the young and the restless

Melody Thomas Scott in a dress by Alexander McQueen, short necklace and rings by Missoma, long necklace by Miranda Frye, and earrings by Simon G.

Photography by Andrew Eccles | Styled by Christina Pacelli

Watch spoke to cast members of The Young and the Restless past and present on what they think of their characters. Whether heroic or villainous, the residents of Genoa City are undeniably compelling—and complex. That's what makes actors (and fans) adore them. Robert Newman politely describes his own character Ashland Locke as “ethically challenged.” You could say that about a lot of Y&R characters!

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki Newman

Melody Thomas Scott in a yellow dress standing by a pool

Melody Thomas Scott in a dress by Alexander McQueen, short necklace and rings by Missoma, long necklace by Miranda Frye, and earrings by Simon G.

Photography by Andrew Eccles | Styled by Christina Pacelli

“She can be cunning. She can be so much worse than that. She can step up to the plate and be whoever she needs to be at that moment. She’s not anybody I would want to be friends with. I wouldn’t trust her for anything. She grew up in a very rough, abusive environment. Yes, of course, Victor [Eric Braeden] has taught her a lot. She’s catapulted into this whole other class of life and married well, but you still see the tough Nikki come through. I don’t think she’ll ever lose that.”

Robert Newman on Ashland Locke

Robert Newman sitting at a desk in a suit with his hand on his leg

Robert Newman as Ashland in business attire

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

“I don’t want to characterize Ashland exclusively as a bad guy. I don’t really believe in that idea. I always talked to the writers at Guiding Light [Newman’s previous Daytime role] about not putting Josh in the box of a good guy because it’s not interesting, and it’s not real life. With Ashland, I think he’s more ethically challenged than Josh ever was, but I think he’s a good businessman who is very driven to get the result he wants.”

Richard Burgi on Ashland Locke

Richard Burgi in a white button down shirt with his arms folded

Richard Burgi in his Y&R days

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Richard Burgi

Before Robert Newman took over playing the character of Ashland Locke, Richard Burgi played the character. Here's what he had to say about Ashland:

“He’s cagey. He’s worked hard. He’s gone through some tribulations and trials in his life, and I think he’s arrived at a place where he’s enjoying the fruits of his labors and the little quiver of arrows that he can throw at people insofar as psychological manipulations in his world of big business.

“He’s a terrific, personable, charming, intelligent, kind person … who, like many characters that have been labeled as nefarious, is just misguided. I think Victor Newman was castigated as a bad guy for a while. He’s just misunderstood!”

Jason Thompson on Billy Abbott

Jason Thompson in a gray suit and maroon polo shirt

Jason Thompson suits up for The Young and the Restless.

Photo Credit: Monty Brinton/CBS.

“Billy is a pretty reckless dude. He’s kind of all over the place all the time, which is super fun to play. I’m excited to go to work every day. My character has had a big couple of years. He has a gambling addiction, then fell off the wagon, and had to get his life back!”

“He lives on the edge and is reckless at times with his heart, but I don’t think he wants to be a bad guy.”

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra in a leopard coat posing in front of a Spectra sign

Courtney Hope as Sally Spectra, circa January 2017

Photo Credit: John Paschal/JPI Studios.

“Sally is very feisty, very determined, and very artistic. But given her last name, people have a tendency to not expect a lot from her. She and her family have quite a patchy reputation of being tricksters and causing a little bit of … what’s the word? Nonsense! So people don’t totally take Sally seriously, which makes for fun, but also makes her want to try harder to prove herself and get people to like her.”

Joshua Morrow on Nick Newman

Joshua Morrow in swim trunks

Joshua Morrow shows off his physique.

Photo credit: Ed McGowan/CBS

“Nick has always had a real eye for the ladies and a real lack of judgment.”

Brytni Sarpy on Elena Dawson and Devon Hamilton

Brytni Sarpy smiling over her shoulder at the camera in a white dress

Brytni Sarpy flashes a megawatt smile.

Photo Credit: Sonja Flemming/CBS.

“Elena met Devon when he was going through so much tragedy. Everyone was rooting for him to finally have something positive. Elena’s character represented that. Still, I didn’t think people would fall that hard for them, because I saw what a strong fanship there was for Devon and [his late wife] Hilary.

“In a way, Elena could have been just another distraction before Devon ended up with [Hilary’s doppelganger] Amanda. But there’s an honesty and a true connection there. There was so much drama surrounding Devon and Hilary, which was great. But it was a lot! With Elena, it feels like a seamless love story.”

