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WATCH: 44th Daytime Emmys Outstanding Lead Actress In A Drama Series Nominated Performances!

Five powerhouse women have been nominated in the Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series at this year’s 44th Annual Daytime Emmys to be live-streamed on Sunday night, April 30th.

This year the race features: General Hospital’s Nancy Lee Grahn (Alexis) and Laura Wright (Carly), The Bold and the Beautiful’s Heather Tom (Katie), and The Young and the Restless, Gina Tognoni (Phyllis) and Jess Walton (Jill). Every one of these actresses has previously won a Daytime Emmy, and in the case of several of them, multiple statuettes!

This hotly contested contest features two characters who bottled the battled as their lives spiraled out of control, a grieving mother who has to come to grips with the unthinkable, a woman who takes the stand and reveals how she was violated by an impostor and then reveals to her husband why she had an affair with his brother, and one who tries to cope as her son is near death.  All delivered riveting work.

Now after the jump watch the Lead Actress Emmy nominated reels.  Then let us know, who you think should take home the gold? Comment below!

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Mary PapcunNikkiConnor (AvidSoapFan)Rhondak/kay Recent comment authors
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Mo
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Mo

Probably Heather Tom.
Jess Walton is also good.

Patricio
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Patricio

I’m with you Heather Tom is and has always been a great actress! She will probably surpass the legendary Erika Slezak EMMY record one day.

Celia
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Celia

I don’t watch B&B, but I am familiar with Heather’s outstanding work as Victoria, on Y&R.
By the same token, I would not ‘entitle’ Gina Tognoni as a powerhouse. Nothing extraordinary in her portrayal of Phyllis, for me. If an actor/actress fails to touch me emotionally, I cannot, honestly, root for him or her. I never fell into the nuPhyllis hoopla!
Nancy is my pick, however, Laura and Jess are right behind her. Superlative performances!!

Newmanwins
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Newmanwins

Gina was much better on OLTL than Y&R…she has failed to capture the flair and fun of Phyllis…plays every scene like a hardass with that scowling on her face…lacking the sensitive and texture of Michelle…it is like Gina is portraying a new character. So not Phyllis.

Missy
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Missy

LOL, your troll game is superb.

Celia
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Celia

Exactly,Newmanwins! I have been saying this all along. Loved Gina on OLTL, but she is NOT Phyllis. Completely different personality. However, I cannot truly fault her just because she’s not Michelle. This happens each and every time there is a character change. Especially an actor/actress we love, and are used to his/her idiosyncrasies and nuances. It is what it is. Sometimes the recast works for some of us; sometimes it does not. Nonetheless, be that as it may; I do not believe Gina portrayed any of Phyllis’s characteristics, regardless of her quasi ‘good’ performance. She cannot compare to the other… Read more »

Connor (AvidSoapFan)
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Connor (AvidSoapFan)

And I bet you if Gina Tognoni even tried to mimic how Michelle portrayed the character of Phyllis, there would be many fans and viewers (alike) that would be complaining how “Gina isn’t doing her OWN version, isn’t putting her OWN stock in to the role…” Yada, yada, and yada…

Mo
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Mo

I was watching Y&R yesterday and the scenes with Phyllis and Michael, my mother asked, “Why is she whispering?” I said, “She always does that.”

I am another who wants to love Gina as Phyllis, but her portrayal has just not connected with me. I don’t know why she whispers in scenes when it’s not necessary. Maybe she talks like that IRL. I don’t know. I am a Gina fan, but again, her portrayal of Phyllis has not totally connected with me.

