10 Best Young And The Restless Actors

James Atoa/Everett Collection

A leading actor on a soap opera generally encompasses certain characteristics. Some are handsome, most are strong and a few are quite powerful. Behind all of the best characters on The Young and the Restless (Y&R) is an amazing actor who brings them to life. Undoubtedly, there’s no shortage of talented actors on The Young and the Restless and many have literally stolen the show on this daytime drama over the years. They have made us laugh, cry and wooed leading ladies along the way. Below is a list of top 10 Y&R actors that have graced the land of Genoa City.

10. Michael Muhney

Also referred to as ‘Adam Newman #2,’ when Muhney departed from the Y&R in late 2013 many fans were outraged. Many rumors circulated about his exit saying that Muhney didn’t get along with on-screen dad, Eric Braeden. Then it was alleged that Muhney simply was outspoken on set, but in reality we don’t know what happened behind closed doors. Other rumors circulated (and were never verified) that Muhney got the ax because he sexually harassed fellow co-star Hunter King (Summer Newman). As always, there has to be some drama on and off the screens when it comes to soaps. One thing that cannot be denied is the fact that Michael Muhney was a true talent that owned the Adam Newman character from the get-go. Muhney received a Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nomination in 2013.

9. Justin Hartley

Speaking of Adam Newman, when Muhney stepped away from Y&R, fans and soap opera bloggers alike speculated on the fate of Adam. Muhney dug his footprints deep within the character and a recast might have been an epic fail. Enter: Justin Hartley. Not only did he portray Adam to a ‘tee’, he finally turned him into the hero he was meant to be. Entering the role in 2014, Hartley received a Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nod in 2016. Unfortunately, Hartley has moved on from Adam and the Y&R and recently jumped over to primetime as a series regular in the new show, This Is Us. While it seems Adam is dead, there is always room for a return … nobody really dies on soaps, right? Maybe someday Hartley will return? Maybe Muhney will make an appearance? Or maybe a recast? With Hartley as the last Adam Newman to date, this actor will have some mighty big shoes to fill.

Broadimage/REX

Broadimage/REX

8. Michael Graziadei

It’s been great seeing Michael Graziadei back in Genoa City as of late playing Daniel Romalotti, even if his appearances were brief. Graziadei stepped into the role in 2004 and had whirlwind love affairs with Lily Winters, Amber Moore, Abby Newman, and Eden Baldwin. He was also a main player in the story that revolved around Cassie Newman’s death in 2005. While we don’t get to see Danny that often anymore, Graziadei did play a pivotal role within the Y&R and was able to rack up two Daytime Emmy nods in the Younger Actor category in 2005 and 2006, which was within the nine years he was on the show.

7. Joshua Morrow

Nick Newman is undoubtedly a key player in Genoa City right now. Son to the infamous Victor Newman, he is nothing like his father or even half-brother Adam for that matter. You can’t count on many things in life these days, but you can always count on Nick Newman doing the right thing. Talented actor Joshua Morrow has been playing Nicholas for well over twenty years now and that is an incredible feat for any daytime drama actor. Morrow has received much acclaim for his portrayal of Nick, and actually snagged five Younger Actor Daytime Emmy nods, five consecutive nominations actually from 1996 to 2000, for the role.

Press Association

Press Association

6. Greg Rikaart

What can one say about the loveable Kevin Fisher? He’s certainly the boy next door with a crazy past. Kevin has had his ups and downs when it comes to love and seems to have a thing for women who are a little mentally unstable. Still, Fisher has his heart in the right place when it comes to morals, friendships, and love. He’s also an incredible actor that has stolen the hearts of Y&R fans and his peers alike. Entering the Kevin Fisher role in 2003, Greg Rikaart has received four consecutive Outstanding Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy nods from 2005 to 2008 and took the statue home in 2005.

5. Doug Davidson

Who doesn’t love the dapper Paul Williams? For well over thirty years now, Doug Davidson has been charming Y&R fans as the smart and handsome Williams who entered the role back in 1978. He’s been involved with some of the most beautiful leading ladies on the show like Nikki Newman, Lauren Fenmore, and of course, Christine Blair. Davidson is currently the longest-running actor on the soap and not only is he popular, but he’s quite talented as well. Racking up a total of five Daytime Emmy nominations over the years in 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014, he took home the coveted Lead Actor statue in 2013.

4. Billy Miller

Billy Miller is now entertaining General Hospital audiences as Jason Morgan on the popular ABC soap. That wasn’t always the case though. He was once on AMC and entered the Y&R’s Billy Abbott role in 2008. Miller evolved Billy Abbot, transforming a spoiled little rich kid persona into a charming yet endearing lead character. His acting talent is a testimony to all the accolades he’s gathered while on the Y&R, with five Daytime Emmy nods over the years in 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, and 2015, as well as three statues won in 2010, 2013, and 2014 in total. There was a certain fan uproar in 2014 when Miller left the show and one can see why.

James Atoa/Everett Collection

James Atoa/Everett Collection

3. Christian LeBlanc

Michael Baldwin fits all the stereotypical characteristics of a soap opera leading male: romantic, smart, caring, supportive, funny, good-looking, and he can be a powerful force in Genoa City, when he puts his mind to it. The extremely talented Christian LeBlanc stepped into this role in 1991 and much like many long-time soap characters has went through an incredible evolution. From town rapist to someone who is now respected and admired, the Baldwin character is not only a fan favorite, but also a staple in many major Y&R storylines. LeBlanc is no stranger to soaps, with a stint on As the World Turns from 1983 to 1985. Interestingly enough, LeBlanc returned to ATWT to play Baldwin for some episodes and also hit Guiding Light in 2009 with a guest appearance as Michael Baldwin on that soap as well. Christian has been nominated 12 times for a Daytime Emmy. From these nominations, LeBlanc has scored a Lead Actor Daytime Emmy three times in 2005, 2007, and 2009.

2. Eric Braeden

Eric Braeden has been playing the infamous Victor Newman now for over thirty-five years. As a character fans love to hate, Victor is a power-hungry business man, who not only loves to control the corporate world, but his family as well. The role of Victor Newman was originally supposed to be a short-term one, until Braeden stepped in and really changed the game for Y&R and soap operas in general. The part ended up turning into a full-time gig and has turned into one of the most legendary roles in soap opera history. During his tenure as Victor, Braeden has racked up eight Daytime Emmy nods in the Outstanding Lead Actor category and took the award home once in 1998.

Picture Perfect / Rex

Picture Perfect / Rex

1. Peter Bergman

Jack Abbott is the yin to Victor Newman’s yang. Peter Bergman stepped into the Abbott role in 1989 and has wowed audiences and been acknowledged by his peers numerous times over for his incredible acting talent. No stranger to daytime drama, Bergman played Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children (AMC) for a decade from 1979 to 1989. As a veteran of soaps, Bergman has accumulated 19 Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nominations over the years: nominated once in 1983 for his AMC role, then 18 times for his Y&R role. Out of those nominations, Bergman has won three Daytime Emmys in 1991, 1992, and 2002. It makes it no wonder why good guy Jack tops this list.

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