Outstanding Guest Performer Award: McClain wins over Delaney

Kim Delaney and Briana Lane Put In Strong Work

The Outstanding Guest Perfomer category honors the actors and actresses who have made brief but memorable visits to a daytime drama. The award was given out in 1980 and 1987 before disappearing for years. The award returned in 2015, and General Hospital had been nominated in the gender neutral category every year since. There have been several notable nominees and winners in 2015, 2018 and 2019. Before getting into this year let’s look back at the award since it returned.

In 2015, Donna Mills won alongside Fred Willard and Ray Wise in a three way tie. The former prime time soap star played Nina’s scheming mother, Madeline Reeves.

In 2016, Dee Wallace was nominated for her role as Patricia Spencer, the rarely mentioned sister of Luke and Bobbie. Dee Wallace was a favorite to win but lost to the esteemed star of stage and screen, actor/director Obba Babatundé who guest starred on Bold and The Beautiful.

The following year Don Harvey was in consideration for the role of Elizabeth Webber’s recently released rapist, Tom Baker. The actor lost to a guest star on Bold and the Beautiful, marking it’s second consecutive win in the category.

In 2018, Vernee Watson Johnson took home the Award for her performance as Stella Henry. The actress proved it was not a fluke and a on an Emmy the following year for Supporting Actress. Patricia Bethune took home the Award for her performance as Nurse Mary Pat in 2019. Bethune had appeared dozens of primetime series including True Blood.

Michael E. Knight was nominated in 2020 for his performance as lawyer, Martin Grey. Knight was nominated All My Children alumnus did not win, Knight has become a more prominent character with the revelation he is related to Mayor Laura Collins.

Briana Lane earned her first nomination for the role of Brooklynn Quartermaine. The newcomer stepped into the role temporarily while actress Amanda Setton was on maternity leave. Temporary recasts often have their screen time kept to a minimum but Lane was prominently featured. Emmy nominations are a difficult achievement for even a long term cast-member but Lane earned the nomination nonetheless. This was largely part due to her handling of the emotional scenes with her character’s father while BLQ was hospitalized.

In fact, young actress managed to pull off something just as rare as an Emmy nomination : audience goodwill. Soap fans can be particular and vocal in their dislike, while fans embraced Amanda Setton they were note than satisfied by Lane’s take on the character also known as BLQ.. Some fans have suggested the show bring the actress back in another role, which is not uncommon on soaps, especially GH.

Briana Lane was nominated for Guest Performer alongside a big name, in daytime and primetime, in Kim Delaney. GH cast the popular Primetime Emmy winner, Kim Delaney, (of NYPD Blue fame) in the running and was a favorite to win. The actress joined the cast as reporter, Jackie Templeton. The popular actress has took over the role last played by arguably an even bigger star. Demi Moore originated the role before leaving to make movies in 1984. This marked a homecoming of sorts for the actress who began her career on ABC’s All My Children. She was a fan favorite as Jenny Gardner, a role which earned Delaney her first Emmy Nomination in 1984.

Delaney’s casting reunited the actress with former co-star and on-screen brother from her time on AMC, Michael E. Knight. The two performers got to revisit their past chemistry in memorable scenes that involved the characters on a stakeout together. This was Kim Delaney’s second Daytime Emmy nomination and was nominated three consecutive years for NYPD Blue winning on her first attempt in 1997. The actress has been able to channel certain subtle mannerisms of Demi but settled into the role comfortably. While the nomination was expected, Delaney has been an interesting addition to the already talented cast.

Despite Delaneys name recognition, Days of Our Lives proved to be difficult competition. There were three actors from NBC’s soap opera in consideration this year: Victoria Platt, George Dehoyo and Cady McClain. McClain took home her third Emmy Award having previously won for her roles as Dixie on All My Children and Rosanna Cabot on CBS’ As The World Turns. McClain played Jennifer Horton, a role vacated by Melissa Reeves after three decades due to COVID-19 concerns and controversy over social media posts. Cady McClain appears to be the only actress to have won an Emmy for three different daytime dramas, on three different networks and in three different categories. Is that a triple hat trick?

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