Michelle Stafford on Young and Restless Tenure: “One of The Greatest Rides of My Life”

The Young and the Restless leading lady Michelle Stafford has confirmed E! News' shocking report of her exit from television's top daytime soap.The actress, who has played Phyllis Summers for the better part of 16 years, gave her official statement to Soap Opera Digest. Said The Staff:

"I would like to personally confirm to the fans that yes, I have decided to leave THE YOUNG AND THE RESTLESS. It has been a glorious 16 years and one of the greatest rides of my life. The constant support and love from the fans is not lost on me. I think I'll miss you the most."

CBS Daytime Vice-President Angelica McDaniel tweeted the following about Stafford's exit:

Will you miss Stafford on Y&R? Sound off in the comments!



60 Responses

  1. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    [quote=The_Moustache]is it true she spit in Victoria Rowell’s face??[/quote]

    Who cares? Oh yeah, all the idiots that want V. Rowell back. Not ever going to happen.

  2. Profile photo of snizzle

    [quote=The_Moustache]is it true she spit in Victoria Rowell’s face??[/quote]

    Not this again. *RME*

    Both MS and VR are big girls who can handle themselves.

    Can’t we just appreciate the last few weeks we have MS onscreen?

    If TPTB wanted VR back they would’ve brought her back a long time ago. The suits at the top, Steve Kent and Les Moonves, are apparently the ones who have issues with VR. None of the actors have much control over s/l let alone hiring and firings in this current climate.

  3. Profile photo of MotownKate4Soaps

    My recast wish would be to get Kate Walsh from Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice fame. The two look so much alike and I think Kate would be a great actress in the role if Grey’s doesn’t pull her back.

    Don’t blame Michelle Stafford for quitting if that is what she indeed is doing. People make fun of Steve Burton going from GH to Y&R but he was on GH for years playing a mob enforcer. Why not switch to a heroic role as war veteran? Similarly, Julie Marie Berman vacated the role of Lulu on GH to pursue other projects as well as Marcy, now Emme, Rylan going from Y&R to GH. So maybe Michelle was sick of playing ping pong ball to Nick and Jack for years. Best of luck to her! Sharon Case, Josh Morrow, and others could easily say goodbye next.

  4. Profile photo of snizzle

    I could see MS on GH or BB.

    With Susan Flannery gone I can see Brad bringing in another emmy winner from the sister soap.

    MS is always hob nobbing with Cartini at the emmy’s. I can see her going there too (as well as Jeff Branson). Not sure how they could afford it after bringing in Maura West though.

  5. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie

    [quote=The_Moustache]is it true she spit in Victoria Rowell’s face??[/quote]

    Nope. She did a SPITAKE and had sipped some water at the time. She didn’t tell VR about it because the whole point of a spitake is the element of surprise. Once things on Y&R went sour for VR, she flipped out and exaggerated the whole thing and said that Stafford SPIT on her. She did no such thing. Go to about 1:25 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6Sb0EvR3E4

    The people whining that VR can now return to the show now that Stafford is leaving need to buy a clue: the woman has alienated EVERYONE at CBS. She will never return to Y&R. EVER.

  6. Profile photo of gato1

    Mustache- VR wrote a fictional book about a “soap diva” & it has been considered somewhat of an account about her time at YR. I got my copy at the dollar store.

  7. Profile photo of Yoryla

    Glad to hear the confirmation that she indeed herself made the decision to leave. Not surprised though. Yes, I’m sure she has many other things she coul and wants to do, but there are always reasons for leaving. I’m sure Michelle wasn’t happy about the new regime, and them not writing for her.

    This all has nothing to do with Victoria Rowell. She is never coming back to Y&R.

  8. Profile photo of noway

    Good bye Michelle, now playing Phyllis Newman…some FOJ. I hope she really brings it to theses scenes over her last weeks with the paternity if they change it. I had such expectations for this storyline, now not so much.

    So she will end her run end of June/early July?

  9. Profile photo of MsAgentProvocateur1

    Please let this mean the end of Shick vs. Phick nonsense. If they recast, please don’t revive that rivalry, it is tired, tired, tired.

