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Melody Thomas Scott and Edward J. Scott React to Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Awards

The 'Young and the Restless' and 'The Bold and the Beautiful' real-life couple reflects on their careers and life in soap opera

At tonight’s 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, The Young and the Restless star Melody Thomas Scott and The Bold and the Beautiful supervising producer Edward J. Scott – who has also served as executive producer on The Young and the Restless and Days of Our Lives – are each set to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award.

The couple who met on The Young and the Restless when Thomas Scott joined the soap as Nikki Newman 45 years ago sits down with FIRST for Women to look back on their legendary runs in Daytime.

Married since 1985, Scott and Thomas Scott reflect on becoming Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement honorees, toast each other’s accomplishments, and marvel over how soap opera’s beloved Bell family helped shape their lives and their careers.

Melody Thomas Scott and Edward J. Scott talk being honored with a Lifetime Achievement Award

: Edward Scott and Melody Thomas Scott Daytime Emmy Lifetime Achievement Honorees 80s
Edward Scott and Melody Thomas Scott, 1980sCourtesy of the Scott Family

When Edward J. Scott heard rumbling that he and Melody Thomas Scott were being considered for a Lifetime Achievement Award, he didn’t spoil the surprise for his wife – or perhaps, he just forgot to mention it? While the Scotts both started their Daytime careers at The Young and the Restless and are being honored together today, there’s no soap opera shop talk in their marriage of almost 40 years.

“That would never occur to us,” Thomas Scott says. “At home, you’ve got other things to talk about. You’ve got the kids, this, and that. We just never got in the habit of talking about work. Thank God! That would have been really boring.”

While the division has made for a happy life, it also meant that when NATAS President and CEO Adam Sharp randomly showed up at Thomas Scott’s dressing room door to tell her she was getting a Daytime Emmy, she was worried.

“I thought I was in trouble or something,” she admits. “And then, I just couldn’t believe it. I mean, I just sat there with my jaw open. I said, ‘Are you kidding? Are you sure?’ You could have knocked me over with a feather.

“I don’t think anybody walks around town wondering if they’re going to be the Lifetime Achievement recipient,” she adds. “It was a lovely surprise that we could never have seen coming.”

Daytime’s Legendary Scotts thank the Bell family for a lifetime of happiness

four people smiling together
Bill Bell, Melody Thomas Scott, Lee Phillip Bell and Edward J Scott, 1980sCourtesy of the Scott Family

They may not have seen this honor coming, but they have certainly done the work to get here. While Thomas Scott’s character Nikki Newman has long been a household name, her husband has played a pivotal role in shaping Daytime TV since he joined The Young and the Restless and began collaborating with co-creators William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell in 1976.

“Working for the Bell family is such a gift from heaven,” says Scott, who today works on the other soap they launched, The Bold and the Beautiful, with show runner Bradley P. Bell. “We’re so lucky. Because it’s no big organization. It’s the Bell family and their creative group (Bell-Phillip Television Productions). They’re fun and kind, but very creative. It’s a wonderful family.”

Thomas Scott is quick to point out that the Bells, who already received their own Lifetime Achievement honors, did more than play a hand in their respective careers.

“Bill and Lee deciding to hire me altered my life drastically for the better,” Thomas Scott explains. “Meeting Edward, and now we have our children [and five grandchildren]… And what actor has a job that lasts for 45 years and counting? They really gave me such a wonderful life. I am eternally grateful.”

Melody Thomas Scott reveals the secret behind Edward Scott’s Lifetime Achievement Award

two men receiving awards
Bill Bell and Edward J Scott receiving Daytime EmmysCourtesy of the Scott Family

For 45 years, Thomas has been in viewers’ home, while her husband has been working behind the scenes of Daytime for almost five decades. Along the way, the six-time Emmy-winning producer helped launch the careers of iconic talent like 2024 Lead Actress nominee Michelle Stafford, Heather Tom, Don Diamont, Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, Sharon Case, Joshua Morrow, Camryn Grimes, Tracey Bregman, and, of course, his wife – and many of them have racked up their own Emmys.

