The year was 1994 and viewers who tuned into the Daytime Emmys knew one thing: Susan Lucci was not going to be win a golden statuette for her role as Erica on All My Children. Why? Because that year she wasn’t even nominated!
However, five other extremely talented actresses in the category of Outstanding Lead Actress were nominated and they — and soap fans — had to wait well into the night before they found out who won!
The late David Canary, a multiple Emmy-winner himself for the twin roles of Stuart and Adam on AMC, introduced the nominees for the top actress award.
Contenders included Julia Barr (Brooke, AMC), Kathleen Widdoes (Emma, As the World Turns), Linda Dano (Felicia, Another World), Fiona Hutchison (Jenna, Guiding Light), and Hillary B. Smith (Nora, One Life to Live).
As the nominees’ names were read, viewers were treated to samples of the actresses’ scenes. Barr’s Brooke addressed whether or not she ever got over her daughter Laura’s death. Dano’s Felicia fought her friends as they staged an intervention over her alcoholism. Widdoes’ Emma was hysterical over Ned, the man she loved, being in great pain.
Hutchison’s Jenna vowed to Roger (Michael Zaslow) that he’d never know the child she was carrying. Last, but far from least, Smith’s Nora, a lawyer, gave a summation at a rape trial, torn over the fact that she no longer believed her clients were innocent.
The ceremony aired on or around the winner’s birthday because upon accepting her award she proclaimed it was the best birthday gift she’d ever received!
Which actress won? Watch the clip above to find out!