Freddie Smith, who plays the gay character of Sonny Kiriakis on NBC’s Days of Our Lives, won his first Daytime Emmy Award on Sunday.
‘This award is for the LGBT community for showing strength and courage and being an inspiration to all of us,’ Smith said while accepting his award at a ceremony held on the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank.
He thanked Guy Wilson who plays his on-screen husband Will Horton and Christopher Sean who plays his first love Paul Narita. The three characters have been locked in a live triangle that has been a front-burner storyline for much of this year.
He also thanked onscreen parents Judi Evans and Wally Kurth and his real-life parents ‘for letting your only child move out to LA and pursue his dream.’
In addition, Smith thanked ‘my beautiful girlfriend Alyssa (Tabit) – I love you with all my heart. You’re my rock.’
The couple were involved in a car accident last October in Ohio that left Tabit seriously injured. She was present at the awards ceremony and later tweeted: ‘Congratulations on your Emmy, baby! I don’t know anyone more deserving. I love you, so incredibly much!!’
Smith entered pleas of guilty to charges of felony vehicular assault and misdemeanor driving under the influence. In February, a judge suspended Smith’s driver’s license for one year and ordered him to DUI school.
Before the ceremony, Smith confirmed to Gay Star News that he has left the show – for now – after a four year run.
‘They really kept it open,’ he said. ‘It’s like family there, they were very welcoming to my coming back. The door is not shut. It’s bittersweet. It’s a great chapter in my life. I’ve loved it.’
The soap, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, tapes 4-5 months in advance so Smith is expected to appear on episodes through most of the summer.