You can't help but love The Young and the Restless' Marla Adams (Dina Mergeron). She's sensational, both on-screen and off, which makes her Daytime Emmy nomination in the Outstanding Supporting Actress category hardly a surprise. Add into the mix a deeply touching storyline that delves into the challenges of Alzheimer's disease, and you've got pure Emmy gold. At least, that's what she and her millions of fans are hoping as the exciting ceremony draws near. Read on to find out how the actress celebrated after she made the list of official nominees and who she plans on bringing to the ceremony later this month.
Soap Central: Congratulations on your Emmy nomination, Marla! You must be so thrilled!
Marla Adams: Thank you, my love. I'm bringing my two kids [to the award ceremony], and I am beyond the pale with excitement. This is just so damn exciting!
Soap Central: You are so worthy of this nomination. Your performances truly were outstanding. How did you react when you found out you'd been nominated?
Adams: Well, honey, I'll be eighty years old next August, I have been in the suds for fifty years, and would you believe, this is my first Emmy nomination? I am thrilled to the moon and back.
Soap Central: Honestly, it is unbelievable that it's your first. How did you find out you'd been nominated?
Adams: Well, it's a daunting story. Right before the [pre-nominations] were announced, my dog died. And the next morning, the producers called from the show and said, "Congratulations, Marla!" And I said, "For what?" And they said, "You made it to the top ten." So, I then thanked my dog for giving me this gift before he died. And when I was on Broadway, my father died the night I got the part in The Visit on Broadway. So, it's very daunting. But I was thrilled beyond belief [for the pre-nom], and then they called me and told me I made the top six. Whooo dee dooooo! So, then I thanked my mother in heaven. She used to watch my career, and she once said, "Darling, I watch everything you do, but why aren't you on my favorite soap?!" This was many years ago, and she was referring to The Young and the Restless. She happened to be visiting me the day I got the part, though she is long gone now. So, everything is happening in such a wonderful way, and I feel like a winner whether I win the thing or not. I am so beyond grateful and thrilled beyond words.
Soap Central: After you found you'd been nominated, did you celebrate that evening?
Adams: I drank a wee bit of vodka, darling! I was home alone, and I was so happy. I kept calling all my friends. But all the producers and everybody from the show are supporting me so very much, and it means all the world to me. To be recognized, yet again, and to be welcomed home, yet again, in this way is wonderful.
Soap Central: Did a lot of your costars call you or text you, as well?
Adams: Oh, my God, they were applauding all over the place! Mal [Young, Y&R executive producer] came down, and this one and that one came down. Everybody was just so thrilled. And you know, even though I've been in the business for sixty years and a full fifty in the suds, they only give you sixty seconds [for your acceptance speech]! Well, I might go over, and they better not get the hook. I've already written my acceptance speech, and I know it perfectly. [I recite it] when I'm in bed at night. So, who knows [if I'll win], but I'm so excited!
Soap Central: You said you are bringing your kids with you to the ceremony. Do they live in L.A.?
Adams: They don't. I'm flying them in, and my son even got a tux! I said, "You've got to wear a monkey suit, Trip." My son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren live in Madison, Wisconsin, and my daughter has two restaurants, and she lives up near Seattle, Washington. They're flying in, and they're going to be my dates.
Soap Central: Well, I'm so excited to meet you and your kids on the red carpet! The whole family!
Adams: I am so excited. I told Trip that he has to wear a suit, and Pam doesn't wear ball gowns and things. She said, "Mother, don't tell me how to dress anymore." But of course, I'll do that until the day I die! But she said, "I will be red carpet appropriate. Trust me." And I know she will. And Trip has a long ponytail now. He doesn't have tattys or anything like that, but he has a ponytail, and he's a Brooks Brothers clothing man, and he went out the other day and bought a tuxedo! So, this is just too much. It's so wonderful.
Soap Central: So, what about you? Have you already started planning what you'll wear?
