You've probably heard the old expression, "It's an honor just to be nominated." And while some may question if the sentiment behind the statement is true, for nominees in the Daytime Emmys' Outstanding Lead Actress category, there is another perk worth its weight in Emmy gold.
Each year, the nominees in the lead actress category attend a special luncheon hosted by the winner from the previous year. This year, it was The Young and the Restless' Mishael Morgan's (Amanda Sinclair) turn to host the annual event ahead of the 50th Daytime Emmy Awards.
Morgan not only took home the gold statue in 2022, but she was the first Black actress to win the prestigious award in Daytime Emmy history.
The luncheon was started in 2004 by four-time Daytime Emmy winner Susan Flannery (ex-Stephanie Forrester, The Bold and the Beautiful), and the rules are simple. The previous year's winner picks the venue, plans the day, and pays the tab.
On Sunday, December 3, 2023, Lead Actress nominees Sharon Case (Sharon Newman, Y&R), Melissa Claire Egan (Chelsea Lawson, Y&R), Finola Hughes (Anna Devane, General Hospital), Michelle Stafford (Phyllis Summers, Y&R), and Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester, B&B) gathered at Redbird restaurant in Los Angeles.
In her Instagram stories, Morgan offered a glimpse into the day and the gift bags that she had prepared for the nominees. "I'm about to head out to host the 2023 Lead Actress nominees luncheon," she said. "And I am so excited to honor these ladies and celebrate them for all their hard work for this year," the actress shared.
Michelle Stafford posted a lovely photo of the nominees along with a heartfelt message. "Lead Actress Brunch. This is a real honor. I'm truly honored to be in a group with all of these incredible women. I've loved them all for a very long time. We are all so grateful to be working on our shows... to be working in general, as actors," Stafford captioned the photo. She also had nothing but praise for Morgan. "Mishael (Last year's winner) put together a brunch that was BEYOND spectacular with gift bags even!! I mean Mishael, you are an absolute class act. Thank you for the beautiful day 🧡," the actress said.
Sharon Case replied, "Yes! It was beyond spectacular!! Thank you so much @mishaelmorgan!🎉
Melissa Claire Egan chimed in, "To be nominated alongside this incredibly talented group of women is a TRUE HONOR!!! Thank you to last years winner, the fabulous @mishaelmorgan for hosting an epic Lead Actress Nominee Luncheon today. It's so nice that they all offered to give me their Emmy if they win!!" Stafford was quick to reply, "I did not offer," while fellow nominee, Wood replied, "Love love LOVE YOU ALL!! ❤️❤️❤️❤️"
Previous winner, Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott, Y&R) also weighed in with, "Great tradition! Congratulations to all you fabulous women!!!"
Finola Hughes also took to Instagram with lots of praise for everyone. "Yesterday was the leading ladies lunch for the Emmy's. It's a tradition started by the inimitable Susan Flannery. (The previous year's winner throws a luncheon for the nominees). Yesterday was a very special lunch. Mishael Morgan raised the bar! The conversation was at once light hearted and deep. This was an amazing group of women, supportive, funny and caring. Thank you all for a brilliant few hours."
The following day, Stafford shared a video of the nominees on the terrace with their fabulous gift bags. "What a fantastic day it was yesterday!! The Lead Actress Lunch❤️ Hosted by last years Emmy winner for Lead Actress the unstoppable @mishaelmorgan she hosted a spectacular lunch❤️with gift bags!! It was on the private terrace at @redbirdla The food was spectacular. The company was even better! So fun with @finolafilona @sharonlcase @jacquelinemwood_1 @missyclaireegan I'm blessed to be in a category with these spectacular women who contribute so much on their shows, and in life every day 🧡 What an honor to be nominated and with these women. Any way it goes. I can't lose (like @sza says)"
For information on where and when to watch the 50th Daytime Emmys, click here to continue reading.
Which talented actress are you hoping takes home the Outstanding Lead Actress Emmy? Do you hope the tradition for the luncheon is carried on? We want to hear from you -- so drop your comments in the Comments section below, tweet about it on Twitter, share it on Facebook, or chat about it on our Message Boards.