Like last year, the Outstanding Lead Actor category was stacked with a handful of first-time nominees and one name synonymous with the Daytime Emmys. Last year, the veteran face, The Young and the Restless' Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott), was awarded the Emmy, his third win in 14 nominations. The previous year, Emmy voters rewarded venerable All My Children star David Canary (Adam and Stuart Chandler) with the gold statuette.
This year the role of the category veteran was filled by General Hospital's Anthony Geary (Luke Spencer), nominated six times previously with two Emmy wins. He was joined by first-time nominees Thorsten Kaye (Ian Thornhart, Port Charles), Ricky Paull Goldin (Gus Aitoro, Guiding Light) and Doug Davidson (Paul Williams, The Young and the Restless) - who had never before received an Emmy nomination, even though he's been a part of the Y&R canvas for 25 years.
On General Hospital for ten years, Benard has become a fan favorite. While he's received several awards for his work, all of those awards have been fan-voted awards.
"All the awards I've won have been fan awards; they're amazing," he remarked. "So as they were yelling, I was thinking, 'Wow, I have to win this thing.'"
Benard spoke of the decision that goes into deciding if an actor's work falls into the Lead or Supporting category. Nominated as a Supporting Actor in 1997, Benard said that he had a "weak year" and that his eligible material was not of Lead Actor caliber.
"I do have a problem if somebody is working five days a week and puts themselves in the Supporting [category]," Benard announced.
Of the five Outstanding Lead Actress nominees, just one actress - Eileen Davidson (Ashley Abbott, The Young and the Restless) - hadn't been awarded a Daytime Emmy nomination. Davidson had, however, received a previous nomination in 1998 for her work as Days of our Lives' Kristen Blake and a series of other look-alike characters.
General Hospital's Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), a first-time nominee for Lead Actress, won an Outstanding Supporting Actress award for her role as the now-canceled Santa Barbara's Julia Wainwright. Davis' win in 1989 made Daytime Emmy history - it marked the first time that there was ever a tie for a particular category. Grahn shared victory with All My Children's Debbi Morgan (Angie Hubbard).
"I'm beginning to feel like Miss Piggy," Flannery said in her acceptance speech. "This is really an embarrassment of riches." The actress has now won four Daytime Emmys, three of them coming over the past four years. Flannery also won a Daytime Emmy in 1975 for her work as Laura Horton on Days of our Lives.
Flannery offered a special thank you to Mrs. Ted Corday, the original producer of Days of our Lives who provided Flannery her first foray into daytime television.
In addition to acting on The Bold and the Beautiful, Flannery also occasionally directs. If forced to choose between acting and directing, Flannery said she is unsure which hat she'd choose to wear.
Also of note is Flannery's admission that she doesn't select her Emmy clips. "I let the kids in the booth choose," Flannery said, referencing the show's directors and producers. Emmy rules do not require the performer to pick his or her Emmy reel.