Adams: Well, I think I'm going to be haute couture, thanks to the wardrobe department at The Young and the Restless. All the girls wear all these glittery things, but at my age, well... Dina is very glamorous, but also very conservative. I imagine I'll be wearing a dress that I've worn on the show, when they had the premiere of the family documentary. In fact, I wore it yesterday on the show. I'm not quite positive I'm going to wear that, but we'll see. A lot of the girls go to famous designers, and they loan them everything. I did that once for something when I was on Secret Storm back in the day, but I don't think I need to do that this time. I'll look just grand, I'm sure! My feet are going to be killing me, though, because I have a bunion that won't quit. It's very painful. So, I may have to put on low shoes. But if the gown is long, I pray to God nobody is looking at my feet!
Soap Central: Just wear the fancy high heels for the photos for five minutes and then ditch the shoes!
Adams: Oh, I can't wait for the red carpet!
Soap Central: So, what scenes did you end up submitting for your reel? You had such a wealth of material to pull from.
Adams: I submitted from four shows. The first one I submitted, my darling Sally Sussman [former head writer] was there, and it was coming into the Abbott living room the first time when Dina sang The Moon and Back. The second one was the time of the big gala when I exposed, or rather blurted out, that Brent Davis was Ashley's [Eileen Davidson] father, and I was so terrified, and I wept and wept, and I went back to the hotel [with Graham], and I fainted and had a stroke, and I was lying on the floor. The third one was very lighthearted; it was when Ashley took her mama ice-skating, and I had the best time in the middle of that reel. It was funny and delightful, and she was quite sane then when she said, "And now, after ice-skating, we're going to pole dance!" It was very funny. And what you see is us coming home, and we were very cold, and she was going to make me a drink or something, and she was very, very happy, and Ashley says something like, "It's wonderful that we went ice-skating," and Dina goes, "Ice-skating? I loathe ice-skating. I would never, ever, ever go ice-skating." And that was the end of that one, and it showed her dementia, back and forth, how she could turn so rapidly. It's so tragic. And the last one is my favorite, and if they show anything from the reel at the ceremony, I hope it's from this one. It's Christmastime by the tree with Jack [Peter Bergman], and it's not really Christmas, but he made it so because I believe that it is. And I say, "I know my memory will come and go - - mostly go - - but when it does, I want you to know that when I become too difficult for you to handle, that I love you now and always." And then that ends with him taking me in his arms. And that's the clip that I hope they use. I cry every time I have to say those lines!
Soap Central: You're actually up against several Y&R stars in the same category. How do you feel about that?
Adams: Do you realize there are twenty-six people from The Young and the Restless up for awards in different categories? And I'm up against Mishael [Morgan, Hilary Curtis], Camryn [Grimes, Mariah Copeland], and Elizabeth [Hendrickson, ex-Chloe Mitchell], who left the show some time ago. So, there are four out of six Best Supporting Actresses from the show, so I'm with very wonderful, wonderful costars. And Beth [Maitland, Traci Abbott], I love her and truly think she's the best actress on the whole show, and I hope she's nominated next year. She's the equalizer and common denominator that keeps this crazy Abbott family together. And Peter and Eileen are nominated for Best Actor and Best Actress, so it's pretty daunting. I hope I don't cry [at the ceremony]! I'm such a thrilling person when I'm happy, and I will be beyond the pale of happiness and so grateful.
Soap Central: Do you think you'll cry if you win?
Adams: I'm going to try not to, but if I win, I hope to talk about my children at the very end, and I'm going to dedicate it to the memory of [Y&R creator] Bill Bell and all the caregivers around the world. And I'll probably shed a tear then. But I've got to keep it together. My kids say, "Mom, we don't want you to cry!" So, I said, "I will cry if I want to, but if I do, I promise I won't tell you how to dress ever again!" [Laughs] But truly, we are a real family at The Young and the Restless, and I'm so happy they welcomed Dina home again a year ago. But I don't want to cry -- I'm rejoicing!
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