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General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn Chats On Her Daytime Emmy-Nominated Performance and Its Significance

Photo: ABC

When the nominations were revealed for the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, General Hospital mainstay, Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis Davis), was recognized for her stunning work in the Alexis-centric standalone episode which honored her 25th anniversary with the ABC daytime drama series.

Grahn, is already a two-time Daytime Emmy winner.  She won back in 1989 in a tie for Outstanding Supporting Actress for her work as Julia Wainwright on Santa Barbara along with All My Children’s Debbi Morgan, and again received the honors in that category in 2012 for her work on General Hospital.

Now. she is vying for the gold in 2022 in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series category against other formidable actresses including: B&B’s Kimberlin Brown, DAYS Stacy Haiduk, Y&R’s Melissa Ordway, and her GH castmate, Kelly Thiebaud.

Michael Fairman TV caught up with Nancy to talk about her decision to enter the Emmy race this year, her powerful and moving scenes, why this nomination is significant and important to her, and her take on some very important social issues of our time.

Always candid, insightful, combined with great humor and wit, here’s what Nancy had to share below, and make sure to check out GH this week when sparks fly between Alexis and Gregory (Gregory Harrison). Will he turn out to be the new beau in Alexis’ life? Stay tuned.

Courtesy/ABC

Congratulations on the Emmy nomination.  How do you feel about being in the running again, especially with the material from your 25th anniversary episode?

NANCY:  You know, I don’t submit myself if I don’t think I have something, and I didn’t last year.  This year, I had the one show, and the first reason I submitted myself was I had the episode that was worthy of the competition. These judges have to sit, and watch this stuff, and very often, it’s hard to watch soap opera scenes.  It really is, unless you’re in it.  It’s a different kind of material that most primetime people aren’t used to watching.  So, it’s tricky business.  I don’t want to put them through anything too awful. I don’t want to torture them and I’ve judged before. It can be a bit tedious. So, for me to submit myself, I thought, it has to be something that isn’t going to torture another human being. The second thing is, older women get marginalized the older they get, and they get diminished very often, and every time we get nominated, it means something different to me.  This time, to me, I want it to somehow be symbolic, or a shoutout to women who are still producing, who have been doing their job for a long time and are still doing it good enough, and that it’s still worthy of respect and recognition.

When we were at the GH Convention back in March, I played the scene on-stage for the fans in attendance of when Alexis goes over to the corner of Kevin’s office and heals her younger self.  You saw the reaction just from the fans.  It’s such a beautiful moment within the story.  What did you think about how the standalone episode was crafted?

NANCY:  It was a different experience for me because GH co-head writers Chris Van Etten and Dan O’Connor, and script writer, Scott Sickles gave it the attention, but even more to that, they allowed me to participate in the creation of it.  They allowed the director, Phideaux Xavier, to participate.  We all sat in a room.  They said, “You know what?  Make it how you’re comfortable with it.”  There were so many people who gave it time and effort, and Phideaux gets a lot of credit because he came up with a lot of ideas.  So, the little girl in the therapy room wasn’t initially a part of it.  That was Phideaux’s idea, and they let us alter things, and they allowed me to write some words that meant something to me with the character.  Our producers, Michelle Henry and M.K Weir, who I both adore, were also a part of this.

Courtesy/ABC

That is great to hear that you were involved in the collaborative process of the creation of the episode.

NANCY:  We read through the whole script, and we worked it like you would on primetime. We went through it like, “Does this moment work?  Does that moment work?  Does this make sense?  Does that make sense?”  We never do that in soaps.  We don’t get to that.  So, it was a gift to me.  It really was. Chris and Dan, and Scott and Phideaux, and the two producers, generosity in gifting me that experience and making sure that it was to everybody’s liking, was really very special to me, and it meant a lot.

Did you come up with the key lines which summarized Alexis as a person and her journey: “I’m Alexis Davis, and I’m a fighter, and an idealist and an advocate?”

NANCY:  No. They designed it, but we were allowed to enhance and contribute creatively to it, and, we don’t normally have the time to do that.  They don’t have the time to – and you can’t allow people to do that with every episode, to be creatively participating, because it would turn into madness with everybody.

