9 Iconic Y&R Stars Then and Now – How they’ve changed
The Young and the Restless has been on the air for nearly five decades. The iconic daytime soap will be celebrating its 49th anniversary on March 26, 2022. The Young and the Restless made its debut on CBS on March 26, 1973. The show has been through many changes in terms of storylines and cast. Having said that, several cast members have been on the show as long as the show itself while some actors joined and never left. No wonder, these actors have aged right in front of their fans. Let’s see what these actors looked like then versus now.
Although Jack Abbott was introduced in 1980, Peter only took on the role in 1989 after the original portrayer Terry Lester left the show. He celebrated his 32nd anniversary at the show in November last year.
Jack formed animosity with Victor Newman early on, which contributed to the central premise of the show for several years.
You may remember, Jack once married Nikki to take revenge on Victor, but eventually, she chose to be with Victor. Jack’s last marriage was to Phyllis Summers, whom he divorced after it was revealed at Nick and Sharon’s dommed wedding that she had an affair with Nick.
Last year, Jack suffered a major personal loss after his mother, Dina Mergeron, passed away after battling Alzheimer’s for several years. Fans were shocked to learn that his estranged son, Keemo Volien Abbott, had passed away off screen.
Eric Braeden made his debut on Y&R on February 8, 1980, at the age of 38. 42 years later, Eric is still going headstrong as one of the frontline cast members. When Eric first joined the show, his character, Victor Newman, was married to Julia.
Victor’s infidelity and his antics ended their marriage, following which he met Nikki. Victor and Nikki are now a power couple of the show but they have married and divorced several times in the past.
Victor had also romanced Ashley Abbott and Hope Wilson and had children – Abby and Adam – the latter one turning out to be one of his biggest enemies as of late.
Interestingly, the intensity of his and Jack’s enmity has slightly decreased.
Melody Thomas Scott
If we look at the timeline when Jack, Victor, and Nikki were introduced, we will see Nikki has been around for the longest time than any of these men.
She joined the Y&R cast in February 1979 and has ever since been playing this iconic character, who made her way from being a helpless stripper to this strong, independent lady.
Nikki was still working as a stripper when she first met Victor and had an affair. As a result, she gave birth to Victoria.
Aside from the birth of Victoria and Nick, the character has been through two secret childbirths – one from her relationship with Paul Williams and the other from being assaulted by a cult leader.
A few years back, she ended up in jail for the presumed murder of J.T. Hellstrom. She was released after J.T. was discovered alive and fine.
Taking a look back at her incredible 42 years on the show, Nikki told SheKnows, “…I am first and foremost filled with gratitude to William J. Bell (late Y&R co-creator) and Lee Phillip Bell for entrusting me with the role of Nikki Reed Newman. This experience has given me the opportunity to play the role of a lifetime and create a cherished extended family, made up of fellow cast members, our treasured crew and loyal fans who have never wavered in their support of Nikki or me.”
Eileen Davidson originated the role of Ashley Abbott in 1982. Davidson left in 1988, following which actresses like Brenda Epperson, Shari Shattuck, and Julia D’Archy Badinger played the part.
Davidson returned in 1999 and has since been sticking with the show.
From taking over the throne from her brother at Jabot to stealing sperm sample of Victor Newman, Ashley has been a part of so many scandals in the past.
In recent years, however, her life has been spiraling downwards after she learned the truth that she is not a real Abbott.
This year, on June 11, Eileen Davidson will celebrate her 40th anniversary on the show.
Doug Davidson is the longest-serving actor on the show, as of now.
His character, Paul Williams, was promiscuous as a teenager and was involved with various women, including Nikki.
Nikki had also given birth to his son, Dylan McAvoy, but kept it a secret from him for several years.
In the later years, he has had a string of unsuccessful relationships.
From his relationship with April Stevens, he has a daughter named Heather Stevens. He also had a son named Ricky Williams who was psychotic just like his mom, Isabella Braña.
Ricky had killed two women and was about to kill the third one when his father shot him in the arm in defense. Wounded Ricky fell out of the window and died.
As of now, Paul is living a blissful married life with Christine Blair. The pair got married for the first time in 1996 but separated after five years. Twelve years after splitting, the couple reunited and re-married at Katherine Chancellor’s funeral.
Lauralee Bell debuted on Y&R in 1983, playing the role of teen Christine Blair. Back then, she was best known by her nickname, Cricket.
As a teenager, she began modeling and wanted to pursue a career in it.
She started by modeling for Jabot Cosmetics, where her uncle, Joe Blair, was a photographer.
Young Cricket was raped by a man named Derek Stuart, following which she pressed charges against him, leading more of his victims to come out.
Infuriated, Derek vowed to take revenge and tried to shoot her. Cricket was saved but Derek died after falling off the window while attempting to escape.
Traumatized, Christine decided to give up on modeling and also abandoned her nickname for her full name. As of now, Christine is enjoying a successful career as a lawyer and the District Attorney in Genoa City.
Joshua Morrow and Sharon Case
Joshua Morrow took on the role of Nick Newman in 1994 when the character was aged into a teen highschooler. Since then, Morrow has been playing the role to this day.
Sharon Case’s character Sharon Collins was introduced at the same time as teen Nick, and the two teenagers quickly took off as high school sweethearts.
Sharon became a mom at 16 after her then-boyfriend, Frank Barritt, pressured her to sleep with him.
She gave birth to a pair of twin girls – Cassie and Mariah – but did not know about it until much later.
When the girls were born, Sharon had given up Cassie for adoption while Ian Ward had secretly stolen Mariah and raised her as his own daughter.
When Nick learned about Cassie, he helped Sharon find her child and adopted her. But sadly, the couple lost her after she crashed a car while driving her drunk friend home from a party.
The incident tore the pair apart, with Nick cheating on Sharon with Phyllis and having a daughter, Summer.
Over the years, the couple has patched up and broken up numerous times. Their last breakup was at their wedding altar in 2018 when Sharon found out about Nick and Phyllis’s another cheating scandal.
In the recent past, Sharon was caught between her boyfriend Rey Rosales and her ex-lover, Adam Newman. She decided to be with Rey and they got married on 2021’s new year’s eve.
When Camryn Grimes first joined Y&R, she was still a kid. She debuted by playing the role of Cassie, the daughter of Sharon and Frank Barritt.
When Cassie was born, Sharon and her mother were financially struggling while Frank denied taking any responsibility. So Sharon gave her daughter up for adoption and moved to GC.
When Cassie was six years old, she was brought to town by Sharon’s best friend, Grace Turner. Sharon and Nick eventually adopted her. Once when Cassie was eleven, she almost drowned in a freezing pond but survived. However, three years later, she died after getting in a car accident with Daniel Romalotti.
After Cassie’s death, Victor Newman brought her look-alike to GC. Eventually, it was revealed that the look-alike was actually Cassie’s twin sister, Mariah.
When Mariah first arrived in GC, she was a troubled teenager, who went on to develop an infatuation with Nick. She then began dating Kevin Fisher but ultimately fell for her brother’s girlfriend, Tessa Porter.