Exclusive Photo Gallery
by Sue Coflin
At right, NYC Film Commissioner, Katherine Oliver, ATWT's Eileen Fulton and Mayor Bloomberg
Get way, way down Inside the Bubble as Soapdom contributor, Merle Goldberg, reports her first impressions after the NYC Mayor’s Office Emmy Event: “Everything went very smoothly tonight at Gracie Mansion. Talked to a good number of people and had a lovely time. I spoke with: Rachel Ames, Ray MacDonnell, Don Hastings, Eileen Fulton, Grant Aleksander, Tonja Walker-Davidson, Anna Lee's son, Jeffrey Byron, Ilene Kristen, Maura West, Kim Zimmer, Tamara Braun, Kathleen Noone, Liz Hubbard, and the mother/daughter team of Alice Nolan and Tiffany Jehorek, the (NYC Mayor’s Office “Walk the Red Carpet”) contest winners! There weren't all that many soap stars there. But one amazing moment: Martha Stewart walked -- or should I say zipped -- right by me and no one, I mean no one, noticed her except moi! She was less than two inches from my shoulder and she just kept moving. I was in shock!!!!”
It was a cool crisp evening at Gracie Mansion, home to the Big Apple’s Mayor, Michael Bloomberg, but a truly glorious night to be mingling with some of Daytime’s boldest and most beautiful. One by one the stars arrived in limos and taxis. The paparazzi were pre-occupied with every angle of every shot, but they missed the quietest entrance of the evening. Huddled on the red carpet, a blond woman, with a bowed head, in a rather non-descript beige pantsuit, marched in behind everyone crowded together on the red carpet. It wasn’t until she was well past the photographers that anyone realized they missed the biggest catch of the night: Martha Stewart. And that was just the beginning of New York City’s party honoring the Daytime Emmy’s.
The dress code was more business than glamorous and many of television’s hardest working actors and technicians rushed to the party straight from their studios in Manhattan and Brooklyn. The LA contingent brought along their tans and their laid back style to New York’s stony Upper East Side.
To kick off the Emmy events in NYC, the Mayor of the City of New York hosts a party on the lawn of Gracie Mansion with a spectacular view of the East River and the Harlem River Bridge. There was lots of great food, lots of talk, and most important of all -- lots of honors. Guiding Light, the longest running daytime drama, was presented with a “Made in New York” award by the Mayor for significant contributions to the industry in the Big Apple.
The soaps are a vital part pf New York’s economy and each year, the Daytime Emmy Awards contribute more than $15 million in revenues to New York City. "The daytime television industry is a significant part of our local economy, and I am pleased to pay tribute to the outstanding television programming produced in New York City,” Mayor Bloomberg said.
Mayor Mike’s City is about to get a few more residents. Watch out for Tonja Walker-Davidson. Big changes are under way. She and her husband are apartment hunting and plan to make the Big Apple their new home. Once she’s settled she will study directing with legendary drama teacher, Win Handman and try her hand behind the scenes. You go, Girl!
Kim Zimmer, the dynamo from Guiding Light reflected on her 8th nomination for playing wild, wonderful, and whacky Reva Shayne, “The nomination is great. Never gets old, even as you get older.” Lucky woman, she’s already got three golden statues at home.
Several recipients of the first time ever Lifetime Achievement Award were there and honored by Mayor Mike. Among the first to arrive were All My Children’s Ray MacDonnell and his wife, Pat. He was genuinely pleased to be walking into Gracie Mansion, “The award is very meaningful and it came out of the blue. Quite a treat! I love it!”
MacDonnell was closely followed by As The World Turns’ Don Hastings and Helen Wagner who were all smiles strolling arm in arm. Hastings is extremely honored to be in this company of talented and tireless actors. “We laid the groundwork for what daytime became and we’re all very proud of that,” he said. If Helen ever had a favorite storyline, she was keeping it to herself and smiled as she said, “Just something with Don. For 48 years too much storyline to choose.”
Eileen Fulton took full advantage of her regal place in daytime royalty, “It’s about time. Can’t wait to receive it.” The last of the honorees to arrive was Rachel Ames, who was escorted by her daughter, Christine Cahill. Like all the other honorees, Rachel was stunned when a letter arrived in the mail telling her she was to receive the award. The fates must have been watching over Rachel when she got her big break. She had been working on an ABC court show, when she was asked to appear on General Hospital, “I was supposed to be on for six months and here I am 40 years later.”
Jeanne Cooper was the envy of every woman at the celebration. Her date was her son, Corbin Bernsen, who got up close and personal with Soapdom.com, a website he knows and likes – a lot. The former LA Law and Y&R star wants everyone to visit his website, publicfilmworks.com.
“We’re gonna make a movie with 15 soap stars and we want Soapdom.com to be very much a part of it," Bernsen enthused. We want you on the set.” But when does production start and how can you choose only 15 soap stars from such a star-studded galaxy?
Ilene Kristen, a best supporting actress nominee for her role as Roxy on One Life to Live, arrived with her nephew and is just ecstatic over her first ever nomination, “No time like the present. I’m having a great time.” She loves working with Peter Bartlett (Nigel) and with that deep throaty laugh said, “He’s a hoot.”
Thrilled and excited about her second nomination for Best Actress, ATWT’s Maura West took a moment to remember how she got the part of Carly. At the end of her senior year at Boston University, she performed in a show that was presented in New York. A casting director from As the World Turns attended the event and remembered her, but not her name. It took some time and a bit of detective work, but he tracked down his Carly through BU, and the rest as they say is history.
Tamara Braun, another Carly, only on General Hospital, is also a two-time nominee for Best Actress. It took five auditions to win the role, but she doesn’t care, “My family is with me and this is going to be a great week-end.”
Lots of schmoozing kept the party popping long after the Mayor handed out the awards and congratulated all the nominees. Still something needed to be settled. There was much speculation from the paparazzi about a certain beige SUV waiting outside Gracie Mansion. Did it belong to Martha Stewart?
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