Then, when it came down to choosing the scenes from your anniversary episode to include for your Emmy submission, was that a challenging process of which moments to go with?

NANCY:  I just told a little story with it with the time that I had, and so, I edited it with a friend of mine.  I did a sort of pre-edit on it, I’m good at that, and handed the timeline to our editor, who nicely put it together. It took very little effort.

In my humble opinion, I think that episode featured one of your all-time best performances.

NANCY: Thank you. There was a nice effort from everybody, from the lighting to everybody else, and all the effort Phideaux put into it.  He worked so hard on that!  It was fun for us.  It was like the old days where you really got to work something out.

Photo: ABC

It truly harkened back to everything we knew up to that point about Alexis and her past as well, and included a montage of scenes over the years.

NANCY:  I think it was M.K. who put that together, but when you’re working at the pace we’re working now, to have to sit and put together a montage of twenty-five years, that’s not an easy feat.  Nobody has time for that anymore, but they did it, and like I said, it was really, really appreciated.  My only thought with it is that I wanted it to be relatable to other people.  I didn’t want it to just be some, you know, self-indulgent Alexis episode. I knew that by bringing in the little girl and talking about people being hurt in their childhood and how that makes somebody feel that it was probably relatable to many people, and so it became meaningful to other people and not just me.

Do you think you’ll attend the Daytime Emmys? I know the last time you won you were not present.

NANCY:  Yeah, I’m planning on it.  I mean, barring anything happening! (Laughs)

Does it feel nice to be recognized by your peers?

NANCY:  Of course, it does.  It always does, and way too often, women who are still producing well in their jobs, don’t get the respect and the acknowledgment for it.  So, that’s why I’m saying, this is no small thing, and that I want other women to know that I know that, and that I wish for them the same thing.

What was the reaction of your daughter, Kate and your fiancé, Richard, when you told them you were Emmy-nominated?

NANCY:  Richie goes, “What is this?  Your 18th nomination?” (Laughs). You know what I mean?  It was just kind of like, “Yeah, sure, why wouldn’t you be?” It wasn’t like, “Oh, my God!”  It was like they kind of expected that.  That was nice!  I’m glad they feel that way.  I’m glad they weren’t surprised.  They were like, “Sure!  Of course, you would be.  Why wouldn’t you be?”  I said, “You know, it doesn’t always work like that!”

Photo: JPI

Now comes the part of having to find a dress and all that goes with it for the red carpet.  Do you enjoy that part?

NANCY:  No, I hate that part.  That is my… oh ‘boohoo’, you know?  I mean, I have to find something to wear.  Also, the older you get, that becomes so much less important, and the more makeup, and the more hair, and the more foofy, the more ridiculous I look. I start looking like Whatever Happened to Baby Jane.  You’ve just got to keep it simple.

You were talking about women and ageism.  Do you not feel that also exists for men?

NANCY:  It exists for men, but it’s not at all on the same par as women.  I mean, men still get paid more than women, and men still are valued more than women.  I mean, there are exceptions, but if you look in any place of employment, even the soaps, you will typically find the men making more money than the women, and the older the women get, the less they get.  Life’s not fair right now.  It’s fairer than it was, but still the equality game is not won yet.

Photo: JPI

I know how much all of this means to you in terms of equality for women, and people being run out of their jobs because of their age.

NANCY:  It’s just a reality.  It’s not something that I’m hopeless about, but I have a story to tell.  I’ll tell it when the time is right.  It’s life!  It happens in every field everywhere.  When my mom was 70, she was still producing the exact same way she was producing when she was 30, and she got run out, and was replaced by a man who was 40 or something, and there was no particular reason for it.  It was just, “You’re done.  We decided you’re done,” but like I said, it happens everywhere, in every line of work, and that’s why I just wanted to give a shout-out, when you still, after 36 years, can be recognized or shown respect or acknowledgment for what your do.  It’s a very big deal that I am appreciative of and grateful for.

