The Museum of Broadcast TV describes Phillips in this way:
The universally recognized originator of one of television's most enduring--and profitable--television genres, Irna Phillips is responsible for the daytime drama as we know it today. Her contributions to one format are unprecedented in television history. Television comedy had many parents-- Ernie Kovacs, Jackie Gleason; TV drama had early shapers in Paddy Chayefsky, Rod Serling, Reginald Rose and others. But the soap opera had only one mother and she was it. She founded an entire industry based on her techniques, beliefs and the ongoing, interlocking stories that she dreamed.There are also many beloved actors who spent decades working on daytime soap operas. In 2004, 10 of them were honored at once at the Daytime Emmys but they were just walked out on stage basically (Anna Lee has just died and was the only one not in attendance), with no explanation on the scale of what THE VIEW's Bill Geddie received last year for each of their individual accomplishments. Now it would be nice to see NATAS begin to honor some of the deserving icons of daytime drama that have been overlooked.
Check out the previous winners list and tell us who you think is most deserving of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
("For its 40 years of educating and entertaining our children, their children and most of us.")
Lee Phillip Bell
William J. Bell
Procter & Gamble Productions (PGP)
Joan Ganz Cooney
Special Recognition Award
("For over 34 years of service.")
("For his longevity and contribution to SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.")
("For her longevity and contribution to SEARCH FOR TOMORROW.")