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Neil Winters is an iconic character on The Young and the Restless. Though his equally-as-iconic first wife, Drucilla Winters, is his most notable spouse, the character also had three other wives, including Sofia Dupree (Julia Pace Mitchell).

Julia Pace Mitchell in 2011
Julia Pace Mitchell in 2011 | David Becker/Getty Images

Sofia Dupre’s time on ‘The Young and the Restless’

Dupre was first introduced on the show as a vital associate of businessman Tucker McCall and the fiance of Malcolm Winters. She and Neil were initially fierce adversaries. She and Neil slept together with she and Malcolm were on the outs. But Malcolm wants to reconcile with her and they end up getting married.

Sofia finds out she’s pregnant but realizes the child is Neil’s. She goes on to have a child with Neil, Moses. It is revealed that Malcolm is not the father. He divorces Dupree and leaves town. She and Neil try to have a relationship and get married for the sake of Moses. However, they are just not that compatible and she soon leaves town with Moses as they move to New York.

In September 2012, Pace Mitchell was removed from contract status and was made a recurring cast member. However, the character eventually just vanished from the show. While Moses and Sofia were occasionally referenced on the show from time to time, it was almost like the Sofia arc in the greater Winters family storyline was not talked about. The character of Moses did get rapidly aged and appeared once in 2014 and again in 2016. The 2016 version was played by Dax Randall.

With Randall, Pace Mitchell returned to the show in 2019 for the first time since her 2012 exit. Dupre and Moses came to town for the special episodes surrounding the death of Neil and his funeral. The episodes also honored which honored the late Kristoff St. John.

Here’s what Julia Pace Mitchell says about her time in the role

In a 2019 interview, just after her return stint to the show for the tribute to St. John, Mitchell spoke about her time on The Young and the Restless.

On portraying the Dupre on the show, Pace Mitchell was asked about how it felt to have so many people still connected to the character. “It’s funny and fun. Sometimes I forget. Sometimes people will be like, ‘Aren’t you my cousin,’ or ‘I know you from somewhere.’ Then, I’m like, ‘Oh yeah, this is what it is.’ So, sometimes I forget, but I know for a lot of people in 2012 there weren’t that many full-figured, dark-skinned African American women on soaps. So, some people finally got a reflection of themselves and I know that can be empowering. So, I was glad to kind of hold that spot down.”

How she felt about returning for a few episodes to tribute Kristoff St. John

She also spoke specifically how she felt returning to the show to tribute her late cast member and being a part of it all. “I actually cried because I had been in denial about Kristoff’s [St. John] passing because I had talked to him online and texted him every once in a while, ” she said.

“So, to actually get the phone call that they wanted me to come back solidified the reality of it. I was excited, but at the same time sad it was under those circumstances. It was beautiful and they did such a good job honoring him that can’t nobody say nothing. [laughs] They were really were like, ‘We hear the people. Let’s honor him the way we need to honor him.’ By bringing back so many people CBS really got this one right. “

Shemar Moore, the original actor who played Malcolm and the most identifiable person in the role, also returned for the tribute episodes. Darius McCrary was playing Malcolm when Pace Mitchell first portrayed Dupre, so this was the first time acting with Moore’s version of Malcolm. She described it as “a little bit of a shock” for her.

“I had never met Shemar Moore before. When I saw that [Moore’s return], I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Shemar Moore is coming back?! I get to see Shemar Moore!’ I was pretty excited. My sister was like, ‘Oh my God! You get to hug Shemar Moore!’ [laughs] Who doesn’t want to do that?”

The Young and the Restless airs weekdays on CBS. The show isn’t currently airing new episodes due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.