JONNYSBRO
Guest
JONNYSBRO

Wow this category is the toughest one to call. Every actress here just delivered bigtime. Every reel was just amazing and outstanding. The best reels i have ever seen in a category. Here is how i would rank them 5: Heather Tom: Tom alwaya acts the hell out of anything and she did so here. Especially the last scenes where she says goodbye to Brooke. She was great my only problem is i have seen her do these scenes before in her other reels. There was nothing daring or gutsy. She played it a little too safe. 4: Jess Walton:… Read more »

Newmanwins
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Newmanwins

Gina is the only actress in the category not dealing with a real life drama…a wife not knowing the difference between her husband and his doppelganger doesn’t make Phyllis sympathetic to the voting panel…it makes her look stupid as sin.

Laura is projecting perfectly the worst loss a mother can endure…the death of a child.

JONNYSBRO
Guest
JONNYSBRO

Listen no matter what character actions are all 5 of these actresses gave fantastic reels. Laura was fab she was most subtle of all the reels. Gina on the stand performance was an adrenline rush from beginning to end. It was really i couldnt take my eyes off.

Shay
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Shay

Excellent point, Newmanwins….As GH’s grieving mother, Carly, Laura Wright is far more convincing whilst being sublimely subtle and restrained in expressing her deep sorrow, unlike the more overdone—and sometimes ridiculous or predictable—antics employed by the other drama queens, especially NLG’s plonked-up, faded tart, Alexis….Laura Wright for the win!

k/kay
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k/kay

Why because she screamed and spit more? Case should have won this hands down the subtle acting always chwated

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

Cheated

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

I adore Case she is always on her game and steps up and takes the blows I adore her

k/kay
Guest
k/kay

She has never wore a sign saying I am acting please film me

Rhonda
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Rhonda

Love Sharon Case, think she is underrated.
I also love Gina’s Phyllis. When she is on, I watch.

dmr
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dmr

Hands down, Nancy Lee Grahn. She was given a real, authentic storyline dealing with the gravity of Alexis’ alcoholism-a real issue that many face and can relate to in some capacity. Also, I watched part of today’s episode while at home for lunch (the Alexis/Julian scenes)-WOW! I just wish TPTB did not ruin this couple by having Julian almost murder his wife. Unfortunately, as usual, I was BORED TO TEARS with Monotone Sam and Jason and then Elizabeth and Franco-UGH.

su0000
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su0000

Laura Wright (Carly) GH ………

Lee (Phyllis)
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Lee (Phyllis)

1. Laura Wright by far! . 2. Gina Tignoni

Newmanwins
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Newmanwins

Laura nails every single emotion…brilliantly…it’s a twenty minute acting masterpiece.

I was going to pick Heather for the win…but then I watched Laura’s last and was blown away.

tony
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tony

gina is as good as Nicole Kidman and other movie stars. Hands down, gina!

Rhonda
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Rhonda

I couldn’t agree more, Tony

Missy
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Missy

Easily Gina Tognoni.

The rest of the reels are either too long (Laura), have too much filler (Nancy) or take too long to get to the meaty and dramatic stuff (Jess).

Heather is good but it’s not much different than her usual – pretty similar reels and stories to stuff she has submitted in the past

Newmanwins
Guest
Newmanwins

Gina has the most ridiculous story in the category….voting panel won’t connect with such a ludicrous premise…not knowing the difference between your husband and his doppelganger is a joke…plus her reel is the shortest cause she only had one standout moment…it’s way too much shouty and baity like Sweeney’s two years ago that lost out…doesn’t match up to the overall acting repertoire of Laura or Heather…but still it’s this campy unrelatable Jack/Marco nonsense that will cost her votes.

Missy
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Missy

Are you just going around trolling everyone’s comments to make Laura Wright’s reel look better even though it’s

1. Longer than the legal length for a reel (a reel is not supposed to be more than 20 minutes)
2. It’s boring, takes too long to get to the drama and has too much filler.

And Gina’s reel is the shortest because she knows nobody wants to sit through 20 minutes of repetitive scenes and dialogue (like that of Carly wailing about Morgan).

Celia
Guest
Celia

LOL. Agreed, again, Newmanwins. Who else can know….be most familiarly intimate with a man’s body but his wife? No two beings are exactly the same. Not even identical twins. I should know; I am one. LOL. My identical twin and I are not sooo identical !!
Stupid storyline..poor Gina will pay the price for its insipidness.

