For the first time in 14 years, there was an encore performance in the Outstanding Younger Actor category. Days of our Lives star Chandler Massey picked up his second straight win for playing one of DAYS' most talked about stories in recent history. However, by the time the night was over, Massey had fans talking about something entirely different: his impending exit from the NBC soap.
"First of all, I'd like to thank everyone at NBC and Corday, and the amazing cast and crew, and the writers, and producers. All the credit goes to you guys," Massey said in his acceptance speech. "Also, this isn't fair because I have the best actor to work alongside and that's [fellow nominee] Freddie Smith."
As Massey entered the press room to discuss his win, he was stunned to learn that Days of our Lives had just won the Outstanding Drama series category. After coming down from a second high of the evening, Massey made sure that he thanked another major influence is his life -- and it was one suitable of the night's other big event: Father's Day.
"I... especially [thank] my dad," Massey said. "When I was 16 and I was in high school and I told him that I wanted to be an actor and I was living in Georgia at the time, I feel like any other kid on that state would have said that and their dad would be like, 'No. Do business or something.'"
Rather than asking more about the Emmy win, a question from the press -- seemingly out of the blue -- asked Massey about his status with Days of our Lives.
"It's been such a pleasure and a privilege working on DAYS," Massey said as he reflected on the three years he's spent on the NBC soap. "It has changed my life for the better. I came out to Los Angeles and enrolled in UCLA, and I think that after [my current contract] is up [in December], I want to go back to school. I want to graduate. I want to have a degree. I just want to keep looking forward."
The announcement echoes a similar pressroom bombshell from 2003. After winning the Outstanding Younger Actor crown in 2003, Guiding Light's Jordi Vilasuso announced that he'd be leaving the show.
With his back-to-back wins, Massey joins the ranks of daytime's greatest younger performers. All My Children's Michael E Knight (Tad Martin) won in 1986 and 1987, Guiding Light's Kevin Mambo (Marcus Williams) won in 1996 and 1997, and General Hospital's Jonathan Jackson (Lucky Spencer) pulled off the feat in 1998 and 1999.
Of the six acting categories in this year's Daytime Emmys, only the Younger Actress category was certain to provide a first-time winner. Three of the four nominees were also first-time nominees.
For some 14 years, Kristen Alderson played the role of Starr Manning on One Life to Live. When ABC announced the series' cancellation, it seemed that Alderson, who had grown up in front of millions of viewers, would have to say farewell to the role. However, in 2012, Starr was resurrected on General Hospital -- and it was on GH that Alderson ultimately received her first Emmy nomination for her work as Starr. It was also where she'd win her first Emmy statue.
"First of all -- for Starr Manning, who I've played for 15 years... I loved her so much, she'll always be a part of me. For all of my family on One Life to Live, I love you so, so, so much," Alderson said, commenting on the show that had made her famous. "Frank Valentini, Ron Carlivati, Kassie DePaiva, Roger, Erica, Robin, oh, my gosh... everyone."
In the excitement of the moment, Alderson did not mention General Hospital during her acceptance speech.
Alderson offered special thanks to her family.
"My mom, most of all, she's my best friend and everything to me. My brother, you make me laugh everyday. Chad [Duell, GH's Michael Corinthos], you're the love of my life. And dad, I'm so glad that you're here. Happy Father's Day. I love you all so much, and this means the world to me."
Alderson's win is the seventh for General Hospital in the Younger Actress field. The ABC soap now moves ahead of The Young and the Restless, which has six wins.
» PART FOUR: DIRECTING AND WRITING TEAM