‘The Young and the Restless’: Peter Bergman Explains How Dina’s Death Storyline Could Have Been Different if COVID-19 Didn’t Happen

Marla Adams’ time as Dina Abbott Mergeron is done, at least for now, on The Young and the Restless. Her co-star, Peter Bergman, spoke recently about filming her emotional final scenes on the show during the pandemic and strict filming procedures.

'The Young and the Restless' actors Marla Adams, Beth Maitland, Eileen Davidson, Peter Bergman, and Jerry Douglas
‘The Young and the Restless’ actors Marla Adams, Beth Maitland, Eileen Davidson, Peter Bergman, and Jerry Douglas | David Livingston/Getty Images

Dina Abbott Mergeron has died on ‘The Young and the Restless’

The show is continuing to explore the aftermath of the death of the Abbott family matriarch, Dina. The character was the first wife of of John Abbott and mother Jack, Ashley, and Traci Abbott. Adams was first on the show in the 1980s. She played Dina regularly from 1983 to 1986.

Adams returned several times for guest stints before officially returning to the show in a recurring capacity beginning in 2017. She wrapped up this period of time on the show once the character of Dina died this month.

Peter Bergman talks about the storyline

In an interview with Michael Fairman TV, Bergman, who plays Jack Abbott, talked at length about Dina’s exit storyline.

Bergman said that he was fine with socially-distanced filming during the pandemic, but that all changed when it came time to film Dina’s exit. During any other time, the actors would have to be very close and intimate for such powerful and touching scenes. However, due to the filming regulations during the pandemic, this had to be done in a different kind of way.

“Doing that from six feet away was just awful,” said the actor. “You saw the limits at a time where not any of us could be within six feet of each other; where you would usually hold a hand, stroke a brow, and talk softly.  So, I think the writers did what they needed to do to make it work for Dina’s exit.”

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For Bergman, there was also the question of having Dina, an older person, die on-screen with people passing away from coronavirus (COVID-19). He explained, “We are in the middle of COVID, in case anybody forgot, and so you have to ask, ‘Does America really want to watch an elderly woman die in the middle of the Abbott living room or anywhere else?’  So, we had to have Dina’s exit without looking at a dead body, out of respect for the times we are living in.  We had to do a strong, powerful, pivotal scene with our hands tied behind our backs.”

The storyline may have been different if COVID-19 didn’t happen

If the pandemic was not going on, Bergman explained that Dina’s death may have played out for a lot more time and could have gone one for a while.

“We needed to get it done it one day,” he said. “We did not need to drag this out.  Again, were it not COVID time, sure, let’s drag it out.  Let’s spend some time on this. People die.  Let’s watch the family process a death.”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.