Dan
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Dan

Missy, no one needs to make Laura’s reel look better than it is. The quality stands on its own. Good thing you don’t actually vote on the awards. You’re obviously a biased Y&R fan, which is fine. I’m a GH fan, but I can at least acknowledge that Gina and the other nominees did great work. I don’t need to denigrate the work of another actress and whine about a clip being 15 seconds over the limit, which obviously the Emmys didn’t have a problem with, because I want my favorite to win.

k/kay
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k/kay

Gina was too young for the role but she is every bit plus thousands more the actress Stafford has proven to be that said Gina is playing Phyllis with a angry look 24/7 ! My pick nobody they all over act

Rhonda
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Rhonda

Missy, you are right. And yes, Newman is also right when she mandates that the dopelganger story was ridiculous. However, that’s not Gina’s fault and she certainly rose above what was handed to her and made it work.
That’s how good she is.

Celia
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Celia

I, for one, do not bother with reels, Missy. I would not be able to base my opinion on one reel presented by the actor/actress. It would not be enough. To be fair, Missy, we like whom we like; I like Gina, but, she, as Phyllis, did not grab me. She is too hard!! I have not been a fan of Nancy’s Alexis until her split with Julian and stint with alcoholism. I made a complete turnabout. For me? Nancy touched the stars. We were asked what we thought and we opined. We may not agree with each others’ answers,… Read more »

dmr
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dmr

I like Gina as Phyllis; although, I am rooting for Nancy. I can’t root for Laura. I was not invested in the character of Morgan. I couldn’t stand the actor or the character, so I didn’t feel the emotional tug when the character died. I know the actor won an Emmy for his work; however, I never liked the character and I think the storyline (on mental illness) was too big and serious of a story for him to play.

Celia
Guest
Celia

I did not like Morgan, nor the actor, either, dmr.
But, albeit Nancy is my pick, does not take away from Laura’s performance, as a grieving mother. As I said, I need to be moved, and Laura did that tenfold.
Perhaps, I identified with her loss knowing the void and pain a mother experiences over her child’s death.
Laura was so outstandingly authentic; she broke my heart.
Nonetheless, I saw such an unexpected change in Alexis…..I could not ignore Nancy’s dramatic hold on her scenes and/or on me.

Patrick
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Patrick

Great summation of what this nomination process argh … leaves me I’ve barked hollered and begged for TPTB to listen… ie: GH sonny and carly ; GH Jason and Sam; GH Finn and Hayden. absolute scream ( oh the pain ) and dulling of the senses. what a lot of cache’ to hire back… lost talent. ta da : still prized – Nicholas, Paul, Morgan, Sabrina, and Jeffrey Vincent Parise.. Dr. Joe… just will not die or let up. LOL… YES YES YES… WIN one for the fans sorry Missy.. back to Laura Wright 20 plus minutes of just her….… Read more »

rose
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rose

All actresses were good. But for me to chose it may come down to the story they were selling, some of which I liked better than others. Very, very tired of Katie, Phyliss/Billy, and Carly. So that would leave Nancy and Jess as exceptional in my eyes.

Newmanwins
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Newmanwins

Laura Wright has easily the best reel…with the most relatable character drama…it’s a tour de force performance.

Ricky
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Ricky

I am sorry but Heather Tom hands down…6th time’s the charm 🙂

aria
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aria

i’m not saying she’s not a good actress but should she win another emmy for Crying? every single emmy reel she submits its crying crying crying, she basically being rewarded for being a good cryer.

