In a field where six-time Emmy winner Justin Deas (Buzz Cooper, Guiding Light) loomed large over the nominees, the Outstanding Supporting Actor category was also ripe with four nominees who had yet to take home a Daytime Emmy trophy.
The Young and the Restless' Greg Rikaart (Kevin Fisher, The Young and the Restless) seemed stunned as he took to the podium upon hearing his name announced as the victor. This was, after all, the actor's first Emmy win and his very first Emmy nomination. What fans of this popular actor might not know is that his Y&R persona is not supposed to still be airing. When the writers of the top-rated CBS soap introduced Kevin Fisher in July 2003, the character was originally slated to have a run of only a few months. But like so many other soap characters before him that had also been devised for short-term runs in an attempt to advance storyline, Rikaart's character caught on and network execs were pleased with the actor's work. There was just one problem - how could an Internet predator be redeemed.
"I believe it was very controversial amongst the fans," Rikaart said.
"Six years ago, after an overpriced college education, I decided to tell my parents that I was going to move out to LA to become an actor," Rikaart said in his acceptance speech. "Not only were they wholeheartedly supportive, but my father took the ride [with me] from Staten Island to Hollywood."
For his Emmy reel, Rikaart submitted two episodes from February 2004. In the first episode, his character believed that the woman he loved also loved him back - but in actuality, she was just using him. In his second episode, Kevin was hovering close to taking his own life.
"The second episode was one that was very close to my heart," Rikaart revealed. "It is probably the work that I am most proud of."
Natalia Livingston (Emily Bowen Quartermaine) continued the streak of first-time Emmy winners. The actress joined General Hospital in April 2003 facing the daunting task of taking over the role of Emily from fan-favorite Amber Tamblyn. During her first few months on the ABC soap, Livingston was, as one might expected, often compared to Tamblyn. With her Emmy victory, Livingston has accomplished something that her predecessor did not.
In winning the Emmy, however, Livingston says that she doesn't feel that the role will now be viewed as hers.
"I guess it's more just the day in and day and trying to understand the character a little bit more that solidifies [my place as Emily]," Livingston explained.
During the short amount of time given to winners to issue an acceptance speech, Livingston was clearly caught up in the moment. Dressed in a gown by Simin, Livingston forgot to thank her co-star, Tyler Christopher (Nikolas Cassadine) - until the fans in the upper balcony shouted out his name.
Like Greg Rikaart in the Supporting Actor category, this was Livingston's very first Daytime Emmy nomination.
Looking ahead, Livingston revealed that her character, who is recovering from a sexual assualt, will not be pressed into an immediate relationship.
"This is the story of a woman's journey through rape and the recovery process," Livingston commented. "[The writers] are trying to tell that story as realistically as possible. "
General Hospital has won in the Supporting Actress category five times -- more than any other soap. It's first win in the category was back in 1981 when Jane Elliot won for her portrayal of Tracy Quartermaine.
IN-DEPTHFind out was scenes Livingston submitted in her Emmy reel.