    Phyllis was great in the first two portions of the run but since 2005, it’s been entirely too much screaming and emoting. I tired of that fast.

    Good luck to Michelle Stafford in her future endeavors, though.

  10. Profile photo of Mel_O

    Wow. I guess it’s official. I still can’t wrap my head around her leaving. And I wonder what made her leave now after all these years.

    As much as I can’t see anyone other than Stafford in the role, considering all that’s going on w/ her, a recast is a must. Phyllis is tied to so many people on the canvas I can’t imagine her leaving Genoa city for any reason, especially with the upcoming paternity storyline. And they better not even think of killing her. I will seriously loose my shit if they do.

  11. Profile photo of noway

    They are not bringing Dru back, good grief Les Moonves said no, and from what I have seen from JFP, in this short time is there is only one queen in the hive.

    All this Y&R action, and no Harlee, hope everything is ok.

  12. Profile photo of LauraWrightCrazy

    I sure do hope Hollywood Heights has someone in their cast old enough to play Phyllis.. it is the soap world though.. in time we’ll all get used to a 20 year old blonde phyllis newman

  13. Profile photo of stoney07

    What does Victoria Rowell have to do with anything?

    Since when have people who lied VR as Dru become idiots?

    Since when is it okay for someone to do a “surprise” spit take on another person? Actor or NOT.

    And in conclusion…what the hell does ANY of that have to do with the fact that MS is leaving??? I will miss Michelle Stafford as Miss Phyllis and I wish her the best. She’ll turn on GH as some over the top character from the past. IDK…CarTini must be working for free and putting their checks toward the show. Because there’s no way in hell they can afford all these people…lol. Even if they don’t grab Miss Phyllis, it’s still a lot of people over there.

    I think I could go for Robin Christopher like Jamey suggested..

  14. Profile photo of pjc722

    Can’t say enough how much I am saddened by the passing of Jeanne cooper and now the exit of Michelle stafford.

    Two powerhouses of daytime!

    God bless

    (If now is not the time I don’t know when will be SO JILL FAREN PHELPS get on the phone to Victoria Rowell and ask her back. It’s not new characters we need its anchored established ones played with the vigor we are accustomed to from cooper and stafford and especially Rowell. Suck it up and get her on the show.

    This is a one-two punch and the show needs to get back up.)

  15. Profile photo of ldylkng

    Soapcentral is reporting her last air date is mid June, which means she has already filmed her last scenes. I seriously doubt that this was planned.
    I wish her Success for her future, but have alot of Q’s about the timing of all this.

  16. Profile photo of mfarris70

    Really too bad. There’s been so many lost at Y&R through real life events and bad writing that Phyllis really is a legacy character. Hopefully she’ll wow us with a new role soon.

  17. Profile photo of pferrando

    I can’t believe that we are losing another one.

    Michelle has had me in stiches over the years, and on my seat as she tore up her material.

    People always criticize her acting choices, but the girl snagged 10 Daytime Emmy nominations. She knew what she was doing.

    I’ve loved her entire run. And I won’t buy into a recast.

    I’ll enjoy the scenes she has left to grace us with, but then I’m moving on regardless of who they cast. They won’t be “Red” to me.

    No one will be able to match her chemistry with her peers. For me, some of the best scenes were always with Christian. So believable as friends and confidants on the screen.

    It’s always sad when this happens, but I’m glad it was her decision. :(

  18. Profile photo of Archiesfan48

    Who cares,if someone got spat on? :| IDK,maybe someone with the
    HUMAN decency to know that’s NOT how you treat another human being. |(
    If “it” was in the script,and VR was expecting it,fine. Whatever. But,
    if it was an improv,on MS’s part(out of disrespect,cruelty or even dare
    I say it,racism. |( )well,then,SHAME on MS. JMO. :)
    Btw,I’m one of those “idiots” who would love nothing more than to
    have VR,back. ;) But am realistic enough to know that that is not,at
    all,likely to happen. :( At least not on Les Moonves’s watch.(*raised

  19. Profile photo of yojoromo4469

    I don’t see why they don’t get rid on their non actors, Dylan, Tyler, NU Summer, NU Abby, NU Kyle, and a lot of the other hacks they have hired. Phyllis is better than the whole mess, mentioned above.