Mary SF
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Mary SF

Because that is exactly how the reels are judged– if you look over past winners, male or female– the reel that wins is usually the one who cried the best or yelled the loudest– you win for either yelling or crying– subtle performances rarely win and comedic performance never do— if Heather wins this year– your’re right it is because she cried the best– and looked beautiful while doing it — that’s a plus in the Emmy race

Patrick
Guest
Patrick

Thank you Aria. I did not bother… to watch her.

it just gnaws at you doesn’t it… that after all the decades … years of raw talent… that graced our screens.

that some actors… do not know any better or difference to just pull the plug… what is her emmy wins about ? absolution… that she’s the best crier . one hell of an actor ? dag , right… Susan Lucci delivered. Heather Tom is such a non-entity.

Dan
Guest
Dan

I remember saying at the time when those episodes aired that Laura Wright would be walking away with some more Emmy gold. I still feel that way after watching all the reels. I was impressed with all of the ladies, however. I watch GH, so I know how consistently great Nancy Lee Grahn is. She would be my second choice. Gina Tognoni, Jess Walton and Heather Tom were all very good as well. Out of all the categories I’ve seen the reels for so far, this category is by far the toughest competition. Any of the five would be deserving… Read more »

Soaphound
Guest
Soaphound

This is one fantastic category and a tribute to the talent and endless creativity of daytime performers. Personally, Laura Wright hit me the hardest and deepest with this year’s work. Something about her grief and sorrow just devastates me. But the great thing is, there won’t be any embarrassing wins here.

Cat
Guest
Cat

Gina tognini hands down her reel was that damn good u couldn’t take your eyes off it

Chris
Guest
Chris

Tognoni’s reel reminds me how horrid the Pratt era was. Will voters really be able to take this schlock serious enough to give her a win? That said, GT is a good actress, but terribly miscast as Phyllis. I have yet to connect with her in that part.

Walton’s and Tom’s reels are the strongest. I think it is a toss up between the two of them. While I have deep respect for JW, she was no lead during 2016. For that alone, Tom should take the gold home.

Cat
Guest
Cat

Why are most of u degrading Gina Tognini reel. Her reel was the bomb. Omg really though. Her reel did make sense. A women who didn’t know the difference between a doppleganger and her husband. I’ve known plenty of actors who won Emmy’s for reels that kinda didn’t make since like Anthony Geary’s 2004, 2008, & 2015 wins,

Cat
Guest
Cat

Maura West’s 2015 win (cryptic sex lol) ( I loved her better on atwt as Carly), Jonathan Jackson’s 1995 win (Jason Biggs had a better reel that year), Kimberly McCulloughs 1989 win (Martha bryne n Anne heche had great reels), Justin Gockes 1989 win (Gina’s wheel of Fortune episode), Finola Hughes 1991 win (Anna & The Alien/Casey), just to name a few. It’s more about the performances n the range of it not what u picked. Otherwise none of them would have ever won a Emmy. I remember how people got upset because Drew Tyler Bell, Jen Landon, Tyler Christopher,… Read more »

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I don’t even have to think about this one Gina Tognini was the best followed by Laura Wright but it will probably be Tom that gets it. I’m kind of sick of her putting her reel in every year. She is a good actress but they need to give the others a chance and I also think sometimes she over acts.

Mary Papcun
Guest
Mary Papcun

Love Heather Tom but why give others a chance I would n’t Its too bad for them constraints she deserves it.

Mary Papcun
Guest
Mary Papcun

She deserves it Heather is great

Rhonda
Guest
Rhonda

I like Heather Tom alright but when she cries all open mouth, she looks like one of the characters from the Peanuts cartoons.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I like Heather Tom too and I think she’s a great actress but I see her throw her name into the pot every year. Now I know anyone can and then whoever’s in charge picks from the bunch. As in if 50 throw their name and reel I think only a few are picked but I get sick of her being picked all the time from B&B. There are so many others like Quinn, Steffy, Brooke etc. I think after awhile they just don’t bother throwing in their reel. I don’t blame them. Just give her the statue already. It’s… Read more »

Mary Papcun
Guest
Mary Papcun

Not true you must love peanuts

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