The 1st Daytime Emmy Awards were held on Tuesday, May 28, 1974, to honor excellence in the afternoon television genre. Who’s taken home the gold the most times in the soap opera world during the 47 years since it all began? Here’s a look at the top 10 winners.
Daytime Emmy Memories
1. Anthony Geary
A daytime phenomenon as General Hospital’s Lucas Lorenzo Spencer, Anthony Geary holds the distinction of winning a record eight Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series — the highest number of victories in a performer category.
2. Erika Slezak
Playing multiples is a well-known key to an Emmy victory. So it should come as no surprise that One Life to Live’s Erika Slezak garnered a record six trophies for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for her portrayal of Viki Lord and her wild child alternate personality Niki Smith, as well as a few others.
3. Heather Tom
Tied with Slezak for the most victories by a daytime actress is The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom (Katie). Her six wins come from three different categories. She nabbed two as Outstanding Younger Actress, while playing Victoria Newman on The Young and the Restless, and won Outstanding Supporting Actress and three Outstanding Lead Actress honors for her work on BB.
4. Justin Deas
A man of many talents, soaps, and soap roles, Justin Deas has taken home Daytime Emmy gold six times. He won one Lead Actor and two Supporting Actor trophies for his portrayal of Buzz Cooper on Guiding Light, and three additional Supporting Actor awards for his role as Tom Hughes on As the World Turns (1) and Keith Timmons on Santa Barbara (2).
5. David Canary
Nominated for 16 Daytime Emmy Awards, All My Children’s David Canary won five as Outstanding Lead Actor. The soap afforded him the opportunity to play twins who were complete opposites, and he ran with it. While Adam Chandler was cool and cutthroat, Stuart was meek, messy, and bighearted.
6. Peter Bergman
During his long daytime career, Peter Bergman has been on the Daytime Emmy ballot 22 times. (His first nomination came from his run as Cliff Warner on All My children.) He’s parlayed that into four victories as Outstanding Lead Actor for his work as The Young and the Restless’ mercurial Jack Abbott, a role he’s been playing since 1989.
7. Susan Flannery
Susan Flannery won her first Outstanding Lead Actress award as the kindly Laura Horton on Days of our Lives, before nabbing an additional three as Stephanie Forrester, the powerful matriarch of the show’s first family of fashion, on The Bold and the Beautiful. Her trophy total stands at four but likely could have been more if she hadn’t retired from the industry.
8. Kim Zimmer
Portraying the wild wonderful life of Reva Shayne on Guiding Light earned Kim Zimmer four Emmys as Outstanding Lead Actress. The character’s wide range of storylines – from vixen to time traveler to clone to cancer survivor – presented the actress with unique opportunities to spread her acting wings. And Zimmer always delivered.
9. The Show’s the Thing
It’s been lucky 13 for ABC’s General Hospital, the soap with the most victories in the Outstanding Drama Series category. However, there is another daytime drama hot on its heels – The Young and the Restless, which has 12 wins.
10. The Write Stuff
When it comes to the coveted Outstanding Writing honors, the team at The Young and the Restless rules. The soap has won this Daytime Emmy award a record eight times; the last time in 2019.