BEST OF THE BEST
I worked as a Daytime Emmy researcher for Dick Clark Productions from 1996 to 2004. In 1999, we decided to do a segment honoring all the Best Actor and Best Actress winners from the previous 25 years.
And then we decided, not only would we show video clips of their performances and victories, but we would then reunite the actors on stage at the conclusion of the segment.
Easier said than done.
Some actors were easy to track down - they were still playing the roles that had won them their statuettes in the first place. Others had moved on to other shows, to primetime, to film.
They may not have been available to come, but, at least we knew where to extend the invitation.
Others were more of a mystery, as they seemed to have retired from show business with no forwarding address.
But, then again, that's what researchers are for!
We got to work playing detective, which lead to a variety of adventures. My colleague ended up tracking down Another World's Laurie Heineman by painstakingly calling information in every state in the US. While my big coup was tracking down Search for Tomorrow's Val Dufour. Not only did we find the man, but, it turned out he had rare video of himself on tape, which we used for the tribute.
(Of course, that challenge was nothing compared to coordinating everyone's schedules when it came to rehearsal, or convincing notoriously stand-offish actors to attend. We convinced As the World Turns' Larry Bryggman that the ceremony was worth his time. Guiding Light's Justin Deas, however, declined - as per usual.)
We like to think the ultimate results, though, were worth the weeks of hard work.
See for yourself...