It's a moment that will forever go down in soap opera history: the joyous 1999 occasion in which All My Children star Susan Lucci (ex-Erica Kane) won her first Daytime Emmy Award after an unprecedented 18 nominations and no wins. Fans saw the special moment play out on-screen, but Lucci explains that a lot happened that viewers weren't able to see during the 1999 broadcast from New York City's Madison Square Garden.
"Rosie O'Donnell was sitting on my left, my husband was sitting on my right," Lucci recalls in a video interview with Fox News Magazine. "Rosie O'Donnell said to me, 'Susan, when you go up on stage tonight to win your Emmy, and mind you, this was my 19th nomination, never having won, she said, 'When you go up tonight, give me your handbag. Because when they call your name, you'll be all excited, and you'll stand up, it'll fall, and you'll step on it. You won't like how that looks on TV.'"
However, having lived through 18 previous years of disappointment, Lucci's response was, "'Thank you, Rosie, very much, but the truth is, history has taught me that I'm not going up on that stage, I'm a hopeful person, but thank you, I don't think so.'"
The moment that followed is one of the most talked about in daytime history. The Young and the Restless' Shemar Moore (ex-Malcolm Winters) called Lucci as the winner, prompting the entire audience in the auditorium to leap to its feet. But Lucci herself was too stunned to move, not to mention she completely misunderstood the announcement.
"When Shemar Moore called out my name, he was so adorable, and he called out, 'The streak is over!' We were in the Garden, as I said, and I thought he was announcing the playoff scores!" she recalls. "It was May, there was hockey, there was basketball, and I thought, 'Well isn't that nice, he's keeping everybody up to speed.'"
She continues, "Then he said my name, but I never heard my name, because after the ninth time of not hearing my name called as a winner of the Emmy, it must be a protective mechanism, I would go kind of numb. I wouldn't really ever hear the person's name... So they called my name, and my biggest fear at that point would be that I would go up without hearing my name correctly, but I knew it was my name because Rosie O'Donnell reached over and took my evening bag, and my husband picked me up by my elbow and... escorted me to the stage.. and my knees felt like they were Jell-O at that point. And then when I turned around, when I got on stage, and saw the entire industry on their feet and Oprah Winfrey cheering in the wings and Rosie O'Donnell standing up and Kelly Ripa (ex-Haley Santos, AMC) crying and cheering, I didn't think I could speak. It's a moment I'll never forget as long as I live."
Check out Lucci's special Daytime Emmy moment below then let us know what you think about the way she reacted upon finally ending her famous Emmy losing streak.
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