‘The Young and the Restless’: Peter Bergman Thought It Was a ‘Terrible Idea’ To Kill off John Abbott, but Something Changed His Mind

Jack Abbott, played by Peter Bergman, is one of the most important characters on The Young and the Restless. However, the actor once disagreed with one of the most integral moments in Jack’s storyline.

Jack Abbott | Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images

Peter Bergman on ‘The Young and the Restless’

Bergman’s role as Jack on The Young and the Restless wasn’t his first stint on daytime. He was previously Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children beginning in 1989. Bergman was on the series for about 10 years before the show parted ways with him. This may have been a blessing in disguise, as the same year, The Young and the Restless cast him as the new Jack after Terry Lester quit the show.

Since 1989, Bergman has played the character, becoming one of the longest-serving cast members on the show. Jack is not only an important character in the history of the show, but in the greater fabric of daytime television. Jack is most known for being the son of John Abbott, and later, the patriarch of the Abbott family. But his most important overarching storyline may be his longtime feud with Victor Newman. He has been married to Patty Williams, Lindsey Wells, Nikki Newman, Luan Volien, Phyllis Summers, and Sharon Newman. He has two children Keemo Volien Abbott and Kyle Abbott.

What Peter Bergman really thought about the show killing off John Abbott

In a new interview with Soap Opera Digest, Bergman talks about the death of John Abbott, one of the biggest moments in the show’s history. The actor explains that he did not initially agree with the show’s decision to kill of the character. A lot of this was because of Jerry Douglas, the actor who played John.

“At first, I thought it was terrible idea because I felt Jack taking over the mantle as head of the family would be too monumental of a challenge for him. It went against his type and who he naturally was. That was a seismic shift for Jack but I’d give it all up to have Jerry Douglas back.”


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“When they first mentioned that John would at least come back as Jack’s conscience and they would have conversations, and I thought, ‘Oh, man, this is something from another soap opera. We don’t do ghosts and I’ll have to carry it.’ Boy, was I wrong. I thought those were lovely moments as Jack is trying to do the right thing and have the person he respects the most say, ‘Jack, it’s already there in you. You just have to find it.’ I thought it was powerful stuff to play.”

Jack would become the new patriarch of the Abbott family after John’s death, and that isn’t a necessarily easy role to assume. “That took Jack from carefree cad to the lone head of a family, where responsibility and self-examination were no strangers,” said Bergman.

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS.