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THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS
There are many just reasons as to why some soap opera actors or actresses are let go. Perhaps they just don’t seem to fit well with the role they have been given, or at times a poor work ethic can come into play. But also sometimes actors or actresses simply don’t mesh well with other cast members, producers, and are even simply axed to help a storyline twist which might seem unfair. For the fans that grow quite attached to soaps, the characters, and the actors or actress who play them – seeing their favorite soap actor leave a show can be devastating. Below is a list of Young and the Restless (Y&R) actors who were unfairly fired.
While Y&R fans love Jesse Walton in the role, Brenda Dickson was the original Jill Fenmore, jumping into the part from 1973 to 1980, and then again in 1983 until she was fired in 1987. Dickson would end up filing a lawsuit that totaled $10 million, alleging that she was canned because she had an affair with William J. Bell, the soap’s creator, in hopes of getting her job back. She also claimed that Bell blacklisted her after their affair, making it hard for her to find acting work.
The actress stepped into the Abby Newman role in 2010 when the character went through soap opera rapid aging syndrome (SORAS), transforming from a teen to a young adult. Sadly, news broke in 2012 that Emme had been fired from the show thanks to budget cuts. The good news is that she was quickly able to find soap opera work, stepping into the Lulu Spencer role at General Hospital.
Kevin Schmidt was cast into the role as a teenaged Noah Newman and would remain on the show (on and off) from 2008 to 2012. Unfortunately, it was around this time that the Y&R fired the actor, as they chose to age the character a little further, looking for an older and more mature Newman.
Picking up where Schmidt left off, actor Robert Adamson would step into the role of Noah Newman in 2012, adding a bit of an edge to the character. By the time early 2018 rolled out, Adamson was written out of storylines with Noah heading to Mumbai to work at Newman Enterprise’s division there. He did re-appear for his parents’ wedding (that fell apart) in October last year, and over the 2018 holidays for an episode.
Speaking of Noah, he just wasn’t the same after his fiancé Courtney Sloan was murdered, and there are always characters that meet their demise when any killer is out on the loose. While she was axed from the show in 2015, actress Kelli Goss was left a very appreciative message to fans on her Instagram account. After all, her character was only really supposed to last two weeks, so her two-year stint on the show proved to be a successful one!
For over 14 years actor Greg Rikaart played the incredibly dysfunctional, yet charming, Kevin Fisher. While fans despised the character at first, he would come to redeem himself, becoming a beloved member of Genoa City. Sadly, the actor was let go from the Y&R in 2017; however, Days of Our Lives fans scored the win here, as Greg is currently whooping it up in Salem.
He was once the longest-serving cast member on the show, until his controversial firing last year that sent shockwaves throughout the Y&R fan base. What’s worse is that he had a tenure with the show that lasted about four decades, and his character Paul Williams was simply dropped from the canvas, with no exit storyline whatsoever. #WhereIsPaulWilliams
Ashley Abbott is a Y&R staple, with Eileen Davidson playing the pivotal role on and off since 1982. While fans have adored watching her on the small (daytime) screen for quite a while now, there was a time when this esteemed actress was fired from her Y&R gig. Davidson enjoyed a successful return to the show in 1999 after a hiatus and even received a Daytime Emmy nod in 2003. However, in late 2006, she was let go from the show because there was no storyline for her character. Exiting the soap in early 2007, according to Melody Thomas Scott (Nikki Newman), Davidson’s firing was met with a tremendous amount of backlash from fellow Y&R cast mates, pleading with producers for her to stay. While she ended up moving to Y&R’s sister soap The Bold & The Beautiful in 2007, she has once again returned to the Y&R, calling Genoa City her home.
While David Tom was the original (teenage) Billy Abbott, cast in the role in 1999, he was brought in to reprise the character in 2014 (after Billy Miller’s departure), but his tenure with the show was short-lived. Unfortunately, after only 16 weeks in the role, Tom was fired. He stated in an interview that producers informed him he appeared far too young for the role, especially when placed next to Cady McClain (who was playing his ex-mistress Kelly Andrews). The worst part about the entire situation was that Cady was hired after Tom. Perhaps the producers should have kept his ‘baby face’ in mind when recasting the role of Kelly Andrews to begin with.
Speaking of Cady, in the spring of 2014, McClain entered the role of crazy Kelly Andrews and replaced Cynthia Watros. While Cady is a two-time Daytime Emmy winner and a veteran of soaps with close to 30 years of experience under her belt, her character was killed off in 2015, almost a year after she stepped on the Y&R set. McClain noted in an interview that after Chuck Pratt entered the producer role in 2014 there was a feeling that some cast members would get cut, with an ‘out with the old, in with the new’ type attitude. Cady was not under contract with the soap, so as it seems she was one of the first to go.
Maura West may have felt incredibly lucky in 2010. She was straight off the cusp of her soap As The World Turns being canceled, where she played Carly Snyder for just about 15 years and immediately landed the coveted role of Diane Jenkins on the Y&R. Sadly, only about a year later, Jenkins was killed and Maura was asked to leave the show. Could there be a silver lining in all this? Well, there is… for General Hospital fans. The Daytime Emmy winner can now be seen on that soap, playing the manipulative Ava Jerome.
Now the late 2013 firing of Michael Muhney is a very controversial one. At first, it seemed that Muhney simply didn’t get along with Eric Braeden (his onscreen dad, Victor Newman), and that may have been the reason he got axed. It was also said that Muhney was all-around outspoken, and he let his voice be heard on the fact that he thought the Daytime Emmy awards nomination process was unjust. Now, if he indeed got canned for those above reasons, then it was an unfair firing. However, TMZ also leaked that the reason Muhney got fired was that he *allegedly* harassed fellow co-star Hunter King (Summer Newman), groping at her breasts. Now, if this was in fact the reason he got fired, then the actor deserved his dismissal. The hard part is, no one has really confirmed any of the reports. There were some supportive Twitter posts for both Hunter and Michael by Y&R castmates when all this drama was unfolding, so it is very difficult to decipher what is true and what is a rumor. Michael spoke out about his firing in September 2014 to the Daily Mail UK online and denied the harassment rumor.