In 1973, The Young and the Restless made its debut on CBS. Thanks to all of its juicy storylines, the daytime drama has been drawing in audiences on a daily basis ever since.
But how much do you really know about the beloved soap opera? There are are a ton of loyal fans out there who swear they’ve seen every single episode — an impressive feat, considering there have been more than 10,000 installments.
That said, there’s still a chance some of the facts below slipped through the cracks for even the most ardent of viewers.
For instance, do you know which romantically linked characters were once portrayed by real-life siblings?
Or what sensitive surgical procedure Jeanne Cooper had — then allowed to be filmed and aired for the series?
Take a look to learn those answers and more about the Abbots, Newmans, and other residents of Genoa City.
And don’t forget to SHARE all the info with your friends on Facebook!
1. It Was Originally Called The Innocent Years!
According to The Young and the Restless: Most Memorable Moments, creator William J. Bell claimed, “We were confronted with the very disturbing reality that young America had lost much of its innocence. Innocence as we had known it and lived it all our lives had, in so many respects, ceased to exist.”
So instead, they went with the title we’re all familiar with, because it “reflected the youth and mood of the early seventies.”
2. Jill Abbott Has Been Around The Longest
The character was first portrayed by Brenda Dickson from 1973 to 1980, then briefly taken over by Bond Gideon before Deborah Adair replaced her from 1980 to 1983.
Brenda returned from 1983 to 1987, with Deborah also returning briefly in 1986 and Melinda O. Fee taking over for a bit in 1984.
Jess Walton was finally cast in 1987 and has remained the Jill Abbot audiences tune in for ever since.
3. Judith Chapman Got Her Own Role After Subbing For Jess
The actress must have really impressed the producers during her brief stint filling in as Jill. Afterward, they decided to hand over the role of Gloria Abbot to her, taking over from Joan Van Ark back in 2005.
4. Two Real-Life Siblings Played A Married Couple
Heather Tom played Victoria Newman from 1990 to 2003. Her brother David was cast as Billy Abbot from 1999 to 2014.
Luckily for the real-life siblings, their characters didn’t become romantic until after Heather had left the role and was replaced by Amelia Heinle.
5. Jeanne Cooper Was The Longest-Performing Actress
Starting in 1973, Jeanne starred as Katherine Chancellor for four decades — with the occasional sub along the way. Her final performance was May 3, 2013 — just five days before Jeanne passed away.
Her death was written into the series with Jeanne’s actual son, Corbin Bernson, playing the priest who officiates her funeral, Father Todd.
6. Doug Davidson Is The Longest-Performing Actor
Doug introduced the role of Paul Williams back in 1978 and has remained the only actor to ever portray the character — not even leaving for brief substitutions.
7. They Wrote In Jeanne's Real-Life Facelift
Rather than have the actress be replaced or written into an offscreen scenario, the show embraced Jeanne’s facelift surgery in 1984. And the actress graciously allowed her procedure and recovery to be filmed for the character as well.
8. It Was The First Soap To Receive A Star On The Hollywood Walk Of Fame
After 20 years on the series, Jeanne was the first-ever daytime actress to earn a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1993.
9. Kate Linder Still Works As A Flight Attendant
Kate began portraying Katherine’s maid and confidante, Esther, back in 1982. Her role was supposed to be a one-off, but she became a regular cast member in 1985.
Throughout her entire time on the series, Kate has been flying the friendly skies as a United Airlines flight attendant when not on the set, according to her official website.
10. Jeanne Gave Esther Her Name
Kate revealed in a 2006 interview with Soap Opera Digest that it was her costar Jeanne who came up with the character’s name.
“One day, Jeanne began calling me Esther out of the blue, and I responded. Then other people started calling me that, and the writers picked up on it. That’s how Esther was born.”
11. Three Different Actresses Played Sharon In 1994
Monica Potter, who is more well known for her role as Kristina Braverman on Parenthood, originated the character of Sharon Newman in 1994. Years later, while being interviewed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, the actress admitted that she was quickly let go from the show for being “terrible.”
Heidi Mark took over the role for a couple months before Sharon Case was finally cast in the fall of ’94.
12. They've Won Over 100 Daytime Emmys
Starting with their win for Outstanding Drama Series in 1975, the cast and crew have earned a total of 116 Daytime Emmy Awards over the years.
Did you know all of these amazing facts about The Young and the Restless?
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