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A Whirlwind Weekend and the Greatest Gift

As I laid down in my bed Sunday night, tired from a whirlwind week, a busy month and a tremendous year, my mind raced with excitement and memories. The days leading up to this weekend were long, but really, for me it’s been a 30-year road. A happy, fulfilling road that I never planned or expected, but one for which I am eternally grateful.

Later this month I’ll celebrate 30 years on Days of Our Lives. I remember the audition well, and remember thinking at the time that the three-year contract they were offering seemed like a lifetime. Now, looking back on the years since then, I think this 30-year gift of daytime is the best career I could have asked for.

When the Daytime Emmy pre-nominations came out in January, I was so honored … I had never gotten one of those before. It’s never been about the awards for me – I always thought those were for the heavy-hitters like Erika Slezak and Robin Strasser – but it really is so nice to be recognized for your work. I was appreciative of that and didn’t think much more about it.

Then on the day the actual nominations came out, I remember thinking, “oh, that’s today… I wonder what time that is.” Getting that call from my manager, Michael Bruno, was the greatest – he was screaming and I was screaming and it was wonderful. Then I got a second call about THE BAY nominations … it was just crazy. And really, it could have all ended there and I would have been happy, because I thought those moments and days that followed had to be the best, with everyone calling and all the greats posts on social media.

One of the best parts was my wonderful stylist friend, Cynthia, who called to say congratulations and that she’d sent me something to wear. Cynthia and I have been friends for years and she knows me … knows my style, knows my hangups and knows what looks great on me. The package arrived a few days later and it was perfect! A perfect fit and the perfect style for me, and I literally wore it just as she’d sent it. How lucky am I to have a stylist who understands my body and my style!

The week or so leading up to this weekend was especially busy … it started Wednesday with lunch with the other lead actress nominees. Four fabulous women who I absolutely consider friends and with whom I was so honored to share the nomination. I watched each of their reels and thought they gave such beautiful, rich performances … to me, the playing field seemed fair and I thought it could reasonably go any way.

(l) Enjoying lunch with three of the other Lead Actress nominees, and (r) celebrating at the Academy's Nominee party
(l) Enjoying lunch with three of the other Lead Actress nominees, and (r) celebrating at the Academy’s Nominee party.

Wednesday was also the official nominee party hosted by the Academy and that was so much fun … celebrating daytime with all of these people who I’ve known for decades. Then Thursday brought another party (and another outfit … that’s a story all on its own), this time to celebrate THE BAY’s nominations. I’m not really a party girl in that way, but getting to hang out and celebrate with Gregori, Matt, Lilly, Patsy and the rest of THE BAY family was great … plus Gregori announced the addition of Wendy Riche to our team, which is such fantastic news!

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THE BAY wins Outstanding Digital Drama Series for the second year in a row!

Friday night was the Creative Arts ceremony for the Daytime Emmys and I was so excited for THE BAY. After a win last year, we were nominated for five awards this year. You try to go into these things with as little expectation as possible, but I felt good about the show’s chances and was so excited when they called our name. After that was Kristos’ win for Outstanding Actor and I couldn’t have been more excited to see his hard work pay off with that recognition. As the end of the ceremony neared, I stood backstage with Lilly Melgar and Patsy Pease and told them to get ready … I was sure one of their names was going to be called. When they said my name I was stunned … I really hadn’t prepared for that. Everything after that is sort of a blur.

After going to the various press rooms, I was so tired I couldn’t even hang for the after parties … I just wanted to go home and sleep. The next day was busy too, with a fun gifting suite in the afternoon, followed by a dinner party for one of my husband’s colleagues.

On Sunday, I met all of my Days co-stars at the studio and we got our hair and make-up done, then rode over to the ceremony together. This time I got to walk the red carpet with Stephen, which is better … I like having him by my side for those! Finally, we arrived at our table, and with my TV man on one side and my real life love on the other … we were ready to get the party started.

