Of the five actors nominated in this year's Outstanding Supporting Actor field, only one was a previous Emmy winner. Rick Hearst (Ric Lansing, General Hospital) won an Emmy back in 1991 in the Outstanding Younger Actor category for his work as Alan-Michael Spaulding on Guiding Light.
"All I gotta say is I'm glad it was the first category and I'm glad it's done," said Hearst in accepting his award.
This was Hearst's first nomination for a show other than Guiding Light, where he portrayed Alan-Michael Spaulding from 1990 to 1996. During his six-year run on the CBS soap, Hearst tallied four Emmy nominations - three Supporting Actor nominations and an Outstanding Younger Actor nomination, which turned into an Emmy win in 1991.
"I have never in my life worked with such a collectively brilliant group of people as I have on General Hospital," praised Hearst.
Among Hearst's submitted clips were scenes where his character revealed to Sonny (played by Emmy winner Maurice Benard) that he was his brother. Despite having something new to place on his mantel, Hearst said he doesn't feel his Emmy should afford him any arrogance.
"I don't think any actor in this particular climate ever feel[s] secure," Hearst said when asked if his Emmy win offers him job security.
On a touching note, Hearst fought tears as he reflected on time he spent with his late father. Six months prior to his father's death, Hearst invited his father to Los Angeles to spend the day with him on the set of The Young and the Restless. Hearst said that it was the first time that his father got a chance to see what he did for a living.
"He's largely the reason I have this [Emmy] right now," Hearst said softly.
General Hospital performers have now won in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category six times, more than any other soap opera.
While it was not quite assured that this year's Outstanding Supporting Actress winner would be a first-time Emmy winner, there was a good chance that the winner would be a first-time Supporting Actress winner.
Heather Tom (ex-Victoria Newman, The Young and the Restless) earned previous honors in the Outstanding Younger Actress field, scoring wins in 1993 and 1999. Sharon Case (Sharon Newman, The Young and the Restless), a five-time Emmy nominee, was the only nominee to have previously won this category. Case's Supporting Actress win was in 1999.
However, it was Cady McClain (Rosanna Cabot, As the World Turns), an Emmy winner in the Outstanding Juvenile Female (now Outstanding Younger Actress) category in 1990 for her work as Dixie Cooney on All My Children, who earned Emmy gold this year.
"I'm a very, very lucky woman," said McClain from the stage. "I feel I am in a category with some excellent actresses."
McClain, who started in daytime television in 1988, urged her colleagues to take care and protect the younger performers in the medium.
"Anyone who wins knows that winning is nothing unless you can bring someone up with you," McClain said. With that, she praised the work of her younger co-stars Peyton List (Lucy Montgomery) and Agim Kaba (Aaron Snyder), and expressed her desire to see them win Emmys of their own someday.
As for the rumors that McClain may hop back to All My Children, McClain says that, while flattered, a return to AMC doesn't appear to be in the cards.
"I feel very lucky that they want me back," McClain states. "I'm not sure where I'm going exactly. I want to keep moving forward."
For those of you that love Emmy trivia, McClain's win marked just the second time that an As the World Turns actress has won in this category. The show's only other winner in this field, in 2001, was Lesli Kay (soon-to-be-ex-Molly Conlan).
Click here for our coverage of Kay's win in 2001.