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50 Greatest Soap Actresses: #35 Victoria Rowell

NAME: Victoria Rowell
RANK: 35
SOAP ROLES: Drucilla Barber Winters, THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS (1990-1998, 2000, 2002-2007); Nella Franklin, AS THE WORLD TURNS (1988); ONE LIFE TO LIVE (1985)

AWARDS:
2006 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
2005 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress
2005 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
2004 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
2003 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Favorite Return
2003 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
2001 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
2000 Image Award nomination for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1999 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1999 Image Award win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1998 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1998 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1997 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1996 Daytime Emmy nomination for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series
1996 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1996 Image Award win for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series
1995 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1995 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Hottest Female Star
1994 Image Award win for Outstanding Actress in a Daytime Drama Series
1994 Soap Opera Digest Award win for Outstanding Scene Stealer
1992 Soap Opera Digest Award nomination for Outstanding Female Newcomer: Daytime

COMMENTS FROM THE PANEL:
Jonathan Reiner: A perfect example of an actress who perfectly embodied the character; it’s a shame she never won an Emmy.

Alan Carter: This choice was almost Dorothy Lyman...but AMC was able to find another Opal. The idea of Y&R finding another Dru (and yes they have tried) seems more unlikely. For that reason, and for her infamous show downs (on and off camera) we'll go with the scene stealer extraordinare fans still cant get enough of.

Nelson Branco: Poor little, richly talented black newcomer Victoria Rowell undertook a groundbreaking, yet highly stereotypical role and miraculously made it unique, revolutionary, honest, relatable, and lovable in a very racial time — off-screen and on, when she was cast as Dru on daytime’s number-one soap, Y&R. Just like Eric Braeden, who debuted as an unlikely German leading man, Rowell, who somehow overshadowed the likes of One Life’s Ellen Gray, trail blazed paths never dug before by effortlessly making Drucilla an unforgettable footprint in soap history. In turn, Rowell became the female equivalent of Braeden — the biggest female superstar Y&R has ever given birth to. There will never be anyone like her in daytime. In fact, not only is she the best black actress soaps has ever given birth to, but she's also one of the all-time best thespians this industry has been blessed to envelope. It's a sad day when one considers that politics prevents us from enjoying her immeasurable, delicious talents today. Especially when soaps are dying for a Rowell infusion. There is no secret about the talents of this soap opera diva....

Roger Newcomb: Victoria Rowell brought an edginess to THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS that the show had never seen before. As a lifelong viewer, she grabbed my attention from the first moment and never let it go during her entire run. But as great as her acting talent is, her heart is even bigger. She has worked tirelessly for foster children for years making a huge difference in the lives of many.

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  3. Both Rowell and Marcil are ridiculous selections for this list. I feel like Rowell indulged in over-acting during her time as Dru and CONSTANTLY tried to upstage her co-stars. She's a beautiful woman for sure, but she's more of a 'personality', than an actress - sort of like an African American Susan Lucci - style over substance.

    Tonya Lee Williams is, to me, far more impressive and captivating and should have had this slot. It's another case of popularity over talent. Tonya's Olivia is the real groundbreaking character, despite Nelson Branco's nonsense (how this sycophant has a column is something I'll never understand).
    Bill Bell wrote Olivia to be the most qualified, educated, sophisticated and intelligent woman on Y&R. SHE is the groundbreaking African American in daytime you should have singled out.

    Rowell suffers from major hubris about her. Recall the famous 'spitgate podcast interview', where she followed Brenda Dickson's delusional footsteps by claiming that she was SOLELY responsible for Y&R's rise to Number 1 (sorry Victoria, it got that spot in 1988, two years before your debut) and then shockingly called the classy Peter Bergman a "schizophrenic", just because he was concerned about her alienating herself from the show.

    She is, no doubt, unforgettable, with an infectious knack for comedy... but shouldn't this list be about actors and not entertainers?

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