I am so happy to have shared this experience with Tyler Christopher.
I am so happy to have shared this experience with Tyler Christopher. And I’m so grateful for the support and love of Stephen Nichols.

Unlike Friday night, the awards portion of Sunday’s ceremony happened before dinner, so before I knew it, they were introducing the Leading Actor category. It was a category packed with powerhouse actors, but I had watched the reels and hoped it would go to my love, Tyler Christopher. I was so proud of and happy for him as he accepted his much-deserved award, and what a sweet shout out he gave to Stephen.

Next was Lead Actress … and as Chris Hansen introduced the ladies (which I thought was fun because I have watched the Bachelor), I was  happy and content … knowing whoever won truly deserved the honor. Then, as he called my name, it was sort of like time suspended in air.  Now that I’ve seen the clips of the show, I can see Stephen’s heartfelt reaction, as well as my husband’s, but in that moment … I don’t know that I recognized any of those things. Thankfully I managed to keep it together for most of what I wanted to say but  I wanted to end with a special thanks to my husband and my kids for the wonderful, beautiful life they’ve given me … but there was no way I was going to make it through that, so I just had to stop and get off the stage.

Standing backstage afterward, I think I was still a bit in shock, but as I stepped into the room to have my face powdered before the press room, my knees totally started to shake and I think it hit me. Then it was a whirlwind of photos and interviews before they finally let me go back to the table. By then the ceremony portion of the program was over and dinner was being served, and thank goodness, because I was starving!

In one of the press rooms, someone asked me why I thought this was my year. I gave a quick answer then, but since then I’ve thought about it, and I believe this year has been the perfect storm for me.

First, as I’ve gotten older and gained life experiences, I think I’ve gotten more free and open in my work. I used to always think of myself, when compared to those heavy-hitter daytime actresses, as a girl among women, but I think I’ve finally grown up, so to speak.

And in my personal life, I’m in such a great place … I have a happy life, with a wonderful husband and great kids. Couple that with the great things that happened at Days over the past year – celebrating 50 years, getting great writing and them bringing Stephen back into my life – I really do think all those things just came together for me.

Who knows what next year will bring, but this year … it’s been incredible.

PS – I know the shows were posted online, but here’s a quick montage of my whirlwind weekend…

44 Comments

  1. Congratulations! I cannot, for the life of me, figure out how you have never won an Emmy before. I absolutely love your humble, approachable nature, but I feel compelled to point out that you are indeed a “heavy-hitter” and your fans did not need an Emmy win to know that. You and Stephen Nichols are unmatched and it’s wonderful to see the genuine love and friendship you share.

  2. Cheryl Chadwick

    Mary Beth,

    It has taken me a while to reply to your blog (which was wonderful as always) because like you, I feel like we have been in this whirlwind with you. The emotions felt to see you finally being recognized and rewarded for your fine body of work after all these years has been overwhelming!

    First of all, I would like to congratulate you again! There is no one more deserving of this award. I can remember every year asking myself why would you not be nominated and then when it finally happened I was overjoyed. I feel like you are one of the hardest working actors in the industry and its time you were recognized.

    If you wouldn’t mind I like to tell you about how I enjoyed your wins with you. Each and every night your Twitter faithful followers were online waiting for any posts about what was happening. I would like to give a special shout out and great big thanks to your girls, especially Mandy, Claudine and Lisa for keeping the Twitter feed full of pictures and posts. It truly made us feel like we were there with you. And to see them storm to the front of the audience when you won on Friday night was truly priceless. As Claudine said, “Where was security?”. Lol

    Since this year was unusual with the Academy deciding to not televise the main awards ceremony, we all wondered how we were going to watch because there was no way we could miss you winning. Several of us on Twitter held our own Emmy parties with lots of posts, direct messages and wine! Lol. We watched the ceremony on a “bootlegged” feed which I’m sure was videoed with a cell phone but hey I’m grateful for their effort. I joked that the person filming must have been one of your fans as it appeared they were jumping up and down when your name was called. Everyone was screaming and posting at the same time. My dogs were barking and my kids came running from their rooms. One of my sons said, “So did Patch’s girl win?” Lol

    Then finally to see your’s, Dr. Schwartz’s and mostly Stephen’s reaction to your win was so wonderful. It showed the love and respect that both men have for you. You could tell how proud both of them are of you. You are truly blessed to have a husband and a partner such as these two men!

