2018 Daytime Emmy Coverage
Drama Series | Lead Actor | Lead Actress | Supporting Actor | Supporting Actress
Younger Actor | Younger Actress | Guest Performer | Writing | Directing


DAYS' James Reynolds and Y&R's Eileen Davidson named Lead Actor and Actress

Posted Monday, April 30, 2018 05:02:03 AM
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45th Annual Daytime Emmys coverage: Days of our Lives' James Reynolds wins his first Emmy while Eileen Davidson wins her first and second trophies.


We're not sure if there is such a thing as a lucky number, but surely everyone has heard the phrase "Third time's the charm!" This year, the number three came up a lot in the Lead Actor category.

The Young and the Restless' Peter Bergman (Jack Abbott) has won an Emmy three times, as has General Hospital's Billy Miller (Drew Cain). The Bold and the Beautiful's John McCook has received three nominations. Michael Easton has been pre-nominated for his work on three different soap operas.

Then there is Days of our Lives star James Reynolds. Though he has been a part of the DAYS cast for 37 years, this year he received his third nomination -- and his first in the Lead Actor category.

Reynolds ultimately heard his name announced as the winner in the category. He is only the third African American to win in the Lead Actor category. More than 30 years has passed since All My Children's Darnell Williams (Jesse Hubbard) won in 1985. One Life to Live's Al Freeman Jr. (Ed Hall) was the first Black actor to win in 1979.

"I gotta tell you that walk from my seat to this stage took a few seconds, but it was actually 37 years," Reynolds said as he accepted his Emmy. He also made note of Freeman, Williams, and A. Martinez, noting that those three men were "the other actors of color in the last 45 years" that have won the award.

Reynolds' win is also the third-ever win by a Days of our Lives actor in the Lead Actor category. You have to go all the way back to 1975 for DAYS' last win in the category. That was the year Macdonald Carey (Tom Horton) won the top prize. He also won the year before, becoming the first-ever Lead Actor winner.

When Reynolds took to the microphone in the press room, he was asked what was going through his mind when his name was read as the winner. "You know, I've been asked that, and I don't really know what I was thinking at that moment," Reynolds confessed. "Usually I kind of slap myself around because I'm in my head so much, but that was one moment I wasn't in my head."

Reynolds also took time to thank the show's new head writer, Ron Carlivati. "Ron, congratulations on your Emmy. You gave me a gift. It was a story that was so full of love and family and forgiveness and meaning."

Throughout Emmy night, many of the stars made specific mention of how the soap community seems to be a closer-knit community than ever before. Reynolds echoed that in his acceptance speech.

"I have to say that everyone in the daytime drama community... you work so hard and you give an artistic devotion to millions of people around the world over 200 times a year. And to Days of our Lives, and The Young and the Restless, and The Bold and the Beautiful, and General Hospital -- I want to thank you all for allowing me to be a part of this community."


Name an awards show, and there is probably an award recipient who has said that they didn't expect to win. According to Davidson, she really didn't think she was going to win.

"I'm in shock. For some reason, I didn't really have any feel for this -- [I'll] never trust that [feeling] again! I just didn't really anticipate this, so I didn't really prepare a speech," Davidson admitted. "I wasn't ready for this, so it's very surreal this time. This is actually more surreal than the first time I won [in 2014 for Days of our Lives], strangely enough."

"I was picking from a lot of different shows. It's not like I had a real strong storyline like I did when I won on DAYS," Davidson added. "That was a real strong thing. [But with this], I was just kind of picking and choosing, and I don't know, it was just a weird year for me. I don't know."

As for what went through her mind when her name was called, Davidson isn't entirely sure. "Honestly, I think my mouth hit the floor. It was very surreal, very bizarre. Didn't I look shocked? I don't know! I was completely just sideways."

A large part of Davidson's Emmy-winning material dealt with her on-screen mother, Dina (played by Emmy nominee Marla Adams), and Dina's Alzheimer's diagnosis.

"I think everybody knows somebody who knows somebody. We've all been touched by dementia or Alzheimer's in some way. And I think bringing awareness to the caretakers, what the caretakers go through when they're helping the people that they love through this kind of thing, I love that about The Young and the Restless specifically," Davidson shared. "It's social awareness and trying to do things that are timely. A lot of people are just so grateful that they're being acknowledged as caretakers. It's just a very nice and timely thing to do."

As has become tradition, the winner in the Lead Actress category hosts a luncheon for the following year's nominees. While some stories and photos have emerged from these luncheons over the years, the luncheons have become somewhat like Las Vegas -- what happens at the leading ladies luncheon stays at the leading ladies luncheon.

Davidson, however, is looking forward to next year's luncheon. "And those ladies, let me tell you something there, I'm going to stick around a lot longer this year," Davidson said with a laugh. "We all have to stay and hang out."

Last year's Lead Actress winner -- who paid for this year's Ladies Luncheon -- was Y&R's Gina Tognoni (Phyllis Summers).


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