Gina Tognoni (Phyllis Summers) recently announced her wrap with the cast on ‘The Young and the Restless’. Now, it’s onto Michelle Stafford’s (Phyllis) comeback in the near future. So, how will the return of the original actor who embodied this role impact the character?
Devoted Y&R fans saw that Tognoni’s version of Phyllis was initially written softer than Stafford’s iconic version. Sure, that’s a debatable point. But daytime devotees know that many recasts are often written in different directions than a past version (or versions) of a classic character in order to provide the audience with a fresh take. That is what Tognoni delivered.
Of course, both ladies are unquestioned great actors. That’s a partial reason why news of Tognoni’s cast exit was unexpected when it was announced earlier this year.
Young And The Restless Spoilers – Gina Tognoni Exits
Tognoni performed exceedingly well during her run, which dated back to 2014 and included the earn of a 2017 Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series. She also captured Emmy’s in 2006 and 2008, in the Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series, for her work as Dinah Marler on the beloved ‘Guiding Light’.
— Young and Restless (@YandR_CBS) June 9, 2019
Stafford’s departure from Y&R in 2013 opened new territory for the show, as the only previous Phyllis, Sandra Nelson (a solid actor in her own right), was a short-term player in 1997 (when Stafford departed) and in 1998. The inclusion of Tognoni was meant to be what it became, a crucial lead role recast. Stafford went onto work for ‘General Hospital’, where she’s about to complete her four year run.
It would seem that Y&R has been writing Phyllis back to fully devious territory in preparation for Stafford’s return. The original Phyllis was fierce nearly all the time.
Stafford’s Phyllis (which garnered Daytime Emmy awards in 1997 and 2004) established long-term relationships with Jack Abbott (Peter Bergman), as well as Nick Newman (Joshua Morrow), which included marriages to both men. Her children, Daniel Romalotti (Michael Graziadei) and Summer still-Abbott (Hunter King) were leading elements of her life. And her best friends, Michael Baldwin (Christian LeBlanc) and Lauren Fenmore-Baldwin (Tracey Bregman) were personal touchstone connections.
Young And The Restless Spoilers – Michelle Stafford Returns
Maybe Y&R will take this opportunity to rewind more deeply. Stafford’s return could take Phyllis all the way back to her obsession with Daniel’s adopted father, Danny Romalotti (Michael Damian) and to regular rivalries with Christine Williams (Lauralee Bell) and Sharon Newman (Sharon Case).
A turn to kindness is also possible, right? Well, maybe not. But at least that option has been offered.
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