‘The Young and the Restless’: Is Michelle Stafford Leaving Again?

Phyllis Summers is one of The Young and the Restless‘ top villains. For over 27 years, the character has wreaked havoc on other Genoa City residents. Many talented actors have portrayed Phyllis, but Michelle Stafford will always be synonymous with the role. But fans may be saying goodbye to Stafford and the character of Phyllis soon.

Michelle Staford at the 2017 Daytime Emmys
Michelle Staford I Paul Archuleta/FilmMagic

Michelle Stafford rumored to be leaving again

There’s been a lot of casting changes at the Young and Restless set recently. Actors Michael Mealor and Hunter King are on their way out. But they may not be the only actors leaving.

According to Soap Opera News, rumors about Stafford’s possible exit from the show stem from a blind item in Soap Opera Digest. A blind item indicated that a top actor might be on their way out at the CBS soap. Speculation immediately arose that Stafford was the person in question, especially given her history.

Michelle Stafford responds to exit rumors

It didn’t take long for the rumors to reach Stafford. Fans began flooding her social media pages with questions about her possible departure. Stafford put the rumors to rest when she responded to an Instagram comment. “Nope. Not leaving,” the actor wrote.

Stafford’s response is a sigh of relief to fans who love her as Phyllis. Currently, the character finds herself embroiled in a big storyline. She helps reunite Kyle and Summer after busting Sally Spectra and Tara Locke’s (Courtney Hope and Elizabeth Leiner) scheme. Phyllis’ relationship with Nick also continues to be the main focus, although the show foreshadowed she may be headed for a reunion with Jack.

Michelle Stafford’s previous ‘Young and the Restless’ departures

Stafford has played Phyllis on and off for over two decades. Her debut on the CBS daytime serial came in October 1994. Phyllis’ first scheme was trapping Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) into marriage by claiming he fathered her son Daniel. Phyllis also showed her dangerous side when she ran over Danny’s ex-wife Christine Blair (Lauralee Bell) and Christine’s boyfriend, Paul Williams (Doug Davidson).

In 1997, Stafford exited the show, and Sandra Nelson was recast as Phyllis. However, Nelson’s tenure as Phyllis would only last two years before The Young and the Restless wrote her off the show. After a three-year hiatus, Stafford returned as Phyllis, and the character went through a huge transformation. Although dubbed a villain, Phyllis began to be viewed as a heroine as she became a successful businesswoman. Her romances with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman) and Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow) also garnered more interest in the character.

Stafford became one of the Young and the Restless‘ top actors and her performances earned her numerous awards, including two Daytime Emmys. But 13 years after her comeback, Stafford decided to say goodbye to the show once again. Less than a year later, she joined the ABC soap opera General Hospital in the role of Nina Reeves.

Although Stafford excelled in her General Hospital role, she would depart the show in June 2019. Shortly afterward, she would come back to Young and the Restless, replacing Gina Tognoni, who played Phyllis since 2014.

With many exciting stories coming up on The Young and the Restless, Stafford is undoubtedly going to knock it out of the park with her performances.

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