41st Annual Daytime Emmys coverage: Billy Miller won his first Lead Actor title while Eileen Davidson won her first-ever Emmy at the 2014 Daytime Emmy Awards.
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR
, The Young and the Restless
"Unfortunately, Billy Miller couldn't be here tonight to accept this award," Miller cracked as he took the stage.
Miller is no stranger to the Daytime Emmy winner's circle. This marked his third win, but this was his first win -- and first nomination -- in the Outstanding Lead Actor category.
"I miss you guys. Y&R's been my family for a long time. I thank every one of you," Miller said surveying the audience.
Miller made a high-profile exit from The Young and the Restless earlier this year
after contract talks between Miller and Y&R executives ended in a stalemate over Miller's desire to do additional projects outside of daytime.
"I was made a generous offer to stay," Miller said following his announced exit
from the show. "To pass [on Y&R's contract offer] was the hardest thing I've ever done. I was caught between a rock and a hard place. In the past, we were able to venture out of the Y&R world; now it seems there is no longer that flexibility for me."
Ironically, Miller's replacement on Y&R -- his predecessor in the role, David Tom -- has since been let go
from the show. Rumors recently emerged that Miller has signed a contract
to join the cast of General Hospital.
As he prepared to leave the stage, Miller became more serious and offered words of advice to children who might be watching.
"You know, what do these things mean? I guess they have the meaning you give them," Miller said. "For those of us who have to take three steps to make one that everyone else can make, I guess if you keep love in your heart and determination in your head, you'll look up and you won't be behind and you won't be amongst the group. Sometimes you'll lead."
Later, what asked about his work ethic in the press room, Miller said, "I'm from Texas. My dad told me that if someone's going to pay you a job, you do it 110%. We're all in it together. We're all in the trenches."
OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS
, Days of our Lives
"I snagged it," Davidson cheered from the stage upon receiving her trophy from The Talk
's Sheryl Underwood and Sharon Osbourne.
This year marked Davidson's second nomination, her first since 1998 when she was nominated for playing five different roles on Days of our Lives at the same time.
"I have to thank Heather for sharing this year," Davidson joked, referencing The Bold and the Beautiful's Heather Tom, who'd won Emmys in the category the previous two years.
"I have so much affection and gratitude towards everybody at DAYS. Thank you to [...] the writers for letting me bring it... and then bring it again," Davidson said. "To my cast, Dee and Drake, Eric Martsolf, you're so much fun. I love you so much."
Just last week, CBS announced that Davidson had been signed to a contract to reprise her role as Ashley Abbott on The Young and the Restless. Due to DAYS' production schedule, Davidson will be appearing on-screen on both soaps simultaneously. Typically, this would not be permitted, but both DAYS and Y&R are produced by Sony Television.
"I feel like I have the actor's goldmine, because Ashley is a classic heroine and tries to stand for everything good in life. Even though she is very fallible, she tries to be better. Kristen is the whack job with a heart of gold," Davidson said of double-duty soap gig in her press room speech. "It's an actor's dream to play the spectrum, sometimes every day. It's weird how easy it is to do. It's like two pairs of comfortable shoes but they're different."
Davidson becomes just the second Days of our Lives actress to be named Outstanding Lead Actress. The previous winner? Susan Flannery (Laura Horton) -- who went on to win three additional Emmys as The Bold and the Beautiful's Stephanie Forrester -- back in 1975.
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