|First awarded 1974|
Most nominations Susan Lucci, (21)
Country United States of America
Currently held by Mary Beth Evans
|Most awards Erika Slezak, (6)|
Official website emmyonline.org/daytime
Category of Daytime Emmy Award
|Awarded for Outstanding Performance by a Lead Actress in a Drama Series|
People also search for Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
Presented by National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
Winners & Nominees Mary Beth EvansDays of Our Lives, Mary Beth Evans, Winner, Kassie DePaivaDays of Our Lives, Kassie DePaiva, Nominee, Tracey E BregmanThe Young and the Restless, Tracey E Bregman, Nominee, Maura WestGeneral Hospital, Maura West, Nominee, Finola HughesGeneral Hospital, Finola Hughes, Nominee, Maura WestGeneral Hospital, Maura West, Winner, Peggy McCayDays of Our Lives, Peggy McCay, Nominee, Alison SweeneyDays of Our Lives, Alison Sweeney, Nominee, Laura WrightGeneral Hospital, Laura Wright, Nominee, Gina TognoniThe Young and the Restless, Gina Tognoni, Nominee, Eileen DavidsonDays of Our Lives, Eileen Davidson, Winner, Heather TomThe Bold and the Beautiful, Heather Tom, Nominee, Katherine Kelly LangThe Bold and the Beautiful, Katherine Kelly Lang, Nominee, Arianne ZuckerDays of Our Lives, Arianne Zucker, Nominee, Heather TomThe Bold and the Beautiful, Heather Tom, Winner, Peggy McCayDays of Our Lives, Peggy McCay, Nominee, Michelle StaffordThe Young and the Restless, Michelle Stafford, Nominee, Susan FlanneryThe Bold and the Beautiful, Susan Flannery, Nominee, Heather TomThe Bold and the Beautiful, Heather Tom, Winner, Debbi MorganAll My Children, Debbi Morgan, Nominee, Crystal ChappellDays of Our Lives, Crystal Chappell, Nominee, Laura WrightGeneral Hospital, Laura Wright, Nominee, Erika SlezakOne Life to Live, Erika Slezak, Nominee
The Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series is an award presented annually by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (ATAS). It is given to honor an actress who has delivered an outstanding performance in a leading role while working within the daytime drama industry.
The 1st Daytime Emmy Awards ceremony was held in 1974 with Elizabeth Hubbard receiving the award for her role as Althea Davis on The Doctors. The award has undergone several name changes, originally honoring actresses in leading and supporting roles. Following the introduction of a new category in 1979, Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, the award's name was altered to Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series before changing once again, to its current title, years later. The awards ceremony was not aired on television in 1983 and 1984, having been criticized for voting integrity. In 1985, another category was introduced, Outstanding Younger Actress in a Drama Series, one criterion for this category was altered, requiring all actresses to be aged 26 or above.
Since its inception, the award has been given to 27 actresses. One Life to Live is the show with the most awarded actresses, with a total of eleven. In 1995, Erika Slezak became the actress with the most wins in the category when she won a fourth time, surpassing Helen Gallagher's previous record of three; Slezak went on to win in two additional years, ultimately receiving six wins. Susan Flannery and Kim Zimmer have since received four wins each. Susan Lucci has been nominated on 21 occasions, more than any other actress. As of the 2016 ceremony, Mary Beth Evans is the most recent winner in this category for her portrayal of Kayla Brady on Days of Our Lives.
Winners and nominees
Listed below are the winners of the award for each year, as well as the other nominees.
Multiple wins and nominations
The following individuals received two or more wins in this category:
The following individuals received two or more nominations in this category: