NEW YORK - After 18 nominations and 18 losses, hard-luck soap star Susan Lucci finally came up a winner.
Lucci, whose status as a longtime loser often overshadowed her work, last night won the Daytime Emmy award for best actress for portraying the villainous Erica Kane on "All My Children."
She sobbed as she received a standing ovation.
"Thank you very much. I truly never believed that this would happen," she said.
Lucci was clearly the sentimental favorite and was thought to have her best chance this year for her performances in a hospital vigil over her TV daughter, Bianca.
When music played to get her to stop talking as she accepted the award, she plowed right through to thank her fans.
"I'm going to go back to that studio Monday, and I'm going to play Erica Kane for all it is worth," she said.
"General Hospital" won eight awards, included its sixth for best soap opera. Anthony Geary, who won best actor in 1982 when his character Luke Spencer was a national sensation, won the award again.
Jonathan Jackson, who plays his son Lucky, won his third award as best younger actor. Stuart Damon won best supporting actor.
A tearful Rosie O'Donnell won her third straight honor as best talk-show host and also for best talk show.
Bob Barker, host of "The Price is Right," was given a lifetime achievement award.
Ben Stein and Jimmy Kimmel, hosts of Comedy Central's irreverent "Win Ben Stein's Money," won their first Emmys. It was also named best game show, beating more established fare like "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune."
"The Young and the Restless" won a total of six awards, including Heather Tom as younger actress and Sharon Case as supporting actress.
"Disney Presents Bill Nye the Science Guy" won its first award for best children's series.