    Thank you so much for allowing me to be so long winded! Hopefully you are still riding this high as we all are! Looking forward to another 30 years! Treasure this time and know that your fans are behind you all the way!!

    Congrats again

    Cheryl Chadwick (lahdoc)

  3. Erica L.

    Congrats on your awards! Could not have happened to a nicer chick than you. I look up to you and how you’ve managed to be so successful. Great marriage, happy kids, prolific career, and beautiful home/garden. You’ve kept it all together despite life’s craziness with such grace and positivity. So glad to call you my role model!

  4. Mary Beth, congratulations. You so deserve this award. Your work on Days has been absolutely compelling. At this point, I would watch you and Stephen Nichols read the phone book. All the best to you.

  5. Mary Beth,

    I always love your blog but today’s was so special.
    Loved the video & reading your version of your Emmy
    weekend.

    Seeing you win 3 Emmys was such a thrill.
    Words can’t describe how we all felt when you
    got the Emmy for playing Kayla. I think we were
    all crying. (I still cry every time I watch, probably
    always will) You so deserved it!! I’ve been in awe of
    your talent since 1986. To see you get recognition
    from your peers just made me so happy.

    To see everyone’s emotional reaction to your win just
    shows even more how loved & adored you are!!

    Congratulations to our Emmy Winner!! 💗🎉

  6. Congratulations Mary Beth! Well deserved! 30 years on Days… wow. I’ve been watching all along. I’m so happy for you.

  7. Iris Cohen

    Mary Beth,

    You are such a special person and such a wonderful actress. I have watched you since your early episodes on Days in 1986. Thank you for sharing your experiences with your fans. Your 3 Emmy wins this past weekend were incredibly well deserved and long time coming! I just screamed with delight hearing that you won and then being able to see you accept the awards was so fun. It was also so moving to see how Stephen was so touched by your win.
    Congratulations! Wishing you all the best always,

    Iris

  8. Ashley Parker

    When the person you admire since you were 10 years old makes history, you can’t help but be so emotional! After 30 years you kept working hard, even when you didn’t always receive as much recognition as you deserved! That makes you a role model to me! This weekend that hard work was finally rewarded! Not only once but 3 times!! 3x Emmy winner in one weekend! What!!?? Ahh God is so good! We all love you beauty, and hope these comments leave you so uplifted!! Xoxo❤️🏆🏆🏆

  9. Well done!
    I just wanted to mention that I love the songs you, or Mandy, pick for your montages. “Walking on Sunshine” must be the way you feel after this incredible week! And I especially loved Queen’s “You’re My Best Friend” for the montage with Stephen Nichols. Very cool. 🙂

  10. Dear Mary Beth, words can’t even begin to express how over-joyed, incredibly happy I am for you at your “only 3” Daytime Emmys (wins) but i’ll try/ give it a shot😜💖 you so deserved this. Was meant to be. So nice to see you finally getting this recoginition/ praise having played our sweetness Kayla for 30 years. Now that’s crazy! Talk about a thrilling ride, gift of our lives 💕. Having said this, your work over this past year having to deal with so much as this adored and loveable character, was beautifully portrayed and nothing short of phenomenal. Reading through this post, comments on social media and watching not only this video footage (that’s simply the best❤) but other footage online out there, I’m still in awe finding it incredibly sweet at the unwavering love and support shown to you by so many fans and peers and just how genuinely appreciative, humble and touched you are by this special time in your life. Such a beautiful thing and so grateful that it was shared/ made available for us fans, followers, the world to see👌👏👏👍🎉 You were and looked absolutely radiant on that red carpet and award ceremonies, interviews, press conferences, talk show after by the way just needs to be said (need to add)~ total class act.

