susan Lucci with no fanfare. But he really captured how big a story it was. It was the soap opera of the daytime Emmys! Lol. Great moment for awards show history!

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    alokin
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    I can’t believe it’s already been twenty years since Lucci’s milestone win! Time sure does fly. Thanks for the trip down memory lane, DS! Loved the nominee clips! Even for someone (I was a student in high school back then) who wasn’t nearly as attuned to the Daytime Emmy Awards as I am now, seeing Lucci finally receive her trophy to the jubilation from all her peers in the audience and what seemed like the longest standing ovation(!), made me feel like I was witness to something truly historic. And you’re absolutely right, BTN, that moment would not have had the gravitas it did without Shemar Moore being a part of it and making it special in a way that only he could.

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    Boidiva02
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    I’ll tell this: when her name was announced I just about had a meltdown. She has always been my favorite daytime performer and an idol of mine and I was hysterical when she won. I was jumping up and down, screaming and yelling and then a little crying.

    As much as I was rooting for Susan Lucci, I had trained myself to not get my hopes up for her winning. And prior to the Emmy’s I was thinking that Melody Thomas Scott or Jeanne Cooper would win. Both Zimmer and Hubbard submitted weak tapes; and in Zimmer’s case she never had a shot with her Clone Reva story. Most viewed that story as laughable.

    I think the Academy got it right voting for Lucci though; even if her win ended up being the downfall of Emmy ratings.

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    robbalto
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    I remember that moment well. I can recall sitting in my den in my old apartment. I was so happy for Susan Lucci, and I loved everything about the moment… the way Shemar Moore announced it; when Susan Lucci said hello to Oprah… the way the cheering went on and on. That was a truly historical win and is perhaps my most memorable Daytime Emmy moment.

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    Boidiva02
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    I remember that moment well. I can recall sitting in my den in my old apartment. I was so happy for Susan Lucci, and I loved everything about the moment… the way Shemar Moore announced it; when Susan Lucci said hello to Oprah… the way the cheering went on and on. That was a truly historical win and is perhaps my most memorable Daytime Emmy moment.

    i remember when the camera panned to the audience who were all standing up giving her a standing ovation; and I remember the joy from everybody’s faces. I recall Kelly Ripa cheering and Robin Strasser bowing down; I remember seeing Kim Zimmer and Erika Slezak nod in approval and I remember Ingo Radamacher do some sort of hand gesture. It was a real moment. Rosie O’Donnell was crying, the cheers just didn’t stop.

    And then they let her go on-stage and keep talking after the music played… they just let her keep going.

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    EmmyLoser
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    I was thrilled for Susan Lucci when she finally won that Emmy! I remember there being generally a few schools of thought surrounding her losing streak — that she was just never the best actress in the category, that someone in the voting body had a grudge against her and prevented her from winning year after year (people I knew seemed to gravitate toward this soapy option), and that she just never submitted her strongest material and so never came out on top. I didn’t have much hope of her winning in 1999 either, but then she did, and the audience absolutely loved it. It was such a great moment, and the thing that really stood out for me is how happy everyone in the room seemed to be for her. Lucci was the biggest name in daytime, and is probably still the name most synonymous with soap operas, and she was absolutely beloved by her industry. It was a joy to watch.

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    Dan Jo
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    I think there was an interview of her and  she revealed that before the ceremony there are people who kept telling her that she’s going to win. She don’t believe it at first because of her past losses until the moment arrived. Judging by her reactions I think she didn’t expect really that she’s gonna win.

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    Boidiva02
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    All I remember in terms of pundits and stuff is that Mimi Torchin from Soap Opera Weekly was really pushing for Kim Zimmer to win, but that many people felt that unlikely given the clone storyline and that sentiment was being pushed towards Lucci or Cooper finally winning.

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    Sean Phillips
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    I think I remember Tom predicting on the red carpet that Lucci would win.

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