Ellen DeGeneres, Rachael Ray share Emmy spotlight
By Steve Gorman
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Comedian Ellen DeGeneres and cooking-lifestyle guru Rachael Ray shared the Daytime Emmy spotlight on Friday as they split U.S. television's top two awards for entertainment talks shows.
In another high point of the evening, Jeanne Cooper, the grand dame of America's longtime No. 1 soap opera, was named best lead actress in a drama series for her 35-year role as Katherine Chancellor on "The Young and the Restless."
It was the first Emmy win after eight nominations for Cooper, who is one of only two remaining "The Young and the Restless" cast members from the early days of the show.
"I bet you thought I died," the 79-year-old actress joked as she accepted her award, adding later, "This is totally shocking to me."
Veteran "General Hospital" star Anthony Geary, who plays the popular Luke Spencer character, won his sixth trophy as best lead actor. "General Hospital" was named best daytime drama series for a record 10th year.
The victory for "Rachael Ray" in the race for best talk show marked an upset triumph over "The Ellen DeGeneres Show," which had won the prize in each of the last four years.
"Wow! Holy cat," a stunned Ray enthused on stage. "I really can't breathe."
Ray, whose syndicated series was spun off from recurrent appearances on Oprah Winfrey's show, has grown quickly into a ubiquitous brand highlighting a homespun, easy approach to cooking based on her "30 Minute Meals" concept. Continued...