    Way to bring it on home lovely lady❤🏡❤ Now that folks is how it’s done! Here’s to another fulfilling, rewarding year for you Mary Beth and many, many more to come.

    Love always from ONE of yours and “…Kaylas biggest fan”. 😉
    Lorena Valenzuela
    xxoo

  11. Congrats! This award was way over due for you. I think you (& SN) should have a room full of those trophies. Super thrilled and happy for you.

  12. Michelle Gray

    Congratulations on your wonderful wins last weekend. I am so very pleased for you and to me it is acknowledgement of the wonderful work you have done over the last 30 years, plus the recent The Bay The Series. It is comforting to see the amazing connection and happiness you have with your family. It was also very moving to see Stephen Nichol’s reaction to your name been announced and to see him cry through your acceptance speech. I am sure the coming year will be just as successful for you and look forward to enjoying your work.

  13. Maureen Turner

    Well done Mary Beth!!! I have been a fan of Steve and Kayla from the start!!! What a beautiful story you have given us all!!! Congrats!!!

  14. Heather Spears

    I was so excited to see you win lead actress. You’ve been one of my favorites in daytime since I started watching Days in the late 80’s. I’m so happy for you! You deserve it!

  15. This T.B. is extremely PROUD of you! What a beautiful and amazing ride for you and your fans of each day of those 30 years!! God’s blessings to you and your family!! Well done! CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  16. Karoline

    What a beautiful recap of what has been an amazing week for YOU, as well as for us. We are so proud of you, and SO incredibly happy with you! I hope you know that you bring so much sunshine and happiness to our lives.

    You and “Steve and Kayla” are my tiny little happy place. My sneaky little getaway from a very busy world. Thank you for always being able to put a smile on our faces and for bringing so many amazing people together. It seems like all the people who admire and respect you have something in common with you, they are all amazing women!

    I wish you ALL the best in whatever this year, and the years to come bring you.

    Karoline.

  17. Christine

    Congratulation Mary Beth. “There is a destiny which makes us brothers; none goes his way alone. All that we send into the lives of others comes back into our own.” This is a favorite quote of mine by Edwin Markham that I think describes you perfectly!

  18. Congratulations is too small of a word. Mary Beth, since you won the Emmys this past weekend I have been walking around with an extra spring in my step and a goofy perma-smile on my face. Since I was 12 years old, I have looked to you as an inspiration and role model and wow did I choose well at that young age. Aside from the talent that shone so brightly it garnered 3 Emmys in one weekend- you are classy, sweet, kind, gracious, fun, fierce,a risk taker, hard worker, and you follow your bliss. You relish your work and hobbies, adore your family, your loved ones and friends. You know what’s important. Thank you for the example you’ve shown so many, and the light you bring wherever you go. I am so very happy to see that hard work recognized and respected by your peers. You may not have seen us fans behind the computer screens, but we were jumping up and down, some of us with tears in our eyes, screaming “FINALLY!”. You make us proud, but then you did before the Emmys were placed in your hands 🙂

  19. Brenda Warren

    MaryBeth..Wow..that was amazing..so very happy for you.Congratulations.Brenda in OZ xx

  20. Love you Mary Beth!!! You’re beautiful inside and out. Such an inspiration to your fans. Congratulations!!! Steve and Kayla forever!!!

  21. I have been a fan of you since I was 11 years old!! You were a great idol for a teen to admire (and still are). I loved your love of life and your love of being a mother of 3. Fast forward to 2016. I am a happily married mother of 3 and still following you through it all. I sobbed like a baby when you won Sunday night!! So deserved!! I have cherished the years I have spent being a fan of yours, the amazing friendships that have come because of it and just the absolute fun of it all. Congratulations again! So grateful for all of these years and the years to come!

