ONE LIFE TO LIVE Timelines
— By Lauren Flynn
The 35th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards are just around the corner, airing on Friday, June 20. While this year's pool of female talent may not include any of ONE LIFE TO LIVE's fine actresses, Digest is celebrating those who've received accolades in years past — and we're not just talking about Erika Slezak (Viki). After you check out this comprehensive timeline, be sure to pick up the June 24 issue of Digest (in stores this week) for more Emmy trivia and interviews with this year's nominees.
Judith Light (ex-Karen) was the first actress from OLTL to win a Daytime Emmy. She took home the gold in 1980 for Karen's now-famous courtroom confession ...
... And again in 1981, when she won her second Lead Actress award. Light (shown with OLTL Creator Agnes Nixon, who was honored with the National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences Trustees Award that year) went on to prime-time success, but did not receive her first prime-time Emmy nomination until 2007 for her work as UGLY BETTY's Claire Meade.
Robin Strasser (Dorian) received her first and only Daytime Emmy Award in 1982 for Lead Actress, beating out Leslie Charleson (Monica, GENERAL HOSPITAL), Ann Flood (Nancy, EDGE OF NIGHT), Sharon Gabet (Raven, EDGE) and Susan Lucci (Erica, ALL MY CHILDREN). She has been nominated in the category four times.
In 1984, Erika Slezak (Viki) celebrated her first of six Lead Actress wins with hubby Brian Davies. "I'm very lucky that my husband does not watch the show on a regular basis, so he sees my tapes with a fresh eye. If he says to me, 'I don't buy that,' I trust him," Slezak remarked years later.
Slezak's gripping portrayal of Viki's struggle with alternate personality Niki Smith earned her another Lead Actress Emmy in 1986. Coincidentally, Lead Actor winner David Canary was honored for his dual role of Adam/Stuart on ALL MY CHILDREN.
Slezak took home her third — but not last — Emmy in 1992. The actress submitted scenes surrounding the death of Viki's daughter, Megan, and the fire at Llanfair.
1994 was the first year OLTL racked up two actress wins, with Hillary B. Smith (Nora) acclaimed for Lead Actress and newcomer Susan Haskell (Marty) honored for Supporting Actress. Storyline-wise, Nora had served as the conflicted defense lawyer in Marty's rape trial against Todd and his fraternity brothers.
After two years out of the running, Slezak was back in black at the 1995 Emmys. "[That year] was Sloan's death and scenes that led up to Tommy coming out," she later explained, referring to Viki's second of six alternate personalities that have emerged over the years.
In 1996, Slezak won once again for Lead Actress, while Lucci was nominated for the 16th time. "I'm not going to apologize for winning," she told Digest later that year. "Although certain people believe I should because they say I 'beat' Susan Lucci. I hate that word. I didn't beat anybody. A panel of judges on two coasts picked my tape over four others. I'm not the only person who's won when Susan has not won. Unfortunately, that's what the media has made the Emmy awards all about." Lucci finally won in 1999.
Out of a record eight nominees, Slezak took home an unprecedented sixth Daytime Emmy in 2005. "I was truly kind of humbled because I hadn't been nominated in 10 years," she told Digest. "To win against all these fabulous actresses — I mean, there's not a slouch in there — I was really a bit breathless."
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