Absolutely Iconic Young And The Restless ActorsPublished on September 13, 2016. Updated February 8, 2022
A leading actor on a soap opera generally encompasses certain characteristics. Some are handsome, and a few are quite powerful. Behind all of the best characters on The Young and the Restless (Y&R) is an amazing actor who brings them to life. Undoubtedly, there’s no shortage of talented actors on Y&R and many have literally stolen the show on this daytime drama over the years. Below is a list of iconic Y&R actors that have graced the land of Genoa City.
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10. Greg Rikaart
What can one say about the loveable Kevin Fisher? He’s certainly the boy next door with a crazy past. Kevin has had his ups and downs when it comes to love and seems to have a thing for women who are a little mentally unstable. Still, Fisher has his heart in the right place when it comes to morals, friendships, and love. He’s also an incredible actor that has stolen the hearts of Y&R fans and his peers alike. Entering the Kevin Fisher role in 2003, Greg Rikaart has received four consecutive Outstanding Supporting Actor Daytime Emmy nods from 2005 to 2008 and took the statue home in 2005. He’s been very quiet on the soap as of late, being on recurring contract, but let’s hope he takes center stage again very soon!
9. Christian LeBlanc
Michael Baldwin fits all the stereotypical characteristics of a soap opera leading male: romantic, smart, caring, supportive, funny and good-looking. The extremely talented Christian LeBlanc stepped into this role in 1991 and much like many long-time soap characters has undergone an incredible evolution. From being convicted of sexual assault to being respected and admired as D.A., the Baldwin character is not only a fan-favorite, but also a staple in many major Y&R storylines. LeBlanc is no stranger to soaps, with a stint on As the World Turns from 1983 to 1985. Interestingly enough, LeBlanc returned to ATWT to play Baldwin for some episodes and also hit Guiding Light in 2009 with a guest appearance as Michael Baldwin on that soap as well. Christian has been nominated twelve times for a Daytime Emmy. From these nominations, LeBlanc has scored a Lead Actor Daytime Emmy three times in 2005, 2007, and 2009.
8. Justin Hartley
When Michael Muhney stepped away from Y&R, fans and soap opera bloggers alike speculated on the fate of Adam. Muhney dug his footprints deep within the character and a recast might have been an utter failure. Enter: Justin Hartley. Not only did he portray Adam to a ‘tee’, he finally turned him into the hero he was meant to be. Entering the role in 2014, Hartley received a Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nod in 2016. Unfortunately, Hartley has moved on from Adam and Y&R, jumping over to prime time as a series regular on This Is Us. Luckily, Adam has returned once again from the afterlife with Mark Grossman in the role, and he’s quickly made the character his own.
7. Jason Thompson
It’s been great seeing Jason Thompson make the transition from General Hospital (GH) to Genoa City, playing Billy Abbott. After the role went through a long transitional phase, with Billy Miller, David Tom and Burgess Jenkins each spending some time as Abbott, Thompson has truly settled in and made Billy-boy shine. After five Daytime Emmy nominations for his work on GH, Thompson won his first Emmy for Y&R in 2020.
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6. Joshua Morrow
Nick Newman is undoubtedly a key player in Genoa City. Son to the infamous Victor Newman, he is nothing like his father or even half-brother Adam for that matter. You can’t count on many things in life these days, but you can always count on Nick Newman doing the right thing. Talented actor Joshua Morrow has been playing Nicholas for well over twenty years now and that is an incredible feat for any daytime drama actor. Morrow has received much acclaim for his portrayal of Nick, and actually snagged five Younger Actor Daytime Emmy nods — five consecutive nominations actually from 1996 to 2000 — for the role.
5. Mark Grossman
When Mark Grossman entered Genoa City in 2019, hot on the heels of Justin Hartley’s departure, it seemed highly unlikely that he could fill the role. Viewers loved Hartley’s turn in the role and Muhney’s previous portrayal as well. Could lightning really strike thrice? The answer is definitely yes. Grossman conjured immediate chemistry with Sharon Rosales (Sharon Case) and Chelsea Lawson (Melissa Claire Egan). He also proved to be a match for on-screen dad, Eric Braeden. Now that he’s falling into a potent super couple with Sally Spectra (Courtney Hope), viewers are praying that we don’t lose yet another excellent Adam Newman.
4. Doug Davidson
Who doesn’t love the dapper Paul Williams? For well over thirty years now, Doug Davidson has been charming Y&R fans as the smart and handsome Williams who entered the role back in 1978. He’s been involved with some of the most beautiful leading ladies on the show like Nikki Newman, Lauren Fenmore, and of course, Christine Blair. Davidson is currently the longest-running actor on the soap and not only is he popular, but he’s quite talented as well. Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem as though Y&R appreciates his loyalty or longevity, as he has been suspiciously off-canvas since 2020 — and not by choice! Racking up a total of five Daytime Emmy nominations over the years in 2003, 2010, 2011, 2013, and 2014, he took home the coveted Lead Actor statue in 2013.
3. Bryton James
If it seems unbelievable that Bryton James has been on Y&R for almost twenty years already, it helps to remember that he began his professional acting career at the age of three! All of that hard work has made James’ character, Devon Hamilton, a legacy character worth aspiring to. His natural performance style has made Devon one of Genoa City’s most appealing leading men, and he has won two Daytime Emmys in the role.
2. Eric Braeden
Eric Braeden has been playing the infamous Victor Newman now for over thirty-five years. As a character fans love to hate, Victor is a power-hungry business man, who not only loves to control the corporate world, but his family as well. The role of Victor Newman was originally supposed to be a short-term one, until Braeden stepped in and really changed the game for Y&R and soap operas in general. The part ended up turning into a full-time gig and has turned into one of the most legendary roles in soap opera history. During his tenure as Victor, Braeden has racked up eight Daytime Emmy nods in the Outstanding Lead Actor category and took the award home once in 1998.
1. Peter Bergman
Jack Abbott is the yin to Victor Newman’s yang. Peter Bergman stepped into the Abbott role in 1989 and has wowed audiences and been acknowledged by his peers numerous times over for his incredible acting talent. No stranger to daytime drama, Bergman played Dr. Cliff Warner on All My Children (AMC) for a decade from 1979 to 1989. As a veteran of soaps, Bergman has accumulated 19 Lead Actor Daytime Emmy nominations over the years: nominated once in 1983 for his AMC role, then 18 times for his Y&R role. Out of those nominations, Bergman has won three Daytime Emmys in 1991, 1992, and 2002. It makes it no wonder why good guy Jack tops this list.