June 01, 1998 12:00 PM

It only made sense that top-rated talk show host Jerry Springer was a no-show. After all, the 25th Annual Daytime Emmys at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall on May 15th was more lovefest than slugfest. “People were crying left and right,” says One Life to Live’s Don Jeffcoat, who watched a weepy Rosie O’Donnell, in a Dale Richards pantsuit, tie for “Outstanding Talk Show Host” with a teary Oprah Winfrey, in a flowing Gianfranco Ferre ensemble (she also took home a Lifetime Achievement Award). General Hospital’s Steve Burton, in a Calugi e Giannelli tux, was so choked up while accepting for best supporting actor that, later, he said, “I can’t even remember what I said out there.” And Guiding Light’s Cynthia Watros, resplendent in a Jessica McClintock, bawled at her best-actress win, thus sealing an 18th straight loss for a brave, dry-eyed Susan Lucci.

Most stars, though, were fashionably unruffled. GH’s Sarah Brown unveiled her pregnancy in a clingy Sandy Kent maternity gown: “I didn’t want everyone to think I just got fat.” Costar Jacklyn Zeman’s 40-carat yellow sapphire necklace was “loaned, of course.” But the practicality award went to Days of Our Lives’ Kristian Alfonso, who took the stage in Richard Tyler rubberized heels. “See?” she said, pointing. “Skidproof.”

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