NEW YORK -- Maybe staying away from the Daytime Emmys was the secret for Regis Philbin.
Philbin was a double winner Friday night as best talk and game show hosts at the Daytime Emmys. Philbin, who had come up empty after 11 previous nominations, shared the talk show award with Rosie O'Donnell.
Philbin wasn't on hand to pick up his trophies, since he was performing a nightclub act in Atlantic City with another lovable loser, soap opera star Susan Lucci. She handed him a trophy as he accepted via a satellite hookup with Radio City Music Hall.
"We finally knew what the problem was all those years. You had to get rid of me." -- Kathie Lee Gifford Awards program host and Regis Philbin's former talk show co-host
"All these years and now two in one night," he said. "I don't know if I'll even get through this night."
Lucci finally won best actress in a soap opera two years ago in her 19th try. For old time's sake, she lost again on Friday, making it one for 20.
The soap opera "As the World Turns" earned eight awards, including best daytime drama. That tied the record for most Daytime Emmy awards in a single year, set two years ago by "General Hospital. Rival "All My Children" was responsible for four awards.
O'Donnell kept two winning streaks active. Her program won best talk show for the fourth year in a row, and her tie with Philbin gave her four years in a row as best talk show host.
"Next season will be our final one and it will be the best one we've ever had," she said.
Philbin won as game show host for "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire." He won as best talk show host as a solo act, for shows done after Kathie Lee Gifford left as co-host and before Kelly Ripa joined.
"We finally knew what the problem was all those years," said Gifford, who was host of the awards program on NBC. "You had to get rid of me."
"Millionaire" earned best game show for the second straight year -- even though it's on at night. Producers say a category for the show had not been added to the regular Emmys before the deadline to apply for a Daytime award.
In an oddity, both major soap opera acting awards went to people who portray twins: David Canary of "All My Children" and Martha Byrne of "As the World Turns."
Canary won his fifth best actor award. He won his first in 1986. The exuberant Byrne shouted, "Let's party!" as she held her trophy high.
Michael E. Knight of "All My Children" thanked his 86-year-old grandmother -- a show-biz buff -- after he won best supporting actor on a soap opera. Lesli Kay of "As the World Turns" won best supporting actress.
"Oh my God. This is so cool!" Adrienne Frantz of "The Bold and the Beautiful" screeched after winning outstanding younger actress in a soap. Co-star Justin Torkildsen was the best younger actor.
Nathan Lane, currently on Broadway with the hit play, "The Producers," won an Emmy for outstanding performer in an animated series.
"Reading Rainbow" won best children's series for the sixth time. "Arthur" was named best animated children's series for the third time.
The awards are given out by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences.
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