I’ve watched soap operas since I was a little girl. It seems like yesterday I was sitting on the sofa watching “All My Children” with my late aunt or watching “The Young and the Restless” and “The Bold and the Beautiful” with my late grandmother. You can’t help but live vicariously through the cast of characters on television. A drop of voyeurism lurks in as you watch a couple have an intimate moment or a villain bitchslaps her enemy across the face.
With programs in constant change mode, you can count the number of soap operas on network television in one hand. It’s hard being an actress in Hollywood, especially if you’re on a soap opera. But Saturday night was soap operas’ moment to shine at the 39th annual Daytime Emmy Awards, and one actress glowingly shined above all the rest.
Heather Tom, who plays Katie Logan Spencer on “The Bold and the Beautiful”, is my favorite soap opera actress. I was so excited when she won her Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. Her first nomination in that category, Tom was in the company of other brilliantly talented veterans (i.e.: Erika Slezak from “One Life to Live” and Debbi Morgan from “All My Children” to name a few).
This is Tom’s fourth Emmy, and what makes this win so significant was that she made history by becoming the first actress to win a Daytime Emmy in all three actress categories during her 22-year career. In 1993 and 1999, she won two Emmys, respectively, for outstanding younger lead actress for her portrayal of Victoria Newman in “The Young and the Restless”. She won an Emmy last year for outstanding supporting actress for her work in her current portrayal. Not only did Tom earn a Soap Opera Digest Award in 1997, but she currently holds the record for having the most Daytime Emmy nominations by an actress under the age of 30. That is fricken impressive, if you ask me!
Tom has done various work in theater and has guest-starred in many hit primetime shows. But it’s daytime where Tom truly shines. She’s immensely talented who brings her character out with flawless, unique energy. She digs her claws deep into her character’s soul and makes the viewers understand and feel the emotion she’s feeling at that particular scene. She utters strong words that make sit at the edge of your couch.
Her Emmy reel was probably the best that she’s ever submitted. Tom gave a strong, emotional yet effective performance. She portrays a woman who just found out that her husband slept with and is physically attracted to another woman. It’s an issue so relatable in adulterated circumstances. Unlike other soap opera actresses, Tom doesn’t over-exaggerates the emotions of her character. The camera stays on her for more than a minute. She’s angry one minute, and then she easily morphs into vulnerability the next. She spouts out strong words that keeps viewers at the edge of your seat. Ladies, how would you feel if you were in her shoes? Probably the same way, I imagine.
In her role as Katie Logan Spencer, she’s a fragile heart but still holds her own. What I love most about Heather Tom is that she molds a character into her own no matter what show she’s on. Few actresses can do that. No matter what happens to the soap opera industry, I can see a bright future ahead for Heather Tom. I can see many more nominations and other good things coming her way.
She’s young. She’s bold, and she’s beautiful. We haven’t seen the last of her.
Congratulations, Heather! 🙂