Melody Thomas Scott on Nikki and Victor Newman

Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden posing on an ottoman

Melody Thomas Scott and Eric Braeden

Photo: Sonja Flemming/CBS ©2018 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

“[Nikki and Victor] did indeed have … something. That very rare spark that, for the lack of a better term, entices our souls into dancing together.”

"Together, our souls become one. May the two of us always be one."

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Linder uses a feather duster to brush off her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Courtesy of Kate Linder

By Michelle Darrisaw

When Kate Linder made her debut on The Young and the Restless on April 16, 1982, she was only hired for one day to deliver the now-iconic line: “Dinner is served.” Fortunately, she was asked to come back, and that one day turned into 40 years of Linder portraying the long-running role of Esther Valentine in the popular CBS daytime drama.

While viewers have had four decades to get to know the trusted confidante and beloved housekeeper of Katherine Chancellor (Jeanne Cooper) on-screen, we wanted daytime fans to discover more about the soap star off-screen. To mark Linder’s 40th anniversary on Y&R, here are six things to know about the actress, plus the surprising coincidence behind her character’s name.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Linder Is Featured on the World’s Most Famous Walkway

Linder reclines on a red carpet surrounding her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She wears a black suit with white collar and cuffs and uses a feather duster to brush off the star.

Linder uses a feather duster to brush off her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“I am so deeply honored,” she says of joining the Hollywood Walk of Fame class in 2008. “Receiving the star has been an experience I will never forget. One night many years ago, my husband Ron and I were leaving the Pantages [Theatre] and looking at all the stars on the sidewalk. I told him I couldn’t imagine what that must be like.

"Then, I remember seeing a tour bus go by and hearing the guide say, ‘Wow, you are in luck today ... Kate Linder is receiving a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.’ It was an out-of-body experience beyond my wildest dreams. That day was completely jam-packed. I was in the studio working that morning, then I left to participate in the ceremony and ran back to do more scenes. That was exactly how it should have been because if not for The Young and the Restless, I would never have been there.”

You Might See Her Flying the Friendly Skies

Linder with arms folded modeling a dark beret and blazer with wings pin as part of a United Airlines flight attendant uniform

Linder flashes a smile and models her flight attendant's uniform in 2012. No, it's not a costume for Y&R!

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“In the beginning, I became a United Airlines flight attendant to have a job that would allow me time off for auditions,” explains Linder.

“It’s been great to continue flying, and I have loved seeing viewers of the show on the flights. Many of them know I fly and are anxious to tell me how much they love the show. Others don’t know and are extremely surprised when they find out that Esther is serving them in the air.”

Or on Stage Singing and Dancing …

Linder dressed in a short off the shoulder black and white classic French maid costume and lace choker holding a white feather duster

Linder dressed as a maid for a 1991 masquerade ball, where she sang Sondheim's "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid"

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“I began my career performing in plays and have appeared in many musicals,” says Linder.

“To this day, I'm still singing and dancing! One of the most exciting highlights for me was the opportunity to perform [Stephen] Sondheim’s "Everybody Ought to Have a Maid" for a masquerade ball one year. That was so much fun! Thanks to the show, it was yet another dream come true.”

And Maybe Even Behind the Wheel of a Race Car

“Competing in the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach was a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says of becoming the first-ever daytime actress to compete.

“It was the 20th anniversary of the race. They sent us to race car driving school, where there were past winners and a few of us who had never raced before. My only goal was to live through it, and I was thrilled to finish the race. My car was red and No. 7. It didn’t have one scratch on it, and the most amazing thing was that I didn't come in last!”

She’s a Part of USO History

Linder wears a black suit with white trim and a camouflage army helmet as she stands next to two uniformed Army Aircrew members in a green jeep.

Linder next to a jeep after a send-off press conference for the Operation Starlift tour in 2002. The tour traveled under the banners of USO and Armed Forces Entertainment and served traditional military Thanksgiving dinner to troops in Afghanistan.

Robert Mora/Getty Images

“I had the honor of doing four USO tours with the late and incredible honorary mayor of Hollywood, Johnny Grant,” she recalls. “We would go on Thanksgiving and host meet and greets to support our troops.

"I’ll never forget being in Korea, and a serviceman came up to me and said, ‘I have my wife on the phone; would you mind talking to her? She never misses an episode.’ Seriously, how lucky am I to have had these amazing experiences meeting the country’s biggest heroes?”

She’s Also a Spokesperson for the ALS Association and March of Dimes

Linder arm in arm with her brother in law in front of a fireplace with a carved wooden mantel in an ornate room. Both wear blue T shirts that say Walk to dfeet ALS.

Linder with her brother-in-law

Courtesy of Kate Linder

“I will always be grateful to The Young and the Restless for giving me the platform to give back and help others,” Linder adds. “I have been the celebrity spokesperson for the ALS Association for many years since my brother-in-law’s diagnosis.

