Recasts are super common in soap operas. However, for every character that has been recast, there is another character that has been portrayed by the same person for years. The Young and the Restless has several actors who have been with the show for a long time.
Here are four of them who have played their characters for the entire duration so far:
Christian LeBlanc has portrayed the character of Michael Baldwin on The Young and the Restless since the character’s debut in 1991. He departed the show for in 1993, before returning in 1997. Since then, he has portrayed the character on a contract basis.
Baldwin is the first character to appear on the now-defunct CBS soap opera, As the World Turns. Though The Young and the Restless has a sister soap in CBS’ The Bold and the Beautiful, this established continuity between Genoa City and As the World of our Turns’ Oakdale.
Nicholas Newman is the pure definition of a legacy character on The Young and the Restless. As the son of longtime characters Victor Newman and Nicole “Nikki” Newman, the character has been on the canvas since he was born in 1989. In 1994, the Nicholas was rapidly aged to be a teenager with Joshua Morrow debuting in the role. Morrow has portrayed the character since then, remaining on the show for a full-time basis for nearly 26 years.
The character is a typical soap opera good guy, despite some misdeeds he may take part in. This is something Morrow spoke about in a 2018 interview with Soap Opera Digest. In the same interview, he was also asked if the 1994 version of himself could have envisioned still being on the show so many years later.
He explained, “I remember when I got the job, I just couldn’t believe that they wanted this dude who grew up on a lake in Oklahoma to do this. If you would’ve told me I’d be doing it 24 years later, I just never would’ve guessed it. I kind of was always wandering around here like, “When are they gonna figure it out that I’ve been fooling them for so long?” It’s been an incredible ride, and I’m very excited about the prospects and I hope the show goes on forever and ever and ever. I don’t know how long I’ll do it, but I know we work very hard to tell stories that people are still interested in. I’m very, very proud of this show.”
Christine Blair, portrayed by Lauralee Bell, is one of the characters who have been on the soap opera’s canvas for the longest time. She was first introduced in 1983, Bell, the daughter of show creators, William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell, has portrayed her since then.
Bell portrayed the character on a contract basis from 1983 to 2001 and then again from 2002 to 2006. She returned to the show in 2009 and has been a recurring cast member and continues to appear in that capacity now.
The one and only Victor Newman is not only the most iconic character on The Young and the Restless, but he is arguably one of the most legendary soap opera characters overall. Braeden has portrayed the character since he was first introduced in 1980. The role was supposed to be a short-term one but Braeden ended up signing a contract and staying for the long haul.
In his memoir, he talked about almost leaving the character:
I’d begun to sink into a depression, not over the work itself but over what I perceived to be the lack of depth in the Victor Newman character. More and more, I felt I was playing a dehumanized man who could be cold, cruel, manipulative, and amorally shrewd, for no other reason than because he could. I didn’t understand what on earth was driving this man, or, as an actor, what range there was to play in Victor Newman beyond his two most prominent qualities: charm, and a megalomaniacal need for control. If that’s all he was and all he was ever going to be, there wasn’t enough substance there to inspire me to continue, let alone on a long-term basis.
The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.