So, rooting for Nancy to win the Outstanding Supporting Actress prize? Happy she was nominated for her work in the the milestone episode devoted to Alexis? Share your thoughts in the comment section below, and to tune-in to the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards on CBS and streaming on Paramount+ on Friday night, June 24th.

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HarryDonna L. BridgesroseViolet LemmDawn Recent comment authors
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Jamesj75
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Jamesj75

Bravo, Nancy Lee Grahn! On all counts!

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

I’d vote for Nancy Lee and Alexis anytime! She’s a wonderful actress and her story lines are never disappointing or boring as two or three blondes that think they are all that and a bag of chips. The best of luck to you Nancy, you deserve it.

Dan
Guest
Dan

The Alexis stand alone episode was very good, and Nancy was excellent, as she always is when they give her the material. Always been a big NLG fan, can’t wait for her to get back on the air. But she’s already won twice in her career. I’m personally rooting for Kelly Thiebaud in that category. I was so thrilled to see her get her first nomination this year.

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

Sorry, gang, but this nomination was a giveaway. Don’t get me wrong: I think Nancy is consistently excellent. But it’s usually the SAME excellence. I didn’t see anything here she hasn’t done before. By contrast, I’m always seeing new sides to Ava, thanks to brilliant Maura West. Her treatment of whackjob Esme is spellbinding, different from most of her previous vendettas. Same with Nicholas Chavez; his exploration of his character Spencer over the past few months has been thrilling. There’s new shades every day, similar to when the great Greg Rikaart started as Kevin on Y&R years back.

richard w griffin
Guest
richard w griffin

I have been stubborn online in thinking that Nancy is going to win with this episode. Many people think it will go to Melissa Ordway or one of the other nominees but I think this submission is going to win it for NLG. I am often wrong but this one feels like a no-brainer prediction to me. She really was superb. But I disagree with her that this is all she had in 2021 – all of the scenes around Tracy’s setting her up and the Ned revelation with Olivia and stabbing Dante were all superb too. Alexis only got… Read more »

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Richard w griffin
I only have one thing to say. Melissa Ordway, Melissa Ordway, Melissa Ordway? BITE YOUR TONGUE!

Joel
Guest
Joel

No, not rooting for her.

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

My judgment of NLG has changed over the years. I used to love her performance of Alexis however her social media has turned me off. She is so angry and bitter in real life that it has become impossible for me to distinguish her from her onscreen presence

Harry
Guest
Harry

Angry and bitter? I think not. She’s fighting for women’s reproductive rights, for gun control, for democracy. She’s an idealist, still fighting the good fight.

Violet Lemm
Guest
Violet Lemm

Oh, I do love Nancy Lee with Gregory Harrison, what a couple they will be if the PTB get it right.

rose
Guest
rose

Violet…I like Alexis with Gregory as well. Intelligent banter for a change along with attraction.

Donna L. Bridges
Guest
Donna L. Bridges

Another superb performance out of NLG! Brava! I don’t know if she’ll take the statue or not. I’m sure with this reel that she has a shot. I’ve been thinking that Kelly Thiebaud is going to walk away with the win this year. I don’t know if I will change my mind on this or not. I don’t think Stacy Haiduk will take away gold, although I think her scene partner Eric Martsolf has a great shot with the same reel as hers. I’ve got to run write up my impressions of NLG’s reel, line by line so to speak.

General Hospital

Finn Carr is General Hospital’s New Rocco Falconeri

Dante (Dominic Zamprogna) and Lulu’s son, Rocco is getting a new look! Enter young actor, Finn Carr, who will take over the role on-air beginning this week.

Carr is very familiar to TV fans who have watched Hot in Cleveland, Fuller House, Criminal Minds and more.  He has also appeared in streaming series for Netflix including Alexa & Katie, and most recently in an episode of Paramount+’s, I Carly.

Now that Rocco is a bit older (with Carr taking over the role), will he figure more into the story of Dante/Sam’s (Kelly Monaco) relationship, and the arrival of Dante’s buddy, Cody (Josh Kelly) on to the Port Charles scene?

