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THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
For well over 25 years now, Peter Bergman has been wowing Young and the Restless (Y&R) fans portraying the infamous Jack Abbott. The character is probably best known for his rivalry with Victor Newman and walks a fine line between good and evil weekly. There is an amazing story behind the man who is at the head of Genoa City’s Jabot corporation. Below are 10 things you might not know about Y&R’s Peter Bergman.
Bergman’s father was a U.S. Navy officer. Therefore, Bergman was born in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. He would grow up in America and eventually get his high school diploma from Crossland Senior, located in Camp Springs, Maryland. He also has a diploma from New York’s American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Speaking of, actors and actresses tend to take on some pretty interesting jobs before they make it big. While some of Bergman’s colleagues may have opted for bartender or waiter roles, Peter snagged a job as a construction worker to help make ends meet while he was in college — a far cry from his life both on and off screen.
Peter Bergman is undoubtedly a soap opera legend. Not many daytime drama actors are able to land consistent work, and Bergman is one of the lucky few to have build a career on such an iconic character. When talking about his soap opera success, he’s been quoted as saying it was due to a series of accidents. Call it accidental, lucky, or just a great work ethic and talent, but Peter Bergman has undeniably hit the top of the daytime drama mountain.
Some older fans may remember the famous “I’m not a doctor, but I play one on TV,” line from a 1986 Vicks Formula 44 cough syrup commercial. Well, Bergman relayed this very statement at one point, acting as a spokesperson for the ad campaign. He took over from General Hospital’s Chris Robinson, who originally rolled out the campaign in 1984.
As many are aware, Bergman started off in the land of soap operas on All My Children (AMC) playing Dr. Cliff Warner (on and off) from 1979 to 1989. As it turns out, he originally had auditioned for a role on the show as one of Erika Kane’s husbands, Jeff Martin. He didn’t win the part, but AMC remembered that audition and gave him a call when the character of Cliff was set to roll into Pine Valley.
Bergman was not the original Jack Abbott to hit Genoa City, as he replaced Terry Lester, who started in the role. He may not have been the first, but he’s definitely the most popular. Bergman would end up being the longest-reigning Jack, taking up the role in 1989 and being with the show since. In fact, ask any Y&R fan, and they’d agree, there is no other actor in the daytime drama scene who could be recast in this role. Bergman simply is Jack Abbott.
What? How could this even be possible? Like many soap opera actors, Bergman has done his fair share of primetime guest roles over the years and a couple of television film roles. He was also a guest star on television comedy The Nanny in 1997, where he got the opportunity to kiss Baywatch legend Pam Anderson.
Sure, it’s no shocker that Bergman has played Jack Abbott on the Y&R since 1989, but what some fans may not know is that he also got the chance to play that very same role on primetime. During a guest spot on the comedy King of Queens in 2001, Bergman also stepped into his Jackie role.
Bergman is a tremendous daytime drama actor and it shows on his acting resume. One doesn’t hold down a job for as long as he has without having great talent and a solid work ethic. He’s won three Daytime Emmys in the category of Lead Actor and was nominated 12 times in a row. What an incredible accomplishment.
Jack Abbott’s rivalry with Victor Newman has been an incredible watch for Y&R fans over the years. Eric Braeden and Peter Bergman have incredible onscreen chemistry and it shows. The two actors get along as colleagues, but that wasn’t always the case. In 1989 when Bergman first entered the role, it seemed like there was a rift between him and Braeden. However, a quick (and stern) chat between the men, as well as creator William Bell, settled things down between the two nicely … and the rest is history!