  22. So happy for you and so well deserved! Enjoy this time!

  23. I remember Friday night not wanting to look at your Instagram account in case you lost and the other site I visit daily http://nicholsandevans.invisionzone.com/ (actually it was there I found out you won for The Bay. Sunday night it was the same, though I really thought since you won on Friday you had little chance – they would not give someone 2 awards – boy was I wrong and I was happy I was. Congratulations you really deserve it and thank you so much for sharing your life with your fans – we really appreciate it.

  24. Mary Beth, the most sincere congratulations to you for the wonderful recognition of what we fans have known for 30 years. A year ago (and a few days) you had 0 Emmy’s and now you have 4! In this crazy world I call that karma and so well deserved. I think you know your fans have been so so happy for you and it has been the most magical few days for us as well. X

  25. Davina Smith

    Well deserved ,have watched you and stephen since the beginning and will keep watching ,i’m a fan from New Zealand ,

  26. Stephanie

    Congratulations! I think it is facinating that you won for both shows during the same weekend. You took a chance on The Bay when Days had major setbacks and now you won Emmys for two thriving shows! This is such a perfect example of faith, hard work and talent. It was such a beautiful moment when you addressed your husband after your win. Thanks for sharing

  27. Congratulations on your multiple Daytime Emmy wins. You certainly deserve the recognition as it just seems natural and real in your portrayal of Kayla Brady. You and Stephen Nichols are perfect as Kayla and Patch. I hope the writers continue to give you great storylines as this past year. Love your blog and look forward to it each month.

  28. MB, I could wax poetic on just how deserved your wins are, but I don’t know any more words than that are already here that would do justice to it. So, I simply say Mazel Tov to you. It’s so incredible. I’m over the moon for you!

  29. Terri from Cincinnati, OH

    Such an awesome video!! Now I don’t have to keep looking all over the place for these videos. I can just come to Plank and it’s all here. Thanks so much to you and Mandy for putting this together and congrats a million!! 🙂

  30. Mary Beth,
    I am delighted that you won awards for both Days and The Bay. Well deserved! IMO, you and Stephen are/have been the BEST and ONLY super couple on daytime TV. Obviously, I am a big fan, ya think? Honestly, you two are pretty much the only reason I have been a Days fan for longer than I can remember. Your characters have so much heart. Stephen was so emotional when you received the Emmy it made me cry. He truly is a wonderful friend to you as you are to him. I read Amazon Prime is picking up The Bay series and will air it sometime this summer. Congratulations to the series. I think/hope it will be from the beginning, as just recently I became aware of the series and want to watch it from the beginning. Mary Beth you are a special lady and I love your blog.

  31. Congratulations! I am so happy for you, Mary Beth! I’ve been watching you on Days since the very beginning. My favorite part of the Emmy show was Stephen bawling his eyes out when you won!

  32. This blog is great!! I’m still on cloud 9 for you!! You represent so many of us hard working Mothers!! I just love you to pieces!! You represent everything I want in life too! We are just so much alike, I would love to meet you in person one day!! That would be the absolute best thing ever! I love how you share your life with us, your fans your friends!! I could tell you a thousands times over congratulations!! I’m a fan from day one, you just get better with age!! This was an AMAZING year for you, it’ll be hard to top but I know you….. so we’ll just hang on for the ride and continue to enjoy your calling in this life!!
    I also love to see you and Katie together ,as a mother of 3 girls, I know how special this relationship is!!
    And couldn’t leave out SN, you two are just fabulous!! I could go on and on!!
    So once again, Congratulaions on 30 years of being our Kayla Brady Johnson!!!!

  33. Susan Nolen (Suzzy1969)

    Once again congrats Mary Beth!…it’s been a wonderful Emmy week for you and for us fans!….im so glad that I got to see you, my favorite actress for the past 30yrs finally get some recognition for your amazing acting and talent! …You are such a special person Mary Beth and you are so deserving of these awards! Thank you for always sharing your life with us fans! You’re the Best MB!

