‘The Young and the Restless’ Alum Don Diamont Explains Why Being Fired From Was ‘The Best Thing That Ever Happened’

Don Diamont is a staple on The Bold and the Beautiful. Before joining the cast as “Dollar Bill” Spencer, he played Brad Carlton on The Young and the Restless. His character was killed off in 2008 when changes in staff occurred. Why was Diamont fired?

Don Diamont recalls his audition for ‘The Young and the Restless’

Don Diamont
Don Diamont | Cliff Lipson/CBS via Getty Images

In 1985, the fresh-faced Don Diamont joined the cast of The Young and the Restless. This year marks the actor’s 35th anniversary with CBS. 2009 marks the end of the Brad Carlton era. To celebrate, Diamont recently reminisced with Entertainment Weekly about his audition for the daytime drama.

“I know that it came about because Bill Bell Sr. had seen me on Days of Our Lives, which I was on for only about nine months. I used to say I was fired and voted best newcomer in the same week,” he said.

Diamont explained that he went up against “seven or eight guys” when he took the screen test. He remembered the makeup crew saying he’d get the role but Diamont said he didn’t feel confident he would.

He took his screen test opposite the original Jill Foster-Abbott, Brenda Dickinson, and was warned to “be ready for whatever.”

“She blew smoke in my face during the screen test,” he said. “She was pretty out there.”

Once hired, Diamont said it became clear his role would mostly be “shirtless in Daisy Dukes, doing scenes with Beth Maitland for the duration of the summer.”

‘Y&R’ fired Diamont, killed off Brad Carlton

Fans of Y&R will remember the complex storyline given to Brad’s character. Diamont said it largely had to do with a new writer, Lynn Latham.

“I guess there was some palace intrigue, but I don’t really know. A new head writer was brought in and she just saw fit to get rid of Brad Carlton and Colleen Carlton, his daughter,” he said in the same EW interview.

The storyline in question changed Brad’s history. Latham created a backstory where his real name was Navy SEAL, George Kaplan, who was on the run to protect his grandmother. He drowned in a lake trying to save someone.

“He was an extremely good swimmer, which was why it was so stupid that he died drowning,” Diamont said. “If anybody was trained to handle that situation, it was him. But it was the best thing that ever happened to me, I can tell you that.”

In reality, Diamont had been fired fro the show, shocking castmates, and viewers everywhere. Luckily, another show scooped him up.

‘The Bold and the Beautiful’ hired Diamont right away

Diamont wasn’t down and out for long. Eight-time Daytime Emmy-winning producer, Brad Bell (son of creators, Bill and Lee Phillip Bell), created a character on The Bold and the Beautiful with Diamont in mind.

“I always talk to my kids about this. It’s a cliché, but I’m living proof that when one door closes, another door opens,” he said. “Brad gave me the ball and let me run with it. He is an incredibly collaborative showrunner.”

The actor also credits his longtime Y&R costars, Peter Bergman, Eric Braeden, Michelle Stafford, Beth Maitland, and Eileen Davidson for their support.

“When I was first hired, Brad told me I had a lot of friends on Y&R. They said, ‘You’ve got to bring Don onto your show. You need him on your show. He deserves to be there and this shouldn’t have happened,'” Diamont said.

It doesn’t matter if Diamont plays Bill Spencer or Brad Carlton. Fans will tune in.

The Young and the Restless and The Bold and the Beautiful air weekdays on CBS.