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Leann Hunley's Emmy Win

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  • DramaKing
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    I have enjoyed having Leann Hunley back on Days of our Lives these past few weeks, however she always seems to give slightly (or sometimes more than slightly) over the top performances. He quivering voice, he facial expressions, her angry outbursts…

    I started thinking about her Emmy win for Outstanding Supporting Actress in 1986. I find this surprising because at the time, Days was largely overlooked at the Emmys. It rarely got nominations, much less a win. Also I don’t remember Anna being that central of a character. She was Carrie’s mom and she loved ‘her Tony’ and I remember her being a fashion designer even though Calliope was the real designer.

    Does anyone remember what storyline Lean won for? What episodes did she submit?

    She was up against, Judith Anderson (SB), Uta Hagen (OLTL) Eileen Herlie (AMC) and Kathleen Widdoes (ATWT).

    Hunley went on to have a pretty successful career in primetime – 3 seasons on Dynasty and also a role on Dawson’s Creek.

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    FreemanGriffin
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    I was rooting for Kathleen Widdoes that year, and would have loved for Eileen Herlie to have won an Emmy. Uta Hagen had a five episode guest stint and Dame Judith Anderson was great but underutilized. I didn’t watch Days all that much back then so can’t really say much about Ms. Hunley’s work, other than I found it a bit shrill often over the years.

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    DramaKing
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    I agree, both Kathleen Widdoes and Eileen Herlie would have seemed like more obvious choices. Shrill is a good word for the character of Anna DiMera.

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    syrus80
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    Anna was written as more of a schemer back then. I can’t find any clips from that particular category way back when.

    I hate to say this but it’s distracting watching her cause it looks like she has no neck.

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    youngsoapfan
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    If I recall, when they found out a decade ago that Tony was actually held captive for so many years by Stefano on an island, and that Andre was actually the villain pretending to be Tony and they went and rescued him, they had Anna determine if it was really him, and they showed a flashback to the 80’s where Anna was holding him at gunpoint for something, it’s a little blurry for me, I think that flashback was actually from the episode she submitted that won her the emmy.

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    alokin
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    Yes, syrus and youngsoapfan, you guys may be onto something. I’m not quite familiar with Hunley’s work from the 80’s either, or what she submitted for the Emmys the year she won. I do know when she made her return to DAYS after that rather long absence (could that have been ten years ago already, in the fall of 2009? Crazy how time has just whizzed by!) she was very good in her portrayal of Anna as E.J.’s co-conspirator in the baby Sydney kidnapping saga.

    Perhaps playing Anna’s villainous side allows Hunley’s performances to come across as a bit more authentic, since her particular acting style is best complemented when she’s given dark material to work with. When the material calls for a softer emotional display (as with Anna’s current storyline), that’s when I think her performances start to feel less sincere because she has a tendency to overact those kind of scenes.

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    DramaKing
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    I do remember Anna being more of a schemer back in the 80’s. Anna and Calliope were both used for comic relief, but Anna definitely had a dark side. I had totally forgotten about her working with EJ in the baby Sydney kidnapping! That was such a twist.

    I would just love to know what she submitted to get nominated and win an Emmy against such industry vets like Herlie and Widdoes.

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    EmmyLoser
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    I do remember the clip that youngsoapfan is talking about, and I also remember seeing somewhere that it was part of Hunley’s Emmy submission the year she won. I was always under the general impression that she edged out the competition largely because there was comedy in her reel that set her apart. (She was nominated that same year for a Soap Opera Digest award for best comic relief performer.) I think it also helped that she must have been on her way to breaking into primetime by then, since she started on Dynasty the same year she won the Emmy. The Daytime Emmys voters tend of enjoy rewarding actors they think will make a splash outside of daytime, or at least that’s my impression.

    I did really enjoy when Anna returned as EJ’s co-conspirator in Sydney’s kidnapping. That was an excellent twist. I love Anna as a character, and I love Hunley’s portrayal of her, though I’d welcome her getting material that was less comical and more rooted in a more serious plot. The character is usually written with so little to do other than obsess over Tony — even when she was back on last year and sleeping with Roman, the storyline became about hating Andre because he didn’t compare to Tony.

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