  34. Barbara levy

    Dear Mary Beth ,

    What a wonderful , and much deserved weekend for you, your family, and your fans. First time I ever saw you on days was when Stephen was hinding in your closet when you arrived home – which I believe was your first scene on days.

    On sunday day nights Emmy, I get up for work between 3:30 and 4:00 am (Monday morning)to go to work, but i waited to hear your name annouced before going to bed.

    When I thought about your multiple wins this week a lot of what you have said in video and written interviews came to mind as to why you hit the perfect storm.

    Your are a wonderful actress is an obvious answer but I think it is more than that- some of the things I have learned about you:
    It isn’t the awards but the journey
    If I am going to be a background player I am going to be the best I can be!

    Your family : when you worked for years in NYC your family was so supportive and pulled together to make it work.
    Your relationship with Michael who supports you with a yes attitude. Say yes and figure it out later- first mentioned regarding setting up your apple pie business. I remember seeing you both at a gourmet food show together. Michael being there to support you!

    Meeting up with Gregori and saying ‘yes’ to staring in a digital day time drama. At that time there were many fans who thought as I did— —what is a digital drama?? You said yes and we fans followed your lead.

    I cannot think of a more perfect. 5-6 weeks: your nomination , going to Danny!s wedding, winning two Bay Emmys, and then winning for Days and your daughter sharing Monday’s festivities.

    You always look beautiful and I loved your black and white (skirt and dress) at the Bay awards. On Sunday night you looked STUNNNG!! Big time movie star STUNNING !!

    Lots of love and pride in a much deserved awards weekend!

    Barbara

  35. Such a Great share of a truly deserved and Happy winning weekend. Despite all the Glitz, My favorite moment was the IG picture of you in your Garden before Friday Night Awards. That a Girl!!!!!

  36. As your fans, we are over the moon happy for you. Good things do come to good people! You so deserved these honors! It says what all of your fans already knew… you are at the top of your craft! Thanks for sharing so much of yourself with us. It makes all of us feel a little closer to you – as if we knew you personally.

  37. Mary Beth,
    You have helped me change my life so much this past year, I am such a better person since I have started reading your blogs and using #kindnessis to better myself!
    This weekend when you were up for these awards, and celebrating 30 years of your hard work, love, and dedication for what you do, I couldn’t have been any more excited than I was! ( I actually squealed really loud when you won for days). I don’t think I have ever felt as proud or ecstatic!

    This was such a fantastic weekend for you and for your family, friends, and fans💕 Loved the blog recap today, Thanks for sharing!😊

  38. Krista Buerster

    I have been on cloud 9 for you since you won. Your energy, beauty and kind heart are contagious. I have nothing but admiration and respect for you. Thank you for sharing your life with your fans. It’s my dream to meet you in person someday. Congratulations on a well deserved accomplishment.

  39. Congratulations Mary Beth!!! I am so overjoyed for you!! It is definitely well deserved. You have always put 110% into all that you do, and it is so wonderful that you have finally been recognized for that. You are definitely a ‘heavy hitter,’ as you make us fans feel every emotion that you bring across the screen; many times with just a look. Thank you for taking us along on this journey you have had for the past 30 years. You are truly an inspiration! Congratulations again!

  40. I love this blog and you! I’ve been a fan since day one and you are so deserving of all the blessings in your life. Congratulations! I always wanted to be you when I grew up and I still do. ♡

  41. Andrea W

    This was wonderful Mary Beth. I loved reading about your week and the video was great! So much fun watching all the recaps! Thank you!
    Andrea W.

  42. Marybeth you so deserved this award , so happy for you. Enjoy every moment!!

  43. Congratulations on your Emmy wins. Much deserved. I have watched you on Days since your first day. I’m so happy for you.

  44. Although this was so perfect for you it was even more perfect for us fans who love you♥ You are a terrific inspiration for us all! The happiness of your family and friends was perfect. I was so þearful when I heard you won! Your career and family life are a wonderful achievement. I have been a fan for 30 years and am so grateful for you and Stephen and all you share♥

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