The secret to his success, and theirs, is that Scott did the work. He was staging safety presentations in the fourth grade and by the time he graduated from California State University at Northridge, had his sights on producing. After begging his way into a job at NBC, he showed up to the dusty mailroom wearing a suit and tie and quickly climbed the ladder – learning everything he could from everyone he crossed.

“When Edward first got in this business, he didn’t really know what made actors tick,” Thomas Scott reveals. “So he went to an acting coach and was in class for two years.

“And there is nobody else in this business who can give actors a better note than Edward Scott!” she adds. “His work is so impressive, and he works so hard because he cares so much.”

These days, by the timeScott clocks into The Bold and the Beautiful studios at 9 a.m., he’s already been up for hours, reviewing upcoming episodes.

“Then I have to crack the whip and get things moving,” he says. “I always tell people, ‘Once we start rolling [the cameras], it’s got to be the best work you can give me. And it has to be fast!’ I don’t think Laurence Olivier could work in this medium. They’re fantastic, some of these actors. I don’t know how they do it – and she does it too!”

Edward J. Scott honors daytime icon Melody Thomas Scott’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Melody Thomas Scott talks Lifetime Achievement Award
Melody Thomas Scott (2022)Sonja Flemming/CBS

It turns out hard work runs in the Scott family. With his wife often up even earlier than him, Scott can’t help but marvel over Thomas Scott’s journey.

“We have some pictures around the house of her with Hitchcock when she was three years old, with John Wayne, with Kirk Douglas,” he says. “It’s classic history, and she’s part of it.

“I don’t always think about her like that,” he adds. “But when I do, it’s pretty amazing the career she’s had. Considering how she was raised, how she lived when she has a kid, and the education she got, SHE is pretty amazing.”

Thomas Scott – who opens up about her challenging childhood and road to stardom in her autobiography Always Young and Restless: My Life On and Off America’s #1 Daytime Dramawas once one of the Meglin Kiddies and at only eight, played a young Tippi Hedren in Marnie. A founding member of the Board of Directors for the Lucille Ball-Desi Arnaz Center in New York, she trained in singing, tap dancing, ballet, and jazz and has a deep love for comedy – but after a recurring role on The Waltons, she found a home in Daytime.

“Clearly, fate stepped in to guide me to Y&R,” Thomas Scott says.

Daytime legends Melody Thomas Scott and Edward J. Scott aren’t finished racking up Achievements

man and woman together smiling
Melody Thomas Scott and Edward Scott (2011)Frederick M. Brown / Stringer

Melody Thomas Scott and Edward J. Scott are thrilled to be honored with a Daytime Emmy for their Lifetime Achievement, but at 68- and 79-years-young, they’re quick to tell you they aren’t done yet. While Scott and his team at The Bold and the Beautiful are up for several 51st Annual Daytime Emmys Awards, Thomas Scott has been having the time of her life on The Young and the Restless since Nikki was forced off the wagon last October.

“This has been the most exciting storyline for me,” Thomas Scott tells FIRST. “And that episode in the hotel suite with Peter Bergman (Jack), which of course got so much attention, was probably the most work-intensive episode I’ve ever done. The whole episode was just the two of us. Very intense. The subject matter was so brutal and grueling -– and then I had to also sound and walk drunk!

“I love this dark, quirky kind of stuff,” adds the Young and the Restless icon. “We’re taking a little break from that, but hopefully, we’ll get to do some down and dirty things again soon.”

In the meantime, Thomas Scott and Scott are ready to celebrate their careers and be honored by the whole Daytime community as they receive their Lifetime Achievement Awards today, alongside public television host and cookbook author Lidia Bastianich.

The 51st Annual Daytime Emmy Awards airs live tonight, Friday, June 7, on CBS, 8:00-10:00 PM, ET / delayed PT, and will be available to stream live and on-demand on Paramount+.

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