It came as a surprise to many who predicted the winners that Heather Tom (Victoria Newman) was named Outstanding Younger Actress. It wasn't that Tom's acting abilities were questioned, but it appeared that General Hospital was going to take home the award. Tom was up against GH's Sarah Brown (Carly Roberts) and Rebecca Herbst (Liz Webber). Brown won the category last year and Herbst dealt with a powerful storyline that seemed certain to catapult her onto the stage. Tom's clips, however, were moving.
Tom's co-star, Sharon Case was named Outstanding Supporting Actress. Where Tom defeated two frontrunners from GH, Case unseated two leading ladies from All My Children---Kelly Ripa (Hayley Vaughan) and Jennifer Bassey (Marian Colby). The "experts" have given the nod to AMC's Ripa. Guiding Light's Beth Ehlers (Harley) was a winner even if she wasn't handed one of the little statues. Ehlers wasn't in attendance because she'd just been blessed with something even more special---a new baby.
Y&R was ready for the sweep in the female acting categories. If General Hospital could do it on the men's side, why couldn't they sweep the women's side? With two nominees in the Leading Actress category, things were looking very good for the Genoa City bunch. In fact, Y&R set a record this year with twenty-one nominations in total. Susan Lucci sat next to her husband, Helmut Huber, in the front row of the venue. In eighteen previous nominations, Lucci has stood tall in defeat and applauded the victor in the category. Again this year, Lucci would end the night in tears. These tears, however, were different.
"The streak is over!" shouted presenter Shemar Moore (Y&R's Malcolm Winters). For several seconds, no one knew exactly what to make of his peculiar announcement. Then came two words never heard after the ripping of an Emmy envelope: Susan Lucci. If gracious is the word used to describe the actress in defeat, then gracious is the only word to describe her in victory. Lucci thanked her peers for raising the level of acting on daytime shows. She also thanked the millions of fans that tune in to see what Erica Kane is up to each day. Lucci tearfully admitted that she never thought she'd win an Emmy. Emmy in hand, Lucci vowed to return to work on Monday and do what she so obviously enjoys doing---acting.