"With the generous help of my castmates, we have been able to raise way over $2 million and counting for the March of Dimes Canada’s Conductive Education program (I’m also the ambassador) and for other Canadian charities.”

Bonus Tidbit: What’s in a Name?

Jeanne Cooper stands next to a large floral bouquet with one hand on her hip leaning against a red directors chair. She wears a dark blue satin suit and diamond jewelry.

Jeanne Cooper as Katherine Chancellor

Cliff Lipson/CBS

“Jeanne Cooper started calling me Esther one day,” shares Linder. “Esther was my grandmother’s name, but Jeanne didn’t know, so it was a happy coincidence.

"Fortunately, the writers picked up on it, and the name stuck. Also, my mother watched Y&R from day one! She was so excited I was going to be on the show, filling me in on the storylines. To this day, neither of us ever misses an episode.”

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

Mishael Morgan celebrating with her family.

Photo Credit: Mishael Morgan

By Michelle Darrisaw

Mishael Morgan plays Amanda Sinclair on The Young and the Restless. But that wasn't Morgan's first appearance on the show.She previously played Hilary Curtis (Amanda's twin) who was in a car accident and later died from her injuries.

Let's take a look at 7 things that bring a smile to Morgan's face.

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

1. Trinidadian Heritage

View of Castara Bay and beach from above

View of Castara Bay and beach from above. The Caribbean Sea makes Tobago a world class travel destination.

Photo Credit: Diego Juliano/Getty Images/iStockphoto

What brings me joy is being born in Trinidad and the homeyness of the island. Trinidadian cooking is some of the best in the world.

When I go back, my favorite treat to eat is “Trini Doubles,” a street food made with curried chickpeas, tamarind sauce, pepper sauce, and cucumber or mango chutney sandwiched between two fried doughs. You can’t get it in a store; you can only get it from a cart on the side of the road.

2. Cocktails

A pink margarita with a pepper garnish and large salt crust

Mishael Morgan loves a spicy marg.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

A spicy margarita is my favorite. It can fix every problem.

3. Growing Up In "The 6"

A group of boats paddle towards the Toronto skyline

The CN tower in Toronto.

Photo Credit: Istvan Kadar Photography/Getty Images

I was raised in Toronto. What I love about the city is the diversity and multicultural experience I had there. I have friends from different ethnic backgrounds, and we feel a unity as first-generation immigrants.

4. Eckhart Tolle's A New Earth

The cover of the book A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose

Photo Credit: Penguin Random House

It changed my way of thinking and got me to a place of mindfulness and meditation. It helped me realize that so much of what we hold on to and what holds us back is the negative story we tell ourselves.

5. My Family

Mishael Morgan poses with her family

Mishael Morgan celebrating with her family.

Photo Credit: Mishael Morgan

Whenever I’m not having a great day, all I need to do is spend five minutes with my kids. They remind me to not take life so seriously.

I’ve been with my husband for 18 years. It’s awesome to come home to that person who knows the many sides of me. I’ve come full circle, from wanting to be a lawyer to now playing one on TV, and he’s experienced the journey with me.

6. Traveling Like a Local

Mayan Temazcal- traditional steam sauna bath at the end of a gravel path

Mayan Temazcal- traditional steam sauna bath of Mesoamerican cultures.

Photo Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

I love engulfing myself in the culture of other places. When I was in Mexico, I did a temazcal—a traditional steam bath that promotes physical and spiritual healing. We live on this incredible planet; everywhere you go is different and beautiful in its own way.

7. Shoes

A very spare but high-heeled light green shoe yellow embroidered balls.

Leafy shoes from NET-A-PORTER.

Photo Credit: NET-A-PORTER

My husband thinks I’m crazy because I have a million pairs of shoes I don’t wear, but I need the right color for the right occasion. You can wear all black, but slip on a colorful pair of shoes and you stand out.

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

A smiling Newman

Photo: Monty Brinton/CBS

By Michelle Darrisaw

Robert Newman stepped into the spotlight—and boardroom—as the new Ashland Locke on The Young and the Restless. The role, previously portrayed by Richard Burgi, is one that Newman tells Watch he’s trying to “make his own.”

SUBSCRIBE NOW: Enjoy 4 Digital Plus 2 Print/Digital Issues Of Watch Per Year — For Free!

Watch The Young and the Restless weekdays on CBS and streaming on Paramount+.


Read more Show less

MOST POPULAR

By viewing our video content you are accepting the terms of our Video Services Policy.
© 2019 CBS Interactive. All rights reserved.