  20. Profile photo of SoapArmageddon

    idylkng, you’re right. It doesn’t seem planned at all, especially since for her to stop airing in mid-June is one of the most abrupt transitions there has ever been in daytime since soaps stopped airing live.

  21. Profile photo of dattilofan1

    The character is just too golden to go off into the sunset. I hope there is a really great and appropriate recast. Phyllis has way too uch going on to just disappear for parts unknown. It wouldn’t make sense especially with the Nick/paternity scandal that’s brewing. Love you Michelle. Hope the best for you but Phyllis must go on.

  22. Profile photo of bishbay

    They really need to announce if they’re going to recast immediately, or wait then recast, or exit the character for the foreseeable future. Summer’s paternity is the show’s A storyline and has generated the most interest in Y&R since the Shictor disaster (and that was pretty much all bad/angry interest). How are they going to go forward with the story without the second-most-affected person after Summer?

  23. Profile photo of THEBEST

    [quote=Ryan-Scott]It seems like only yesterday it was the summer of 2000 & Kay Alden brought her back during the Glow By Jabot story. I will miss her.[/quote]

    My FAVORITE era of Phyllis! MS’ haircut >>>>>

    [quote=NathanHastingsSr.]Bye girl. She left because she was not driving story or in control behind the scenes anymore. She will be humbled and come back within a couple of years.[/quote]

    I agree with this lol

  24. Profile photo of Ryan-Scott

    If her final airdate is just in weeks, this must have been a done deal for awhile but was not disclosed to not take away from the news of us losing our beloved Jeanne Cooper.

  25. Profile photo of richalan67

    Sing hallelujah, come on get happy… we’re headed for the Judgement Day! I haven’t stopped doing cartwheels down my street since this has been confirmed. Talked to a few of my friends and verified with them. All but one, who said she really didn’t care, offered to join me in my acrobatics! I wish the actress well. She is very good, but I can’t stand the character!! Maybe Avery could poison her with some cupcakes!!!

  26. Profile photo of Yoryla

    The timing of this is REALLY peculiar. I mean, it seems Phyllis is finally about to get back into the frontburner with this storyline. Or is she? We don’t really know that. They could have planned it to have Summer, Nick and/or Jack in the spotlight. Sounds unplausible, but it’s a possibility. In fact, if this is the case, maybe it was the straw that cut MS’ back.

    Anyway, it’s very strange to leave now. I’m sure there are plenty of reasons that nobody really knows about.

  27. Profile photo of ANGELWENDY15

    Wow! So it’s official. Was waiting till MS confirmed it. There must be a lot of “back-stage” going-ons. Perhaps a lot of long term actors from the show are seeing Steve Burton getting all this special attention and expect the same. I’m sure it’s a money-issue, and since JFP took over, the character of Phyliss, has been put in the background. When JFP was on GH she always favored the male actors and treated some of the actresses like crap). I expect to see MS either on B &B or GH soon.

  28. Profile photo of Coffee_Junkie

    I heard we’d be seeing Phyllis into JULY, and there were pictures of her a few days ago at a Y&R party, right when the rumors started flying. They generally don’t show up for the parties if they aren’t still on the payroll.

    I don’t think this was planned. She’s right in the thick of Summer’s paternity storyline. I think there was probably a lot of stonewalling over her contract negotiations and she finally went *#$ck it–I’m done!” If that’s the case than good for her.

  29. Profile photo of pferrando

    And I doubt she was asking for that much…does anyone really when only four soaps remain.

    I’m sure there was some conflict with JFP because she’d have to be pretty much front and center in this story.

  30. Profile photo of sodsince16

    I would assume that this is all about money given JFP’s recent remarks about having to produce a show at half the cost.

    Yet, I recall another incident with Ms. Stafford and Michael Fairman who plays Murphy. I wonder if the persistent association with having difficulties with cast-mates will effect her ability to acquire future work in the industry?

  31. Profile photo of

    OMG What she is leaving?????????????? I wish you well but You are the reason I love this show!!!!! It will never be the same. I love you :O

  32. Profile photo of jasam4ever888

    MS has said in many interviews that she would like to just be a stay at home Mom for awhile. Maybe it’s just as simple as that. I personally don’t see her going to any other Soap Opera, anytime soon! I’m happy for her!

  33. Profile photo of ldylkng

    Ok, I have thought about this alot. So here goes, Michelle is a scientologist. Michael Fairman “Murphy” was for years but left & frequently speaks out against them. Letters, opeds, speeches. They all
    recently gathered for Jeanne’s farewell show. Could there have been words or maybe just “I’ve had enough ” from Michelle? BTW, So is Sharon Case, but don’t see her as easy to jump ship on a whim.
    Any thoughts?


  34. Profile photo of noway

    I really doubt this has anything to do with Scientology, those two hardly see each other, and it was a tribute show with Jeanne’s children present, doesn’t seem like the proper time for any of that bs.

  35. Profile photo of ldylkng

    I agree, not the proper time, but emotions running high, Her upset about
    s/l, & maybe contract negotiations. I still say any thing like that could have set her off.

  36. Profile photo of pferrando

    I think Stafford didn’t like the negotiations, and/or the direction of her character since Josh and Jill took over.

    Maybe she made some requests, and I’m sure Jill, being the great leader she is…the great soap visionary…just said a flat “NO”.

  37. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    Stupid move JFP. Getting rid of Phyllis when her and her daughter’s story-line is lighting up the Internet.

    I know, maybe Steve Burton could be Summer’s father!

  38. Profile photo of noway

    [quote=hey mon]Stupid move JFP. Getting rid of Phyllis when her and her daughter’s story-line is lighting up the Internet.

    I know, maybe Steve Burton could be Summer’s father![/quote]


    Isn’t it bad enough he is buying CL? Taking on the The moustache and spawn for their rightful heir. Where will it end? So sick of the interloper.

  39. Profile photo of hey mon
    hey mon

    Victoria Rowell is not coming back, she’s over 45. Michelle Stafford is not coming back. Melody Thomas Scott is de facto gone. See a pattern?

    Over 45-yr old women, especially those women who refuse to go ‘under the knife’ like Eileen D probably did, are no longer welcome at Y&R.

    MTS hasn’t been on weeks, except for the Tribute Clip Show from yesterday. And even then, we had to be saddled with Greg Rikaart pretending that he and Jeanne were ‘best buds’. Scott was hardly given any screen time at all to talk about Jeanne, yet Cooper shared almost as many scenes with Nikki in the last few years, as Katherine did with Nikki.

    I’m not feeling the ‘love’ at Y&R at all. Big deal, Josh G can write dialog between characters well. Yeah, dialog between characters like Tyler and Lily; and between Dylan and Avery? Hoo-ray.

    Because the high point is behind us, soon realPhyllis will be gone. The Wedding is over, we may never see Nikki again. Katherine is gone, Jill WILL be not far behind. Katherine’s death, I can already see it, is going to be the vehicle to make THE MAN of Genoa City, as he takes over Chancellor, his “father’s” company. (What a disgrace to the character of Chance)

    We get all excited because Beth Maitland comes on the screen for 2 scenes and cusses out her brother. Yet, we have to sit thru Chloe trying to near-berate Chelsea, who by the way, is almost beginning her 3rd and last trimester of pregnancy (or should be), into trying to still keep ‘the secret’ from Adam, day after day.

    Those of us 50 and over (in just a few weeks, Juan), we are a part of the Y&R of yester-year. There is no Brenda Epperson coming as Ashley on the horizon, cept maybe to say HI to nuAbby once in a while. There is no no more Gloria, except I hear to listen to Michael bitc# about his life this week. And soon Jill, perhaps maybe to battle (?) Cane, may make an appearance or two.

    Not even going to open up these questions, like, why have Paul and Christine have a romance, if they are never going to be on? We can all remember back to the 90s, what a romance between those 2 means.

    So it’s the new Y&R. Lot’s of Summer. NuKyle. Not muchNoah, (cant figure that one out). Lots and lots of Dylan and Chelsea. But not much of anyone else.

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