‘The Young and the Restless’: What Is Jessica Collins up to Now?

The Young and the Restless have undergone many casting changes in recent years. In 2015, fans said goodbye to Jessica Collins and her character Avery Bailey Clark. Even though the show pushed Collins as the soap opera’s new leading lady, the actor left after four years. Since her departure, a lot has changed in Collins’ life.

'The Young and the Restless' actor Jessica Collings wearing a black dress and red lipstick, smiles for a picture.
Jessica Collins I Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Jessica Collins is a wife and mother

Six months after her The Young and the Restless departure, Collins gave birth to a daughter named Jemma. Collins kept her pregnancy a secret and didn’t reveal the news until January 2016. Jemma is the first child for Collins and Michael Cooney, who tied the knot in May 2016.

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Aside from her new roles as wife and mother, Collins is also busy acting. According to Deadline.com, Collins appears with former Glee star Chord Overstreet in the new Apple+ series Acapulco. Collins plays Diane Davies, the owner of a popular Mexican resort. The comedy series follows the life of a young man Maximo (Enrique Arrizon), who discovers his dream job at the resort isn’t so glamourous.

Avery Bailey Clark’s history

Collins is no stranger to daytime. From 1991 to 1994, she appeared on the ABC soap opera Loving. After several years of primetime TV, Collins made her return to soap operas in July 2011. The Young and the Restless viewers were introduced to Avery when she arrives in Genoa City to defend Sharon Newman (Sharon Case) in a murder trial.

Avery becomes the town’s go-to lawyer, and it’s revealed she has a connection to another Genoa City resident. She’s the younger sister of Phyllis Summers (Michelle Stafford). The sisters have a strained relationship but eventually work out their differences.

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Avery’s personal life is a central part of her storylines. Her marriage to Joe Clark (Scott Elrod) ended when Avery began an affair with Dylan McAvoy (Steve Burton). Avery and Dylan make plans for the future, but tragedy strikes when she learns Dylan was killed in Afghanistan. After arriving in Genoa City, Avery begins dating Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow); however, Dylan shows up alive and well. Although Avery loves Dylan, she chooses to stay with Nick and accepts his proposal. But their wedding never takes place.

Dylan and Avery reunite and plan to marry. However, their relationship is complicated by the arrival of Joe. Joe tries to woo Avery, which leads to fights between him and Dylan. Avery and Dylan break up, and Joe again attempts to reconcile with Avery, who rebuffs his advances. Shortly afterward, Avery is assaulted and believes Joe is the perpetrator; however, evidence proves Joe’s innocent. After her ordeal, Avery decides to leave town.

Why did Jessica Collins leave ‘The Young and the Restless’?

After four years playing Avery, Collins left The Young and the Restless in July 2015. Her departure came as a shock considering her character was popular, and Collins won an Emmy for her performances. However, in an interview with Soap Opera Digest, Collins shed light on her exit. One reason she decided to leave was because of the creative direction of her character.

“I’ve been disappointed with the story and the direction and integrity of my character for quite some time,” she explained. Collins also revealed that money played a huge factor in her decision. “My contract was up for renewal, and I wasn’t happy with their offer. I was told there was no room for discussion, which made me realize there wouldn’t be much discussion for the character, either.”