The role of Rocco was first played by twins through 2017. Since then, Mason Tannous, O’Neill Monahan, and Brady Bauer have all played the part at one time or another.  In story, it was actually Britt (Kelly Thiebaud) who carried baby Rocco when she was implanted with Dante and Lulu’s stolen embryo.

Soap Opera Digest first reported this latest ‘Rocco’ casting switch in their latest issue on newsstands now.

So, please welcome Finn to the cast of GH in the comment section below!

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Days Of Our Lives

(WATCH) 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards Red Carpet Interviews

Last Friday, the 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards were broadcast on CBS and streamed on Paramount+, but before the ceremonies many of your favorites from daytime including the stars from: Days of our Lives, General Hospital, The Bold and the Beautiful, and The Young and the Restless walked the red carpet and stopped to chat with the press in attendance.

Michael Fairman was on-hand reporting for Michael Fairman TV, and his You Tube channel, The Michael Fairman Channel  and now all of the video interviews can be viewed there.

From the nominees, to the presenters, cast members and executive producers and writers, daytime came together for the first time in-person since the Covid-19 pandemic changed all of our lives and halted live events for over 2 and a half years.

Check out these red carpet interviews and moments by clicking on the hyperlinks below:

General Hospital

Kelly Monaco

Nancy Lee Grahn

Laura Wright

Cynthia Watros

Cameron Mathison

Dominic Zamprogna and Lisa LoCicero

Nicholas Alexander Chavez

Sydney Mikayla

William Lipton

Kelly Thiebaud

Days of our Lives

Deidre Hall and Galen Gering

Greg Vaughan

Eric Martsolf

Ron Carlivati

The Bold and the Beautiful

Kimberlin Brown

Lawrence Saint-Victor

Tanner Novlan

John and Laurette McCook

Naomi Matsuda

Matthew Atkinson

Cassandra Creech

The Young and the Restless

Mishael Morgan

Cait Fairbanks

Elizabeth Hendrickson

Alyvia Alyn Lind

So, who was your favorite person we chatted with on the red carpet at this year’s Daytime Emmys? Let us know in the comment section below.

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Breaking News

(WATCH) 49th Annual Daytime Emmy Award Winners Interviews: Reactions and Heartfelt Moments

Last Friday night at the 49th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Michael Fairman was in the Winner’s Walk and had the opportunity to get real time reactions and thoughts as the night’s big winners chatted for a few minutes following their Emmy victories.  All of the winners, as well as the red carpet interviews will be posted all through this week on You Tube’s Michael Fairman Channel.

Talking with Michael, immediately following taking home the gold, were General Hospital winners including: Outstanding Younger Performer in a Drama Series winner, Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer Cassadine), Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series winner, Kelly Thiebaud (Britt Westbourne), Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series winner, Jeff Kober (Cyrus Renault), Outstanding Drama Series winner (Executive Producer, Frank Valentini) and Outstanding Directing Team for a Drama Series winners, Allison Reames Smith and Phideaux Xavier.

Sharing in her historic Emmy-winning moment was The Young and the Restless’ Outstanding Lead Actress winner Mishael Morgan (Amanda Sinclair), as well as Outstanding Lead Actor winner The Bold and the Beautiful’s John McCook (Eric Forrester).

Days of our Lives head scribe, Ron Carlivati and writer, Ryan Quan also talked with Fairman on their win for the Outstanding Writing Team for a Drama Series, as did talk show host, Tamron Hall, who took home gold for the Outstanding Informative Talk Show Host.

While Kelly Clarkson was not present to pick up her awards, her series executive producers, Alex Duda and Kareen Gunning spoke on winning Outstanding Entertainment Talk Show, while the cast and producers of The Price is Right stopped by to celebrate the game shows 50th anniversary milestone.

You can check out several of our 49th Annual Daytime Emmy winners interviews below.

Let us know what were your some of your favorite moments from our Emmy victory chats via the comment section.

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GH’s Nicholas Alexander Chavez (Spencer) talks with Michael Fairman immediately following his Daytime Emmy win for Outstanding Younger Performer in Drama Series. Leave A Comment
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