In what would be a theme that would repeat itself over the course of Emmy Night, nearly all of the nominees in the Outstanding Supporting Actor category were first-time nominees. One, General Hospital's Anthony Montgomery (Andre Maddox), was a relative newcomer. Another, General Hospital's Wally Kurth (Ned Quartermaine), has been working on soaps for more than 30 years.
Days of our Lives' Greg Vaughan (Eric Brady) got his start in daytime on The Young and the Restless, appeared for a short time on General Hospital, and eventually landed on DAYS in November 2012.
"I am so proud and honored to be a part of this show," Vaughan said from the stage after accepting his award. "To my cast, [my win is the result of] 15 years of very hard work in this realm that I love, and I am grateful to each and every one of you. I share this with my wonderful costars Missy Reeves (Jennifer Horton) [and] Eric Martsolf (Brady Black). And Ari Zucker (Nicole Walker), you are the reason for this."
Picking up on his comment about having been on soaps for more than 15 years, Vaughan was asked why he thinks that his work over the past year resulted in getting his first Emmy nomination.
"This year was different. I had great writing," Vaughan shared in the press room. "I came onto the canvas for a few years back in 2012 and then I left after three years. I went on to some other opportunities, and then I went on to Queen Sugar, and from that point, my kids kept pulling me back here. So, we sat down and discussed the opportunity of bringing the character back and trying to do both shows at the same time simultaneously, and I said, 'Well, we've got to write this in a new direction. I started as a priest, but now I want to go a little darker and try to bring a little bit more something unique, different, special.' And they found it."
It just so happened that the writers that Vaughan mentioned were backstage, talking to the press, when Vaughan was announced as the winner in the Supporting Actor category. And if he is a fan of them, their uproarious applause is a good indication that the feeling is mutual.
"I hope they heard me shout their names! There are so many of them, so I can't remember everybody," Vaughan said with a smile. "I had not met Ron [Carlivati, head writer] when I came back to the show. I know he was in New York at the time, but [producer] Greg Meng and I, and [producer] Albert Alarr, we sat and we talked about what we wanted to do. I told them how I felt and where I wanted to go, and I hoped they could just give me a little bit of room to kind of spread my wings a bit and become who I felt I could be if they just gave me that [opportunity] and stepped back. There are great people on the show, and I'm proud to be putting my little two cents in there. I'm working with incredible people. Mr. [Ken] Corday [executive producer], he gives me the platform, and that platform is my sandbox. So, I come and I say this a great home, and I'm proud to be a part of it."
As for the "Where will you put your Emmy?" question that is inevitably asked of all winners, Vaughan hinted that his statue might become a weapon.
"My boys are going to fight for it, I know, about who has the tallest trophy," Vaughan offered with a chuckle. "I think they win, because mine is a little smaller -- but it's bigger! So, no sword fighting, I think. [I'll have to keep it] somewhere high, maybe!"
Vaughan became emotional when he talked about having his mom in the audience to see him win the Emmy.
"You're going to make me cry! My mom, she's here, I flew her in," Vaughan stated as his eyes well with tears. "She's with her grandbabies, my boys, and I've done her proud. She's my anchor. She's why I'm here. She's the one that gave me the courage to say, 'Hey, what do you want to do with your life?' I said, 'You know what I want.' And she said, 'Well, follow your dream.' And I moved here twenty-five years ago. And here I am. I've had the great fortune to have lots of [roles] in primetime and daytime and do lots of movies. Everybody today and why we're here and what we're celebrating, the great work of daytime and what it means to all of us, and the watchers and the fans that support this program every day, is why we do it. And generation after generation, to keep them coming back and pulling them in. So, I'm glad to be a contributor to that."
Eric Martsolf, who Vaughan thanked from the Emmy stage, was the last Days of our Lives actor to win the Supporting Actor trophy. They are the only two DAYS actors to have ever won in this category.
Here is video of Greg talking to the press after his Emmy win.
It's been 18 years since Camryn Grimes last took to the stage to accept a Daytime Emmy Award. In 2000, at the age of ten, Grimes became the youngest person to ever win a Daytime Emmy in the Drama Series categories when she was named Outstanding Younger Actress.
"I said if I was ever lucky enough to have this happen to me again, I wouldn't cry -- and that's not gonna happen. I'm so sorry," Grimes said as she fought back tears while accepting her award.
In fairness to Grimes, it was going to be an emotional evening no matter whose name was called. Of the six nominees in the category -- there was a tie in voting during the pre-nomination phase that resulted in an extra nominee -- only Grimes had previously won an Emmy. Two of the nominees, Grimes's Y&R castmates Marla Adams (Dina Mergeron) and Mishael Morgan (Hilary Curtis), received their first nominations this year. Two others, The Bold and the Beautiful's Jacqueline MacInnes Wood (Steffy Forrester) and Days of our Lives' Susan Hayes (Julie Williams) earned their first Supporting Actress nominations this year.
Five years after Grimes's first Emmy win, her character was killed off. It was a storyline decision that had fans both outraged and devastated. After that, Grimes said that "[n]ot in a million years" did she ever think that she'd be receiving another Daytime Emmy nomination.
"If only you knew how this show changed the course of my life and shaped me," Grimes said.
While Y&R may have changed her life, Grimes understands that her Emmy-winning storyline on Y&R may have helped to change the lives of viewers.
"It did challenge me as an actress, but not totally in the way you might think, because at the end of the day, it was a story about love and falling in love. You don't have to reach too far to feel the same emotions that you would feel, regardless of gender or sexual preference," Grimes explained. "Mariah fell in love with Tessa [Cait Fairbanks] as a person, and the same thing that we all experience when we fall in love is exhilaration, confusion, hurt, upset; those are all things we feel, no matter what the scenario. So, I dug into my personal love life vault and used some of that stuff."
Grimes dedicated her award "[t]o everyone who has dared to dream and dared to love honestly."
Four out of the last five Outstanding Supporting Actress winners have been actresses on The Young and the Restless.
Here is Camryn talking about her win in the press room
And then the following day the actress made a special video for fans.
PART THREE: YOUNGER ACTOR AND ACTRESS